November 26, 2007
Energy audit to focus on more than 1M square feet of building space
By david payne
Emory is initiating the largest outside energy audit in its history, and the project is expected to identify investments that would yield considerable savings in energy, improve occupant comfort and save money.
Earlier this month, the University signed an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies Inc. to study five large buildings on campus in order to evaluate whether Emory is using energy resources effectively and efficiently — and to identify any opportunities to further reduce energy consumption in those buildings.
“Not only is Emory building its new facilities according to energy efficient LEED standards, but we are also evaluating existing buildings in order to save energy,” said Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration. “The recommendations from Siemens will provide us with specific investments required to achieve measurable improvement.”
The University, the sixth-largest customer of Georgia Power, spent over $30 million on energy costs last year.
The five buildings included in the audit — the Woodruff P.E. Center, Woodruff Library, Rollins School of Public Health, Whitehead Research building and the clinic and research building at 1525 Clifton Rd. — represent over 1 million square feet of building space. While only one of these buildings (Whitehead) is currently LEED certified, the energy efficiency improvements identified through the Siemens audit will provide Emory with suggestions that it could implement for these buildings to reach LEED certification under its program for existing buildings.
Emory currently has more certified “green” building space by square footage than any other university in the nation. The University’s goal is to reduce its overall energy consumption by an average of 25 percent per square foot by 2015, from its December 2005 levels.
“This audit is the next logical step for Emory,” said Ciannat Howett, director of sustainable initiatives. “Our older buildings represent huge potential energy savings. The long-term cost savings from implementing the audit’s recommendations should pay for any improvements within a 5 to 10 year period, depending on the investment type. Thinking beyond the short-term is a hallmark of sustainability and part of Emory’s sustainability commitment.”
The Siemens audit will be completed in May. At that time Emory will decide which of the recommendations it chooses to implement.