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Bentley University Buildings Earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR® for Superior Energy Efficiency
Bentley University's North Campus residence halls have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.
"Bentley University Facilities Management has worked diligently to improve building energy efficiency over the past few years, but this achievement was made possible by the entire Bentley community working together to reduce our energy consumption. Sustainability and conservation are now integrated into the academic curriculum and campus groups have been formed to promote environmental awareness and behavior change. This achievement shows that when a community unites, positive change is possible," says Bentley Energy Systems Engineer Jessa Marshall.
With an average ENERGY STAR rating of 83, the North Campus residence halls use 34 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Bentley University improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to the buildings. Bentley University has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 28 households for an entire year. Additionally, community outreach programs have been established to encourage students, faculty and staff to adopt energy conservation habits.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, Bentley University took the following actions:
- WebCTRL, an advanced energy management system, was installed to control all heating and cooling systems within the building. It also controls exterior lighting and the interior lighting in the common spaces within each building.
- Networked electric submeters were integrated with WebCTRL to automate electrical load shedding, which relaxes a building's setpoints during peak loads. The meters were also integrated with PowerLogic, an energy and power management application, to log and display real time energy consumption.
- Occupancy sensors and individual thermostats were added to each apartment to allow setpoints to automatically relax when residents are not home while also providing residents the ability to adjust their setpoints.
- To decrease water consumption, water saving toilets, low flow faucets and shower heads were included in a plumbing fixture retrofit.
- Energy conservation through both building improvements and behavior change are supported at all levels of the university as a signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
- The Office of Sustainability was established to promote energy conservation and behavior change to the Bentley community. Each residential building is assigned a student Eco-Rep to serve as a sustainability peer-educator.
EPA's ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA's 1-100 scale is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles. For more information about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.