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Finding Better Sources

Energy Efficiency Increases

Since FY 11 UMass Lowell has seen its Energy Use Index or EUI (Kbtu/SF) drop 14.5 % and since FY 04, EUI has dropped 34.9%. Also UMass Lowell has seen its EUI drop in 10 of the last 11 Years.

Green Building Design- LEED

In compliance with Executive Order 484, all State agency projects over 20,000 SF shall adhere to the "Massachusetts LEED Plus" standard for projects designed for public entity.

For projects smaller than 20,000 square feet, all executive agencies shall design and construct new buildings and major renovation projects to meet at least one of the following:

  • Adhere to the "Massachusetts LEED Plus" standard described above
  • This criteria evolved into LEED Silver for new and renovated buildings greater than 20,000 SF and Mass LEED Plus for construction projects less than 20,000 SF.

Clean Energy

The University has contracted at five off-site locations for 15.9 MW of virtual net metering credits (NMCs). The NMC contracts will represent a cost reduction of over $1 Million on our FY 15 Energy Budget. During FY 14, an electrical energy cost reduction of $255,342 was realized to the FY 14 Energy Budget with the NMC contracts. The First Wind solar installations all on-line as of June, 2015.

As part of our South Campus Exterior Lighting Project to improve exterior lighting, safety, security and energy efficiency, the University has added a SolarOne renewable solar-powered bus stop enclosure with LED lighting, motion detection, and storage battery that operates 24 hours a day every day.

Our four Owner-operated and serviced solar arrays located on the roofs of Costello, Bourgeois, Leitch and Duggan are rated at 250 kW DC and during FY 14 generated 227,159 kWh and reduced electrical costs by $26,850 and sale of 153 Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated revenue of $38,719 (average price of $253/SREC). This reduced solar generated energy was in part due to the harsh winter but primarily due to the renovation of Bourgeois and Leitch Halls that rendered both systems inoperative for 6 months during the 1-year total construction period.

New Buildings

The University has a list of ongoing newly constructed buildings all of which meet the above criteria: Emerging Technologies and Innovations Center (ETIC) was certified LEED Gold. The Health and Social Sciences Building (HSSB), University Suites, and University Crossing are complete but have not yet been certified. McGauvran Hall is under construction and is due to be occupied in early 2016 while the Pulichino-Tong Business Center is undergoing site preparation and is due to be occupied in 2017.

Major Renovation Projects

Leitch and Bourgeois Residence Halls- by the beginning of the Fall of 2015, both had major renovations to the building automation systems, space heating, outside air ventilation, domestic hot water and electrical and lighting systems incorporating building and energy code updates.

Perry Hall is in the beginning of the design process and will include many new energy efficient hoods with heat recovery.

North Campus Infrastructure Renewal Program which adds more greenspace to the campus and updates the mechanical systems for several buildings in the North Campus Quad will be designed with many Mass LEED Plus updates. This project is scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2016.

Internal Energy Projects

Many internally funded lighting efficiency projects have occurred on campus including:

  • Exterior LED upgrades: Costello building sidewall and overhangs; South Campus building roof, wall packs, parking lot, street and post lights; Tsongas Arena grounds; North Campus wall packs and walkways and East Garage Parking Area lighting.
  • Interior LED Lighting: Olsen First Floor; Ball 210; Cumnock and Olney Auditoriums; ICC Interior LED Lighting; Olsen Restroom all floors; Fox stairwells; CRC Weight room; Durgin Mechanical Room and Restrooms-Floors 2-4; O’Leary 222; Mechanical Rooms and Ball 210.
  • Lighting Controls were added to North Campus Field lighting; and Southwick Occupancy Sensors.
  • Steam, piping and Steam Plant projects included: Steam Insulation Jackets for North Campus Steam Plant; Vault and piping upgrades for both North and South Plants; EPA Maximum Available Control Technology permitting; NCSP Study and Upgrade Flash Tank and Piping.
  • Phase 4 and 5 of Steam Trap Maintenance program was completed and these projects repaired or replaced all traps on campus.
  • HVAC Efficiency Upgrade Projects are in process for Weed HVAC; ETIC Lab and Clean Room- all floors; ICC HVAC Units for Floors 1 and 2.

Accelerated Energy Program (AEP)

The AEP will reduce energy by more than 20% of the annual energy usage of the buildings in the project scope. It is calculated to reduce annual campus utilities usage by 6 Million kWh; 500,000 therms and 2.5 Million gallons of water. The program includes the modernization and energy efficiency upgrade of Olney Laboratory fume hood systems; renewal of the South Campus Steam Plant; replacement of Boilers, AHUs; and Tsongas Arena LED Lighting Upgrade; Mechanical System Controls; Low flow plumbing fixtures; showers; and interior and exterior Lighting System upgrades. The program will install or upgrade BAS, energy recovery, plumbing, electrical and perform fuel switches. Renewable technologies programs include: Solar thermal heating at ICC; and Parking Canopy Solar PV at South Campus Garage. It will reduce Deferred Maintenance by about $10M. In addition, the AEP will reduce GHG by approx. 5,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent.

Sustainable Building and Operation Practices

Design Standards: UMass Lowell continues to update its Design Standards that incorporate Sustainable Requirements within the MEP sections of the standards (most recently updated in June 2015). It is also standard practice for UMass Lowell projects to reuse and/or recycle used furniture whenever possible.

Green Housekeeping Policy

UMass Lowell has a Green Housekeeping Policy. The intent of the policy is to "Reduce exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particle contaminants, which adversely impact air quality, health, building finishes, building systems, and the environment.

Also, it is to reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning products, disposable janitorial paper products and trash bags. The use of sustainable cleaning systems and cleaning products is a requirement under this policy. UMass Lowell also includes the use of sustainable cleaning products in its bid packages for outsourced cleaning contracts.

Utility Incentive Account

The Administration and Finance and Energy Subcommittees created a Parent Energy Project account that will be funded by third party incentive programs. The University was approved for $1.6 Million in incentive funds by National Grid; a balance of over $1.27 Million is currently in the account and $261,000 has been used to finance new energy projects. This is a sustainable building practice as this program and account have been and will continue to fund energy efficiency projects in many old, new, and future buildings.

UMass Lowell installed more than 100 real-time, building-level energy meters on campus to track electricity, gas and steam usage and identify opportunities for increasing efficiency, especially during peak hours using energy intelligence software. The software allows UMass Lowell to prioritize projects more effectively, mitigate peak demand charges, achieve persistent savings, avoid maintenance costs, and measure and verify savings.