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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Audit Paves Way for Energy Plan

Audit Paves Way for Energy Plan

An independent energy audit by an outside vendor showed the Brookhaven College Facilities Services crew what they needed to know: the bumps and bruises across campus that impede sustainability.

Trane, a world leader in heating and air conditioning services, recently conducted the audit of Brookhaven College’s energy usage, using the district's recent deferred maintenance audit as a platform. Most of Trane's findings supported the district's audit.

The prime money-guzzler involves Building S, a building that currently receives its energy independent of the college's main plant in the basement of Building B. Trane recommends providing an additional chiller for the main plant and running new loops (a.k.a. piping) between buildings S and B, so the Student Service Center’s HVAC system would feed directly to the main plant.

Other energy-reducing projects include providing retrofit lighting for the parking lot, replacing two, hot water boilers and installing thermal storage, a chilled cold-water system that gives the option to chill water over night during non-peak hours.

These recommendations may sound complex, but Tommy Gallegos, facilities director, assures us they aren't. With many HVAC/electrical equipment components reaching the end of their life cycle, it's natural to begin replacing them with more energy-efficient units.

"It isn't major surgery, it's pretty simple," Tommy said.

Projects are estimated at approximately $9 million and are covered through the district's deferred maintenance projects. Though the initial costs seem high, the equipment will pay for itself in energy savings within approximately 10 years, Tommy said.

Details on the replacement plan have yet to be finalized; however, a general time frame is more easily confirmed.

"Everything that was listed in the audit will be accomplished over the course of five years, though I think we can do it in three," Tommy said. "It's going to happen. It's only a matter of time."