Office of Sustainability seeks to minimize campus energy use

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Campus lighting is one aspect of campus energy use.
Megan Lunsford | The Scribe
Oct. 26, 2015

Abbie Stillman
astillman@uccs.edu

The Office of Sustainability celebrated their ten-year anniversary on Oct. 20.

October is energy action month according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and UCCS has multiple sustainability programs and efforts that strive for sustainability and energy conservation.

The office hopes to have their sustainability demonstration house reach net zero in its use of energy and resources.

Also, the office hosts energy audits of some of the buildings on campus, including the Osborne center, Engineering and Columbine buildings.

Sustainability provides class presentations, conducts greenhouse gas inventories, leads educational and conservation campaigns, keeps track of utility usage on campus and pursues renewable energy projects.

They have several already completed projects that are used on campus such as recycling bins, nano-ceramic windows, ceiling fans, energy STAR appliances and permaculture.

Future projects could consist of a wind turbine, electric charging stations, energy efficient technology, rainwaterredistribution/irrigation, a carport and improved insulation.

Psychology and pre-nursing major Crystal Backoff values the energy efficiency on campus.

“It’s an opportunity to be a greener and healthier campus,” said Backoff.

But, Backoff believes improvements can be made.

“Many lights on campus are on all the time.”

She suggested UCCS look into sensory monitored lighting instead.

Brandon Bishop, grad student and employee for the Office of Sustainability, discussed a project he created involving applying special ceramic to windows around the university. The project was implemented last year in University Center and Osborne Center.

Nano ceramic, used in the project, is window film designed to block heat, which reduced the visible light transmission in the buildings by 30 percent.

“There is no glare, no heat, and it was able to bring down temperature down to the same as the rest of building,” Bishop said. “The project created a much more comfortable space for students while also saving money on energy costs.”

Gilford mentioned several ways in which students can help save energy.

“Turn off computers when leaving a room, turn off the lights if you are the last one out, you can unplug appliances that are not being used.”

Sustainability has partnered with several different energy efficiency companies. They work with All American Window Tinting, the Energy Resource Center and SunShare.

Gilford also mentioned students can use different light bulbs such as light emitting diodes (LED) instead of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). LED’s use less energy and CFL’s contain mercury, according to Gilford.

For more information on campus sustainability, go to www.uccs.edu/sustain/operations/energy.html.

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