Colleges and universities, hospitals, and correctional facilities are certainly not alike in terms of purpose and desired outcomes. However, these sectors share many parallels with regard to energy usage and performance, based on how campus spaces operate to support the staff and residents that live and work there.
As you search for resources to save energy for your campus, you are challenged with mixed use buildings, often with a complex history of building upgrades and renovations over multiple decades, all with their own combination of energy systems that may not be compatible within the same structure. Most energy managers have at least some idea where their biggest opportunities lie, but we strongly recommend a full review of all energy systems, starting with your building envelope. Water leaks indicate an energy leak, interviews with staff or residents can uncover unexpected areas of failed insulation or controls, and a simple walk-through with a light meter and infrared thermometer can uncover over-lit spaces and failed equipment.
In the campus setting, energy managers often are only visible when equipment fails; by improving communications with staff and residents, an energy manager has the opportunity to increase his eyes and ears in the facility and implement "soft" energy savings through user behavior changes. Creation of an "energy team" to assist with communications and development and implementation of a campus energy plan creates buy-in and helps with overall success of the program. As controlling costs is often the main concern voiced by top executives of an organization, publicizing or promoting the various successes through a team, using newsletters, posters, etc. can assist with buy-in from upper management. To assist you with this, we highly recommend the Building Operator Certification training on energy efficient building and operational maintenance practices. Additionally, for those facilities who have already instituted energy efficiency measures, Building Re-Tuning training is a systematic process to identify and correct building operation problems that lead to energy waste. For more information go to: BOC Main Landing Page.
Also, since there is a diverse population of residents, there are also opportunities to share messages on sustainability and environmental conservation, such as recycling, alternative methods of transportation, green cleaning, and a variety of other subjects that increase people's environmental literacy.
Below is a list of resources compiled for you to get started with a greener campus: