Thursday, November 18, 2010

SRF Gets Retrocommissioned

I enjoyed reading this recent article on UIC's Rec Facility. Not only because I love to hear about projects catering to UIC's Climate Action Plan, but also because I am a frequent visitor to the center. It is sad to see recently built facilities costing millions that are very well kept from the visitor's eye, but waste so much energy. With the amount of water usage from the showers, the swimming pool, and drinking fountain, it makes me wonder how UIC looked at this while creating the geothermal system for the classrooms. I am not familiar what-so-ever with the regulations/policies involved with that though.

However, seeing that changes are being made and that there is commitment from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is very exciting! Having a strong interest and belief in sustainable redesign promoting efficiency not only for the environment but for the people, I have no doubt that this is just the beginning of a fast spreading retrocommissioning of UIC!

Recap of the article:

Wednesday, November 17th the UIC News reported that the Student Rec Facility is soon to be undergoing a project to boost UIC's Climate Action Plan by reducing its energy and carbon footprint!

The $40,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will also help UIC save as much as $60,000 a year! The grant will go towards consultant pay to inspect the building and find ways to reduce energy and costs in the building.

Vytenis Milunas, director of project management, stated that they are looking at the various systems in the facility and setting up energy meters to see how much energy is being used. The Student Rec project is actually a pilot program for retrocommissioning- finding ways ways to fine-tune existing buildings to make thm work more efficiently without major renovation.

“The project will optimize the system, increase user comfort and keep the university from wasting energy,” said Kate Yoshida, program coordinator in the Office of Sustainability.
Energy usage from lighting has been reduced by stopping usage when the building is empty.Coming up, they will be working on hot water circulation run-time, the fan belts on the aircontitioning fans, and the usage of fresh air in the building. “If it works out well, we’ll be implementing these types of changes in more buildings on campus and we’ll be one of the models the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will base future projects on,” Milunas said.

 Original Article at:

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