University Receives Sustainability Grant for Upgrades
July 27, 2010
By Jessica Hanna
BGSU will receive $911,658 to upgrade the energy efficiency of 45 buildings on campus, as well as to provide educational opportunities for both students and staff in sustainability and energy-efficient design.
The University successfully applied for an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which will fund heating, ventilation and air conditioning system upgrades, according to a University press release. The grant will also fund the installation of energy-efficient lighting and computer-based building managements to control lights and temperatures in buildings.
Nick Hennessy, campus sustainability coordinator, will oversee an additional educational component of the grant, which will focus on the "green" renovation of Hayes Hall. The aim is to provide opportunities including the creation of capstone or other academic classes and research in environmental policy, energy or technology with faculty members, staff and students, said the press release.
"Being able to share that learning experience with as many members of the University community as you can is a real plus," Hennessy said. "It makes it so that Bowling Green can be a leader in the area of green design and green energy use."
Hennessy said he plans to coordinate with various faculty members to design an educational experience that allows students to get "an up-close personal view" of the changes happening to Hayes Hall. He said he wants them to be able to see how the retrofits are done, what is installed and how these installations change the energy usage of the building. They can do this while being able to "arrange things where they can see that happening, actually be in the building when some things are going on."
He said there has also been discussion of hiring current University students for paid internships or ongoing co-ops to participate in the project.
In addition to making the educational experience available to students, Hennessy will present the results of the project to the other Ohio state universities within the University System of Ohio Sustainability area, according to the press release.
"Doing these types of changes in building, particularly in connection with this grant, is going to not only make us a great role model with respect to other institutions ... but it's also going to provide the opportunity for everybody here to learn how good it is, and how they can be a leader in that field ... after leaving BG and be a contributing, responsible, sustainable-minded citizen," Hennessy said.
The project will allow the University to run more efficiently from an energy standpoint, which will in turn help the University from a financial standpoint, Hennessy said.
While the energy control management project was scheduled to begin in August, Hennessey said the project will likely be postponed until later in the fall.