US colleges and universities are struggling to plan the return to campus for the Fall 2020 semester amid COVID-19 uncertainties and social distancing guidelines that seem to change daily. Though plans vary greatly, many will include a combination of online classes and smaller, socially-distant classes held in-person – likely with hand sanitizer and face masks required.
But what about cafeterias, sporting events, and clubs on campus? How will those be handled?
It is truly a nightmare to contemplate the complexity of the problem when we have little understanding of the real magnitude of the threat and the effectiveness of the “solutions.”
But whatever your return-to-campus plan entails, integrating class and event schedules to HVAC controls will make it easier. It gives you the flexibility to change class and event schedules in your event management system (Ad Astra, CollegeNet R25/25Live, EMS, etc.), and automatically control HVAC in individual rooms/zones based on those schedules.
Rather than facility managers scrambling to alter HVAC schedules as plans change or running HVAC in empty auditoriums, theaters, and classrooms, Events2HVAC automates HVAC scheduling based on room schedules – no matter how many times they are adjusted.
APPA research has shown that the average college classroom is empty 30-50% of the day. That’s BEFORE COVID-19. In the 2020-2021 school year, that range is likely to be higher as some classes are moved online. Yet, most colleges and universities run HVAC based on a daily building schedule (i.e. 6 am – 10 pm), regardless of what is scheduled in the building. That results in a lot of wasted energy.
Colleges and universities using Events2HVAC to automate HVAC based on room schedules report saving 50-75 cents/sqft/year in energy costs. That is significant when you consider that the average energy cost/sqft/year for colleges is $1.50-$2.25. ( See Case Studies.)
On top of that, colleges and universities report saving 2-6 hours/week in HVAC scheduling time when switching to Events2HVAC because they no longer need to enter building schedules or exception schedules for after-hours events. That’s 104-312 hours/year freed up for more important tasks.
Each year, colleges and universities using Events2HVAC across the US save millions of dollars in energy costs and thousands of hours in HVAC scheduling time. Due to reduced campus activities and the likelihood of frequent schedule changes during the next school year, we expect that Events2HVAC users will save more time and energy than ever before.
Maybe we should start counting the number of headaches avoided too!
To evaluate Events2HVAC for your campus, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.