Princeton Review and EPA Honor WSU for Sustainability

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s Dee Events Center has earned a top honor for improving energy efficiency in an Environmental Protection Agency energy-reduction competition. That award comes on the heels of news that WSU is again listed in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green College: 2013 Edition,” and that WSU is a “2012 Tree Campus USA.”

Princeton Review Green Guide

For the second year, Princeton Review has selected WSU as one of 320 schools in the U.S. and two in Canada “that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.”

Distinguished Professor and member of the WSU Environmental Issues Committee Hal Crimmel said the honors are a result of combined and sustained effort campus wide.

"The success of WSU's Environmental Issues Committee is due to unique partnership between faculty members, students, staff, administrators and community members,” Crimmel said. “We've been able to work together very productively over the last six years to innovate in the areas of curriculum, campus programming, student involvement and facilities. The many established partnerships will help WSU continue to excel in sustainability-related work in coming years.”

For more information about the Princeton Guide, visit princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx

EPA, Energy Star

The EPA’s 2012 “Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings,” is in its third year and features teams from across the country racing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs and protect health and the environment. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by more than $50 million.

To earn the EPA commendation, the Dee Events Center reduced its energy use by 22.1 percent and prevented 337 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of the year, equal to the energy use from 17.3 homes. Additionally, the Dee Events Center was formally recognized for “achieving an energy use reduction of 20 percent or greater.”

The winner of the competition was Demarest Elementary School, in Bloomfield, N.J., which reduced its energy use by more than 52 percent.

From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors together saved more than 3 billion kBtus of energy and more than $50 million on utility bills annually. The competitors also prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 43,000 homes per year.

“EPA’s Energy Star National Building Competition helped us save energy, cut our utility bills and protect the climate,” said Jacob Cain, WSU’s manager of the Energy and Sustainability Office. “We look forward to seeing more savings in the future from our efforts.”

Weber State University reduced its energy use at the Dee Events Center through a variety of strategies, including:

  1. Converting the lighting system for the arena from metal halide to LED.  (To our knowledge, WSU is the first NCAA arena in the nation to have 100 percent LED lighting.)
  2. Installing new high-efficiency chillers  
  3. Updating building controls from an inefficient pneumatic system to modern Direct Digital Control (DDC)
  4. Meeting with building occupants and implementing best practices for reducing energy consumption
  5. Offering incentives to building occupants for future building upgrades based on building performance

“The impressive results of the third annual National Building Competition are proof positive that any building can take simple steps to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we all work, play and learn,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of Energy Star for commercial buildings and industrial plants. “All of the participants in the Energy Star National Building Competition are finding more and more ways to cut energy use, saving thousands of dollars and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Congratulations to Weber State University for helping to lead the way.”

The 2012 Energy Star National Building Competition measured energy performance over the entire 2012 calendar year. Competitors tracked their building's monthly energy consumption using the EPA's online energy tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager.  Demarest Elementary School won the competition by demonstrating the largest percent-reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building. The energy use reductions for each top finisher were verified by an independently licensed professional engineer or registered architect at the conclusion of the competition. Last year, the University of Central Florida won the competition, reducing the energy use of an on-campus parking garage by more than 63 percent.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.

More information on the 2012 Energy Star National Building Competition, including top overall finishers and top finishers by building category, an interactive map of competitors, and a wrap-up report: energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.

Tree Campus, USA

Earlier this year, the Arbor Day Foundation named Weber State University a 2012 Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective community forestry management.

This is the second year WSU has achieved the distinction by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of 1 million members with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

To learn more about sustainability efforts at WSU, visit weber.edu/sustainability.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Jennifer Bodine, sustainability specialist Energy and Sustainability Office
801-626-6421 • jenniferbodine@weber.edu

Jacob Cain, manager Energy and Sustainability
801-626-7212 • jacobcain@weber.edu

Hal Crimmel, member Environmental Issues Committee
801-626-8044 • hcrimmel@weber.edu

Author:
Allison Barlow Hess, director Public Relations
801-626-7948 • ahess@weber.edu