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Dartmouth’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions celebrates one-year anniversary

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/23/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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On the one-year anniversary of its commitment to reduce green house gas emissions, Dartmouth boasts progress in introducing energy efficiency standards and in upgrading many inefficient systems across campus.

Kemeny Hall
Students walk through Kemeny/Haldeman, which was awarded silver by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

“We spent the first year of this ambitious initiative making initial investments in efficiency and conservation, and instituting systems for monitoring and feedback,” says Kathy Lambert, Dartmouth’s sustainability manager. “We are committed to meet our goal in reducing green house gas emissions without using offsets.”

In the fall of 2008, Dartmouth committed to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030. In 2005, the level of greenhouse gas emissions was 88,000 MTCDEs (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). Currently Dartmouth’s emissions stand at approximately 84,000 MTCDE.

“With the systems we’ve installed within the past year, and with future upgrades and initiatives, we should see more and more savings as time goes by,” says Stephen Shadford, energy engineer with the Facilities Operations and Management Department.

Kemeny Hall
Rame Hanna of the Office of Residential Life with Guilia Siccardo and Nora Kim, both members of the Class of 2012. Students developed and continue to monitor the GreenLite program that measures energy use in the residence halls. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Most notably, a Campus Energy and Sustainability Management System is currently being installed and implemented. More than 250 energy meters will be installed within the next year gathering information from numerous buildings on energy use, mainly heating and cooling systems. The integrated and connected system will provide real-time data to a central monitoring location, and adjustments can be made almost immediately, without waiting for the monthly or annual measurements under the current system. Dartmouth is aided in this effort with a $330,000 matching grant from the New Hampshire Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

Shadford and Lambert are working with groups across campus on an approach that features individual pledges, energy-saving practices, and major energy-efficiency projects. The effort encompasses students, faculty, and staff, and involves the cooperation of numerous offices on campus.

“We’re focusing on efficiency first,” says Lambert.

2008-2009 Energy Efficiency Accomplishments:

Related Link: Dartmouth receives $330,000 from New Hampshire Green House Gas Reduction Fund for campus energy monitoring project

Began to implement the Energy and Sustainability Management System

  • Work began on implementing a campus-wide, integrated measuring and monitoring system (described above).

Worked to change and upgrade lighting

  • Completed lighting efficiency retrofit projects at Blunt Alumni Center and Cummings Hall. This mainly consisted of replacing fluorescent ballasts and lamps with the most efficient products available in the marketplace. So far, electricity use is down 38 percent in Blunt.
  • Switched approximately 2,000 incandescent bulbs to CFLs or LEDs
  • Installed 150 occupancy sensors in 3 buildings

Deployed GreenLite monitors in residence halls

  • This interactive energy monitoring system, designed and built by students, encourages efficiency with large screens placed in public areas. If energy use is high, a virtual iceberg melts and the animated polar bear has to swim. GreenLite can now be found in the McLaughlin Cluster (Berry/Rauner and Thomas/Goldstein), Native American House, EKT Sorority, New Hampshire Hall, and the Sustainable Living Center.

Launched campus-wide Energy Pledge campaign

  • More than 2,100 people have taken the pledge to personally engage in eco-friendly behavior, like taking shorter showers and washing clothes in cold water.

Replaced a boiler at the Central Heating Plant

  • A new high-efficiency, dual fuel capability (#6 and #2 fuel oil) boiler is now online, replacing an old one that was approaching 50 years of age. The new boiler has the capacity to produce approximately 75,000 pounds of steam per hour versus the old one at 35,000 pounds per hour. The increased size should serve the campus with planned growth for the foreseeable future.

Replaced chillers

  • Two new electric drive centrifugal chillers have been added to serve Vail/Remsen at Dartmouth Medical School. They replace to old steam absorption chillers, which operated on a much less efficient cooling cycle. Depending upon the outside temperature, the new chillers operate between a 5-10 times greater thermal efficiency than the ones they replace.
  • A new chiller plant design has been completed to serve the arts district of the campus. The yet-to-be-built chiller plant will also feature high-efficiency electric-drive centrifugal chillers. These chillers will serve the new Visual Arts Center and will replace the inefficient steam absorption chillers presently serving the Hopkins Center and the Hood Museum.
  • Schematic concepts for replacement of the remaining steam absorption chillers on campus have also been developed. Replacement of all steam absorption chilling will have a significant impact on reducing Dartmouth’s summertime carbon emissions.

Began to make laboratories more efficient

  • A major heat recovery system project is in the schematic planning stages for Burke Hall, home of the Chemistry Department. When completed, the system will result in consolidation of many individual fume hood exhaust fans into several large specialized exhaust systems with heat recovery coils installed to transfer outgoing heat to the incoming outdoor air (the laboratories use 100 percent outdoor air for heating and air conditioning). This will produce a significant savings to the College and will update mechanical equipment which is nearing 20 years of continuous use.
  • A similar project will be undertaken during the next year at Vail, and possibly at Cummings Hall at the Thayer School of Engineering

Enhanced teaching and learning opportunities

  • In addition to a full complement of sustainability-related courses in numerous departments, including engineering, environmental studies, and earth sciences, Studio Art Professor Karol Kawiaka taught a course in the spring of 2009 that concentrated on the campus energy efficiency plan.
  • A new course was developed by Biological Sciences Professor David Peart called “Science for Sustainable Systems.” Peart taught students how scientific knowledge can be brought to bear in very practical ways in influence production systems, government policy, and the way people think and act regarding sustainability issues.
  • During the summer of 2009, Dartmouth appointed Anne R. Kapuscinski as the inaugural endowed chair holder of the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professorship in Sustainability Science. Kapuscinski is a world-renowned environmental scientist known for her work on fisheries management and genetically modified fish. Her scholarship has been published in a range of highly regarded journals, she has received grants from the National Science Foundation, and she has written several influential scientific reports for the US government, the National Academy of Science, the World Health Organization and other UN agencies, and the State of Minnesota.

Committed to designing and building new construction with LEED

  • Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Current major constructions projects underway, the Class of ’78 Life Sciences Center and the Visual Arts Center, are both being built with LEED guidelines and other sustainable goals in mind.

Re-Energized recycling and composting efforts with Dartmouth Dining Services

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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Last Updated: 1/5/10