Efficiency Upgrades

Several energy conservation programs have been implemented on campus:

  • Building Automation Systems that control heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings and which enable scheduled shutdown of air-handling units during unoccupied periods,
  • Major upgrade of systems and equipment in the South Power Plant in the past five years which included the replacement of chillers, boilers, pumps and air compressors,
  • Over the last five years , Western has completed major renovation projects on various old buildings: Biology and Geological Sciences Building, Westminster Hall, Althouse College, Stevenson Hall, Lawson Hall, McIntosh Gallery, Physics and Astronomy Building,
  • Elimination of all domestic water cooling use in laboratory equipment, coolers and research equipment,
  • Yearly upgrades of the Building Automation Systems (BAS)
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  • Western’s Environment System(WES) manages the BAS, monitors and controls HVAC, lighting, energy, soil temperature, rainwater and utility systems on Campus,
  • Daylight sensors and auto-dimming features to reduce indoor lighting,
  • Lighting across campus has been gradually retrofitted with a higher standard of energy efficiency,
  • Conversion to LED lighting for exterior and interior lighting in some areas,
  • Exit sign lights are being replaced with LEDs,
  • Insulating its main high-pressure steam distribution lines in the power plant,
  • Replacement program for old Air Handling Units (AHUs), pumps and fan motors with high efficiency equipment,
  • Replacement of refrigerators in student apartments with Energy Star-rated units,
  • Replacement of furnaces in student apartments with high efficiency models.
  • Replacement program of incandescent light bulbs in residences and apartments with compact fluorescent bulbs.

Chiller Upgrade

In 2001, a four-phase upgrade to the south chiller plant was drafted. In each phase an older chiller is removed and replaced by a new, more efficient system.

In 2006, phase two was completed. A new 2,000-ton chiller, cooling tower, and two pumps replaced two aging 800 ton chillers. One benefit of the new equipment is that it uses a zero ozone-depleting potential refrigerant, R134a (HFC), instead of R11 found in older chillers. This is part of the university's policy to phase out all CFC refrigerants in accordance with the Montreal Protocol.

The fourth and final phase was completed in 2010, giving the university twice the chilling capacity with a greater operating efficiency.

Steam Distribution and Recovery Pipeline Insulation

To improve steam distribution efficiency, Facilities Management commissioned an energy consulting group to conduct an audit. The primary recommendation was to improve insulation on both the steam and condensate pipe lines.

By doing so, the report suggests the Power Plant would significantly reduce its fuel consumption to the tune of about $70,000 each and every year. Even more impressive is the fact that the payback on the project could be realized in as little as 1.8 years. The project wrapped up in 2008.