(Carson, CA) – California State University, Dominguez Hills will be honored with two Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards for its efforts in environmental conservation and sustainability during the 2014 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, held from June 16-20 at San Diego State University (SDSU).
Presented to campuses of the California State University and University of California, the Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practices Awards showcase model projects within the systems in the areas of green building design, climate control and lighting retrofit, water efficiency, energy use tracking, waste reduction, transportation and food service sustainability, and education efforts.
CSU Dominguez Hills is the CSU’s recipient for the best lighting design and retrofit award for the intelligent lighting controls implemented on campus, as well as the monitoring-based commissioning award for energy saving methods implemented at the university’s main administration building, Welch Hall.
Central plant and energy manager Kenny Seeton, along with his team at central plant, led the cost- and energy-saving projects, but he says it was a collaborative campus effort.
“I was fortunate enough to work with some great students, faculty and staff whose positive energy kept me motivated to always do a little more,” Seeton said.
Within the past two years, the Intelligent Lighting Controls project at CSU Dominguez Hills installed 424 smart sensors in the corridors of Welch Hall and other buildings on campus, where dimmed ceiling lights illuminate and dim again as a person passes through the area. The project not only reduced hallway energy use by 78 percent and office energy use by 50 percent in the areas installed, but also saved the university $26,000 annually and provided research opportunities for environmental science students from the university.
Heating and cooling energy savings, also in Welch Hall, were realized as a result of a monitoring-based commissioning of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in the building. By closely tracking the energy usage and data from the HVAC system to determine inefficiencies, facilities personnel were able to make informed upgrades that repaired and calibrated equipment to reduce electricity use by 24 percent, chilled water use by 31 percent and hot water use by 51 percent. Trained staff monitor the levels to ensure that these numbers not only persist, but find new ways to curb energy use, Seeton said.
Seeton will be presenting both projects to conference attendees as well as accepting the awards on behalf of CSU Dominguez Hills.
Jointly organized by private and independent colleges in California, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, California State Universities and the University of California Office of the President, the 2014 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference highlights cutting-edge research, operational programs and community partnerships that promote sustainability among institutes of higher education. Nearly 700 attendees are expected to attend the event to take part in presentations and share their own efforts.
CSU Dominguez Hills’ commitment to sustainability is well-documented. Last year, the campus was showcased as an example of the CSU system’s new “Campus as a Living Lab” grant program to fund innovative classroom sustainability projects. The university also pledged its efforts to the Sustainability Circle and the Green Campus Commitment on Earth Day 2014.
“I hope receiving these awards will bring into the spotlight a few of the many things we are doing as a sustainable campus,” Seeton said. “The more people that hear about the good things we are doing at CSU Dominguez Hills, the better support we may get in moving sustainability forward on campus.”