Emory Report

April 10, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 28

First Person:

Herzog's green thumb

Al Herzog is senior project manager for Facilities Management.

Thanks to the efforts of Emory student Aly Reiss, who wrote a letter to The Wheel last fall, I realized there was a need to share information about our ongoing environmental efforts. This led to regular meetings with the Student Government Association's Environmental Task Force.

It's wonderful to see first hand the spirit and commitment of the Emory community to better understand existing programs and encourage us to expand and enhance our efforts.

We have come a long way in the past 15 years with respect to energy conservation and environmental sensitivity. Emory, like many institutions of higher education, saw the need to undertake such efforts in the early 1980s.

At first this meant utilizing stand-alone control systems to ensure energy was being used efficiently in selected campus buildings. This initial success led Facilities Management to expand the Engineering Ser-vices Department and hire an energy engineer to provide special focus on conservation. This new team helped develop design standards that ensured new buildings, or those undergoing major renovation, would have appropriate energy-saving features incorporated into them from the earliest stage of design.

Ongoing efforts today include:

  • direct digital controls for all new and renovated buildings.
  • expanding central chilled water plants, which provide cooling for campus facilities, and equipping them with waterside economizers.
  • double-pane windows with reflective tinting or high-E glazing.
  • low nitrous-oxide burners on all new boilers in the Central Steam Plant.
  • energy-efficient interior and exterior lighting.
  • the use of electric carts on campus over the past three years--approximately 60 carts are now in use by a variety of campus units.
  • high-efficiency motors for large, continuous-use loads.
  • variable speed drives where usage patterns can fluctuate greatly.
  • photocells to control exterior lights.
  • reducing steam pressure during the summer months.
  • returning a greater percentage of condensate to the steam plant.
  • high-efficiency chillers that use environmentally friendly refrigerants.
  • occupancy sensors to control lights in large classrooms or common spaces.

This list represents many but not all of our efforts. We constantly strive to incorporate into our building designs a wider range of building materials that support sustainable philosophies. This includes recycling floor coverings at the end of their useful life, reusing/recycling workstations and purchasing products from like-minded vendors.

Since early last year, FM has been guided in its environmental efforts by the Leader-ship in Energy and Environ-mental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, a national "green" blueprint developed by the federal government. We are working closely with the University Senate Committee on the Environment to incorporate LEED into our construction and renovation projects, and the program provides us with an independent, objective measure of whether we meet or exceed current environmental building standards.

Emory's strategic planning, as demonstrated in the Quadrangle Energy Plant, resulted in a 1993 Award for Excellence from the Georgia chapter of American Institute of Architects and Georgia Power. This plant initially served five buildings around the Quad, but you will more easily recognize it as Tull Plaza behind the Geosciences Building. In addition to providing a chilled water plant that has expanded to serve 27 buildings and ultimately will serve a total of 40, this project also created a marvelous pedestrian plaza that hosts a variety of functions.

The University also has increased its recycling program and awareness of such efforts on campus. The American Forest and Paper Association chose Emory's as one of America's best paper recycling programs last year. This did not happen by accident--it required diligent oversight to manage the waste stream.

We are also fortunate that the Purchasing Department demands recycled products from vendors whenever possible, which in turn alerts vendors that there is a market for such products here.

Finally, FM recently helped establish the Friends of the Emory Forest, a program to replant trees on campus (see related story, Building Community the Green Way). Members of our department participate in the annual River Clean Up Week and also pitched in at the recent Baker Woodlands cleanup, sponsored by the Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Stewardship.

In fact, there will be a second cleanup effort in Baker Woods on Saturday, April 15, starting at 1 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering your time, we would love to have you help us with this project.

I hope in the very near future that FM will have a web site to provide additional information regarding our environmental and energy-conservation efforts. Until then, feel free to e-mail me at aherzog@fmd.emory.edu, or call 404-727-7478. We can use everyone's feedback--and help.

Return to April 10, 2000 contents page