February 28, 2011

Temperature, Lighting Standards to Make CWRU Buildings More Eco-Friendly

ThermometerIn yet another step toward the university becoming climate neutral, Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Facilities Services will instate new temperature and lighting standards. The new standards are part of the Climate Action Plan and show the university’s commitment to maintaining a sustainable and environmentally responsible campus.

Buildings account for up to 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., according to the United Nations Environment Programme, and the energy used in buildings on campus is a major part of Case Western Reserve’s carbon footprint.

“It’s crucial to continue making our buildings more energy efficient, and temperature and lighting standards are two more ways that move us toward our goals of becoming climate neutral,” said Gene Matthews, director of the Department of Facilities Services.

As part of the plan, all heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems will operate only during regularly scheduled occupancy periods, which will be decided upon between Facilities Services and leadership from each school. Additionally, all buildings’ thermostats will be set at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus 2 degrees), except in research areas or other places where higher temperatures are required. Electric space heaters should not be used. During non-occupancy periods (typically 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays), temperatures will decrease to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In warmer weather, temperatures will be set at 74 degrees Fahrenheit (plus or minus 2 degrees) for all buildings with central air conditioning, except for research or other areas where lower temperatures are required. During non-occupancy periods, HVAC systems will be shut down.

As for lighting, levels will be adjusted according to Illumination Engineering Society’s Lighting Standards. Motion and day-lighting sensors will be installed in offices, classrooms, corridors and public areas wherever possible, and the university will continue to install highly efficient fixtures across campus. Additionally, desk lamps and other task lighting fixtures should now use compact fluorescent lamps, which will be provided at the department’s expense.

In addition, the department initiated a pilot project for the cleaning of academic buildings to take place from 3 to 11 p.m.

All of these initiatives are being phased in, as building systems are adjusted and lighting technologies are applied.

To learn more about energy-efficiency projects and the university’s Climate Action plan, click here.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, February 28, 2011 09:45 AM | News Topics: sustainability

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