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Sustainable Building

Bentley's Sustainable Building Commitment

In the Climate Action Plan, Bentley University has committed to achieving LEED-Silver certification for all new construction and major renovations (renovations greater than 50% replacement value).  In addition, Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability work together on smaller upgrades and renovations across the campus to ensure that green building principles are being applied.

Sustainable Renovation Projects

Water Conservation

Water-Saving Faucets and Shower Head

The majority of the Residence halls are equipped with water-saving, low flow faucets and shower heads. 

  • These fixtures reduce the amount of water used by 40%.  [Source: EPA WaterSense].
    • Low-flow faucets and shower heads work by restricting the flow of water while maintaining standard water pressure (approximately 80 psi).  Therefore consumers are able to enjoy the same water pressure while conserving water.
  • These fixtures also reduce energy use by 40%.  Energy is related to water use in several ways:
    • Energy is used to heat hot water, if less water is used, less natural gas or electricity is burned to heat the water,
    • Energy is also used to pump water to your faucet and used to pump wastewater (water that goes down the drain) to wastewater treatment plants where more energy is used to treat the water before it is discharged to the environment, if less water is used, less energy is used to pump and treat wastewater. 
  • By reducing the demand for hot water by using low flow shower heads and faucets an average household can cut the emission of 376 pounds and 83 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide each year respectively.  Not to mention the savings from treating less wastewater!  [Source: Flex Your Power

Dual Flush Toilets

Dual flush toilets have been installed in many buildings on campus. Dual Flush Toilets allow the user to choose a small flush and larger flush to accommodate liquid and solid wastes respectively.

The small flush uses 0.9 gallons per flush (GPF) while the large flush uses 1.6 GPF. 

These types of toilets save both water and money!

Energy

Close to 50% of Bentley's annual greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint) results from the electricity that we use in campus buildings.  With this in mind The Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management have made energy efficiency a top priority. 

Bentley’s buildings are submetered for electricity and are linked to the university's Energy Management System (EMS) which allows Facilities Management to determine how much electricity is being used in real time in each building on campus. Over the past few years, Bentley has been systematically upgrading EMS controls in order to manage the indoor environment more efficiently and reduce energy consumption throughout campus. .  The majority of Bentley's buildings are equipped with high-efficiency lighting systems including LEDs, CFLs and/or system lighting controls.  

Solar

Bentley’s first solar panels are on the Bentley arena built in 2018.  There are 1,400 solar-panels on the roof, which are estimated to create 40% of the energy needs of the building.  Bentley purchased the array with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a legal contract between an electricity generator (provider) and a power purchaser.  This means that an outside company owns the panel and Bentley has contracted with them to purchase the energy over the course of the contract for a lower cost than Bentley’s standard electricity contract.  Bentley saves money over the long term and owns the solar panels at the end of the contract.  Click here to learn more about the Bentley Arena

Solar Wall

In September 2009 Bentley constructed of a 3,000 square foot solar thermal wall on the southern external wall of the Dana Athletic Center.  The solar wall is made of perforated wall material and is installed several inches from the exterior wall of the building to create an air cavity.The solar wall, which traps heat from the sun, is hooked up to a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. When the HVAC unit calls for outdoor air, the air is pulled through the solar wall and is heated in the process. The hot air rises up the air cavity created between the solar wall and the building's exterior wall and enters the HVAC unit. By providing the unit with pre-heated air, less energy is required to warm the air to room temperature. 

See an example of a solar wall in action!

 

 

Water Bottle Refilling Stations

There are currently over 40 Water Bottle Refill Stations installed all over campus! To find out where they are on campus check out this map. And to find out more about our Water Bottle Refilling Stations, check out our Water page. 

Low VOC Paint

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are chemicals released while paint is in either a solid or liquid state. Through evaporation these chemicals pollute the air and can have adverse health effects on organisms which come in contact with them. Low VOC paint contains levels of VOC which are considerable healthier than other paints.  Bentley has a policy of only using low VOC paints on campus to keep our campus community healthy.