Sustainability at SAIC: Energy Conservation
SAIC recognizes that improving the energy efficiency of campus buildings plays a critical part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in creating a culture of sustainability.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
As a signatory of the Second Nature Carbon Commitment, SAIC has conducted five greenhouse gas reports in the past seven years. Since 2009, SAIC’s school-wide emissions have decreased by 18 percent per square foot. In addition, overall emissions have decreased by 6 percent and thus effectively prevented the emission of 9,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in emissions was achieved despite a 15 percent increase in the SAIC community population.
SAIC Unplugged is a campus-wide energy reduction competition during the month of February. The academic building and residence hall with the greatest percentage of energy reduction compared to typical use win a building-wide celebration, and a year of bragging rights.
Academic and Administrative Buildings
- Sullivan Center
- 116 S. Michigan
- Sharp Building
- 280 S. Columbus
- Maclean Building
- 162 N. State
- 7 W. Madison
- The Buckingham
280 Retrofit Project
The Columbus Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Retrofit Project has improved the space for occupants and helped SAIC reach energy reduction goals. Notable efficiency upgrades include the replacement of two air-handling units, building airflow alterations, and the installation of occupancy sensors for temperature. See below for a more comprehensive list of project improvements.
- Improved air quality
- Increased user control
- Better acoustics
- Increased comfort
- More storage
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
- Replaced two air handling units (AHUs)
- Converted to a variable speed pumping water heating system
- Transitioned to medium pressure variable volume air handling distribution
- Installed Pressure Independent Control Valves on chilled water coils in AHUs
- Rezoned the HVAC system
- Upgraded the building system interface
- Instituted central air cleaning using a UV filtration system
- Completed comprehensive lighting and electrical upgrades
- Provided control valves for perimeter radiation
- Installed new variable speed exhaust fan systems
- Enhanced metering for steam and chilled water usage
The Columbus HVAC Retrofit Project lays the foundations for essential components of the building recommendations laid out in the Campus Master Plan. Expected payback for these energy efficiency improvements is about 12 years. The commitment to utilize Columbus for at least 40 more years makes these improvements an easy win for SAIC and the environment. The Columbus HVAC Retrofit Project will seek LEED Silver Certification.
280 South Columbus Drive Kiln Replacement
The old primary burnout kiln was replaced with a more energy efficient and long lasting Blaauw Kiln. This replacement reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by 131 metric tons of CO2 and saves $21,488 in purchased natural gas costs.
Summer/Winter Session and Nightime Setbacks
SAIC mechanical systems are turned off and the temperature is lowered in all academic buildings at night during the winter and summer when school is not in session.
The LeRoy Neiman Center Construction
IRFM's construction of the LeRoy Neiman Center incorporated many energy efficient features.
Residence Hall Improvements
Inefficient incandescent light bulbs were replaced with CFLs in all residence halls.