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Recommissioning Olin Rice
Facilities Services re-commissioned Olin-Rice Science Center, the largest energy-user on campus. The lights and vent hoods were placed on occupancy-sensors to ensure that the building is only heating or cooling spaces when needed. The electric motors in the heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system have also been changed to more efficient variable speed drives. These adjustments saved the college over $50,000 in energy costs in 2007.
College House Renovations
In association with the Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF) Facilities Management has undertaken renovations on the Cultural House, as well as several of the language houses. For example, language houses have been insulated with blown insulation.
DeWitt Wallace Library
The library works hard to make the printers and computers themselves as sustainable as possible. Public computers are set to duplex printing as the default print option. Print release stations also help to reduce unnecessary printing and allow the library to collect accurate data on printing to assist us in future efforts. All library printing paper is made from 30% recycled paper. Whenever possible, we purchase remanufactured toner cartridges, and used toner cartridges are recycled. The computers themselves are set to go to "sleep" during periods of non-use and to automatically shut down each night to save energy.
In addition to these policies and projects, the library also uses automatic turn-off lights in the stacks to save energy, leaving only safety (perimeter) lights on overnight. In the past year, all large-sized fluorescent bulbs were replaced with ones using slightly less energy. We’ve posted signs on the hand-dryers to remind students that these can be turned off manually. 2009 was the 10th year of handing out reusable beverage containers to all incoming first-year students!
The library recently added a flat-screen TV to staff training space, and encourages staff participation in "webinar" training and professional development opportunities. This reduces the amount of air travel by staff.
Many library staff are opting for laptops instead of desktop workstations when they are up for replacement computers. According to information shared at the November 2009 Educause conference, laptops use up to 80% less energy than desktop workstations.
Facilities Management, in conjunction with Macalester’s Clean Energy Revolving Fund (CERF), is replacing all 32W 4ft fluorescent bulbs on campus with 25W bulbs, which emit the same amount of light but use 1/3 less energy. This project alone has projected savings of $30,000 annually.
Information Technology Services
Check out ITS's sustainability web site to find out about:
- Current Sustainable Practices - find out what Information Technology Services is doing already by choosing environmentally friendly vendors, donating electronics, and virtualizing servers.
- Paper Saving Practices - learn how to reduce your paper use through instructions for electronic grading, taking notes on PDFs, and printing multiple pages of a document per sheet.
- Energy Saving Practices - find a variety of ways to reduce your personal energy use.
- Campus Statistics - find out how many sheets of paper Macalester prints per day and how much energy the campus and computers use.
Summary: In April 2003, Macalester College installed a 10 kilowatt BWC Excel wind turbine. It was the first of its size in the City of St. Paul and also one of the first on any college campus. The turbine generates some electricity for Olin-Rice Hall, Macalester’s science center (the equivalent to half of the electricity consumed by the Eco-House). It provides an educational opportunity for students, staff and faculty to research and learn about wind energy, wind patterns, geography, environmental studies and the practicality of wind turbines in urban areas.
- Bergey Windpower Co. designed and manufactured the turbine (www.bergey.com).
- 90’ tall with three 27' propellers for a total height of 103’
- Sound level of 44.1 dBA at a distance of 100’ which is equivalent to “white sound”
History: In the early 1990’s, the Minnesota State Legislature required Excel Energy to donate money to the research and development of sustainable energy sources as part of a bill that allowed the company to expand its nuclear storage facilities. This fund covered some of the cost of placing a wind turbine on Macalester’s campus. The site was deemed advantageous because it was not in the migration path of any birds, it offered a great opportunity for alternative energy education, and could serve as a symbol of Macalester’s environmental awareness and efforts.
Cost: About $35,000 was donated by Excel Energy to cover the manufacturing cost of the turbine. Macalester’s 2003 senior class gift paid for the installation, approximately $16,000. When the turbine was installed, it was estimated to pay for itself within 15 years. However, the height and location limits the turbine’s effectiveness, which results in the turbine generating less energy than was originally estimated. Macalester owns the turbine and is responsible for its upkeep, which includes annual oil changes and semi-annual greasing. If well maintained, a turbine can last 20 to 30 years.