Construction & Renovation | Fitchburg State University
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Construction & Renovation

As the University continues to improve campus facilities and infrastructure, the renovations being made include strategies that improve energy efficiency and sustainability. Sustainable solutions are incorporated into the improvements occurring all around campus. From simple solutions, such as switching to:

  • Low flow automatic faucets
  • Dual flush toilets
  • Occupancy sensors for lighting major improvements, such as:

  • Replacing 30 year old heating
  • Ventilation
  • Air conditioning
  • Controls systems
  • Comprehensive approaches that include LEED certifications

Condike Science Addition & Renovation

This project is currently underway. The goal is to update a science building that is more than 40 years old, providing students and faculty with a new state-of-the-art facility for teaching and research. The approach to the design and construction of the addition and renovation incorporates a comprehensive set of sustainable practices, designed so that the building may achieve LEED certification.

LEED is a rating system used to evaluate the design, construction and operation of buildings. The system sets minimum performance requirements and allows facilities to document approaches to developing green buildings that exemplify energy efficiency and provide healthy environments for occupants.

The science addition and renovation checklist (PDF) identifies the strategies being employed with the goal of achieving a silver certification.

Hammond Hall

The first phases of renovation in Hammond Hall were completed in August 2012. This major renovation will also be submitted for LEED certification. The checklist for Hammond Hall (Excel) identifies some of the major strategies being employed that make this a greener building, including:

  • Reuse of more than 30% of the furnishings, lighting controls and occupancy sensors
  • New HVAC with occupant controls and comfort monitoring systems
  • Water efficient landscaping

Mara Village 8, completed in 2009, was the first LEED Certified building on the Fitchburg State University campus. Several factors contributed to the Silver Certified rating, including:

  • Natural and energy efficient lighting
  • Low flow fixtures in all bathrooms
  • Water efficient landscaping
  • High-efficiency heating systems
  • Low VOC-emitting materials in finishes (such as paints and carpets)

Renewable Energy

The first renewable energy installation was completed in 2011 with the addition of solar panels at the Sanders Administration and Anthony Student Service Buildings. The systems combine to produce clean power for the buildings and include a monitoring system that allows members of the campus community to view ongoing performance and energy production. 348 panels were used for a combined 89kw system, generating more than 109,000kwh annually… or enough to power 10 homes for year!

In addition to the solar energy system, the University also installed a geo-thermal heating and cooling system at 155 North Street, which is home to the Exercise and Sports Science department. The system relies on a stable ground temperature, drawn into the building through water circulated through a 1000-foot deep well. The system uses equipment that can take advantage of the difference between the water and outside air temperatures. This process produces heating and cooling without the need to burn fossil fuels.

Energy Use Monitoring

Targeting State facilities, more than $10 million was invested by the State through the use of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds. This investment was intended to help facilities, including the Fitchburg State University campus, monitor energy use. The goal is to identify opportunities for conservation and improved energy efficiency. This system provides near real-time information on energy use by each building on campus to managers on the campus. The information is used to identify short-term issues with equipment performance and operation, as well as provide data necessary to prioritize efficiency projects. Completed in 2011, the system monitors electric, natural gas, and steam use in 40 buildings on campus.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Starting with a pilot project that converted 200 fixtures to LED lighting at Hammond Hall, the University is making the transition to one of the most energy efficient lighting options available. LED lights are longer lasting (up to 5 years) and more energy efficient than both incandescent and fluorescent. LED light is whiter and brighter, resulting in better visibility. Other light fixtures around campus are being converted to LED fixtures, such as the exterior wall-pack lights at Aubuchon Hall and the under-canopy lights at Sanders Administration.

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