solar panels on south parking garageEnergy consumption is one of the largest resource impact areas for the earth and for most institutions, and contributes a large amount of our greenhouse gas emissions. We consume energy on campus to run our buildings heat, cooling and electrical systems. Virtually all functions of our academic system use energy – such as laboratory equipment, IT equipment, lights in our buildings, and charging our devices. Here are some ways we are working to reduce the amount of energy we consume, while still delivering the vital services the campus needs to deliver high quality education:

Building Operations & Controls

  • All new buildings are required to be built to the standard of LEED Silver or higher, as required by the Washington State Legislature for all state-funded universities.
  • UW Bothell’s most recent building, Discovery Hall, is LEED certified and achieved a 32% energy reduction compared to a similar building that is not built to LEED standards.
  • All building HVAC is efficiently controlled by Johnson Controls Metasys building and automation system, which is continuously monitored and upgrade by our maintenance staff.
  • Variable output building heating and cooling system is used to regulate building temperatures. This allows fine-tuned control of energy use in maintaining interiors climate, so that rooms are never cooled or heated to excess.
  • Total energy consumption is monitored by building and displayed on dashboard monitors in several buildings throughout campus. This creates transparency in our energy use (all data is visible to everyone) and also allows us to track our energy use trends over time.
  • We uphold rigorous preventative maintenance standards to ensure our buildings are always running as efficiently as possible. This includes, but is not limited to filter replacement based on differential pressure to ensure air handler unit motor efficiency for energy consumption, demand response programming for air handler unit startup to reduce demand load, programming chillers for predictive staging based on previous loads and demand which reduces energy consumption and cost, and managing our cooling towers so that our water cycles are fifteen cycles or more by having the chemical feed system continuously monitoring our conductivity for water blowdown.
  • Facilities Services practices continuous commissioning of the all buildings on campus, regularly verifying that building systems are running optimally

Renewable Energy

  • Whenever financially feasible, UW Bothell has been incorporating renewable energy into the campus.
  • Most recent solar energy project was a 102 kW roof-mountain solar PV system on one of the library buildings. Installed in late 2015, the solar array generated over 30,000 kWh of electricity in the first nine months of 2016.
  • Each of the two parking garages on campus have a 10 kW PV system that were installed in 2011. The parking garage PV systems provide around 20,000 kWh combined annually.
  • Facilities Services purchased two Zon Powersol solar-paneled shade umbrellas for picnic tables that have USB outlets for charging cell phones and other electronics. This allows students to charge their electronics while spending time outside on sunny days with renewable energy

Lighting

  • In offices and rooms without exterior windows, lighting is getting upgraded to Human Centric Lighting, which is the newest major advancement in sustainable lighting. In addition to using LED bulbs – the most energy efficient available – HCL has the capability of tuning and dimming its color temperature (Kelvin) to best suit the needs of the user and create the optimal setting for the task at hand. Human Centric Lighting is superior in both energy and human health performance. By transitioning to LED Human Centric Lighting systems, the campus will continue to reduce its energy usage dramatically as we work to reduce our carbon emissions and impact on the environment. In addition, Kelvin-changing Human Centric Lighting can improve worker productivity, circadian rhythms, short and long-term alertness, sleep, mood and visual acuity
  • Lighting retrofit in our garages to from metal halide bulbs to florescent bulbs for a savings of 540,000 kWh per year
  • Campus exterior lighting switched from metal halide to induction lighting, which decreased their energy consumption by half
  • Replacing and retrofitting existing CFL lighting with LED lighting in hallways and common areas to reduce our recycled mercury and decrease our energy consumption from lighting as old lighting needs to be replaced
  • Occupancy sensors in bathrooms and other areas where possible