Survey, Contest to Promote Campus Sustainability

November 01, 2012 - Campus Bulletin

Using less electricity and water is the purpose of a campus energy feasibility study being undertaken by the University of Guelph.

“We’re looking at all the main campus buildings from an energy perspective,” says Paul Mesman, manager, construction co-ordination, Physical Resources. “From that, we’re going to develop a list of potential projects that we could implement to find paybacks from energy savings.”

These projects could include lighting retrofits, mechanical system upgrades and solar power. Even simple things such as adding door sweeps can save energy and money, he adds. The survey will also include an inventory of light fixtures and water faucets on campus. “We’re also going to be looking at how people are using energy,” says Mesman, adding that this will involve monitoring of lights left on at night.

The University Centre and the McLaughlin Library have already undergone energy efficiency retrofits. These projects pay for themselves through long-run energy savings, says Mesman.

“We’re looking at it from the energy savings, and we’re looking at it from sustainability, and we’re also looking at it from a deferred-maintenance perspective. If we replace an old piece of equipment with a modern one, we’ll get the energy savings and we’ll also get a deferred-maintenance problem taken care of.”

The study will preserve the historical integrity of older campus buildings, he says.

Maurice Nelischer, U of G’s sustainability director, says the project reflects the University’s commitment to sustainability and to the BetterPlanet Project.

“This study, the upcoming campus master plan and many other academic and administrative initiatives show that we are making big steps in our quest towards sustainability,” he says.

“We’re not only working to make the campus more sustainable but also to show our students and staff that adopting such actions improves our quality of life — a lesson that will hopefully stay with us long after we leave the campus.”

Project organizers are running a slogan contest to capture the University’s commitment to sustainability. The contest is open to anyone at U of G. “There’s so much talent here on campus,” says Mesman. The winner will receive an e-bike donated by MCW Consultants Ltd., the project’s lead.

Send suggestions for energy and water conservation projects to Mesman at Contest details are available online.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1