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Collaborate for Energy and Labor Efficiency

Oct 29

Written by:
10/29/2012 1:31 PM  RssIcon

Most colleges and universities operate as a series of silos rather than as an integrated network of buildings. In many cases, the facility manager for the student union has a totally separate budget and realm of responsibility from the rest of the campus. There are often separate facility managers who are responsible for the athletic buildings on campus, the classroom buildings, and the dormitories. Responsibility is fragmented, and collaboration among these silos is unusual.

One example of this lack of collaboration has been occurring at Kansas University for more than 10 years. Wayne Pearse, who recently retired from his position as Director of Building Services for Memorial Unions, has been saving $30,000 per year in energy expenses by automating HVAC systems based on scheduled events in just 27 rooms. Just imagine how much KU could save if this system was expanded to all of the classroom buildings, athletic buildings, and other buildings on campus with rooms that are scheduled based on specific events.

Granted, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for one facility manager to manage all campus buildings. But if colleges and universities are going to successfully take advantage of energy- and labor-saving technologies, facility managers need to collaborate with each other across campus and with people in other departments too.

That is exactly what Jeff Goebel, Plant Manager at Minnesota State University Moorhead did. He collaborated with IT personnel, student union personnel, academic scheduling personnel, event scheduling personnel, HVAC equipment contractors, and a software development company to implement a nearly campus-wide solution to save energy and labor. As a result, MSUM is saving approximately $1 million per year in energy expenses and 10-15 hours per week in labor. This effort earned Goebel and his team an Outstanding Service Award.

These are just two examples. But in working with colleges and universities, we see many more that operate like the first example than the second. Whether you are considering implementing Events2HVAC or some other energy-saving solution, make the extra effort to collaborate with colleagues on campus who can help evaluate the solution as a campus-wide possibility rather than as a single-building solution. In many cases, a larger implementation will result in a much bigger return on investment.

For more information about Events2HVAC, visit the Events2HVAC website. To request a quote for your facility, contact

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Founded in 1998, Streamside Solutions provides software products, solutions and services for the building automation industry.

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