A lighting study is currently in progress at Huntsman Hall to determine the feasibility of motion sensors in all group study rooms, timers on classroom lights, timers on wall washer/accent lighting and dimming of fixtures in public spaces to minimum required footcandles during off-peak hours. We believe these efforts could save about $40,000/year in electricity costs.
Naturally Cooling Data Centers in the Winter
We are in the process of conducting a study to determine feasibility of using outside air to cool the data center in Huntsman Hall. It would involve the purchase of window screens and fans to circulate air and would greatly reduce energy consumption since data center cooling is a big energy consumer.
Adjusting Set Points for Minimum Outdoor Air Flow on Air Handlers
Air handlers consume more energy than any other source at Huntsman Hall, so even small changes can have a big impact. We are currently testing the changes to determine whether we can safely reduce the set points without affecting other critical functions or comfort.
Restroom Hand Dryer Evaluation
Electric hand dryers typically cost significantly less to operate than
purchasing paper towels, and significantly reduce the overall footprint
of restroom supplies. Noise levels and convenience to the user are important
considerations, so we are currently searching for dryers with decibel
ratings below 80 db (so as not to disturb classrooms or study rooms) and
with acceptable electric requirements and dry time.
Reduce Packaging Associated with Computing Equipment
We are currently working with IT vendors to bulk order and ship computing equipment to help reduce packing materials associated with ordering each individual system.
Green Team Pilot Program Up and Running
We have recently begun developing departmental Green Teams – groups of staff and faculty volunteers responsible for identifying and implementing simple sustainability measures at the office level. Measures include eliminating disposable coffee cups and cutlery, improving recycling and reducing waste, conserving energy by educating colleagues about turning off electronics when not in use and other case-specific measures. Three Green Teams are in place and will serve as the models for further developing the program.
Wharton Computing Exploring Recycled Paper Purchasing
Wharton's existing lab printers have trouble with certain types of paper at high volumes so Wharton Computing is conducting a more extensive test to determine feasibility and cost concerns related to purchasing recycled paper for all public and departmental printers.
Wharton Computing Adjusting Computer Replacement Schedule
In an effort to reduce waste and get the maximum life out of all computing equipment, while balancing the technology needs of students and staff, the computer replacement schedule is being changed from 3 years to 4 years. There is still some analysis left to consider prior to fully implementing the switch.
Wharton Computing explored the possibility of using a new font called EcoFont, which saves toner by leaving tiny white spaces inside the lines of individual letters. While EcoFont did not pass the test for readability and professionalism, WCIT continues to test emerging technologies related to printing efficiency and environmental impact.
Washer/Dryer Installation Could Reduce Housekeeping Waste
Wharton is considering installing a washer and dryer in our 9th floor mechanical room that would allow housekeeping staff to switch from disposable rags, mops and paper towels to reusable microfiber rags and pulse mopping.
Feasibility Study of Eliminating Disinfectant Chemicals
Wharton Housekeeping is currently in the testing phase of a new green product called ActiveIon. ActiveIon is a spray bottle that sanitizes and disinfects using ionized water, replacing standard cleaning chemicals with a completely non-toxic, environmentally-friendly alternative. Over 75% of Wharton’s cleaning supplies already have a green certification. We are in the process of testing for performance and cost effectiveness.
Restroom Green Paper Products Under Review
Wharton facilities recently conducted a study in which 50% of all restroom paper products purchased were green certified or 100% recycled content. Preliminary data showed that consumption increased due to the type of product used and the additional cost exceeded budgetary restrictions. We are currently reviewing other available green products to determine whether there is a more affordable option. As mentioned above, if we are able to source suitable hand dryers for restrooms, that would reduce consumption and cost significantly, which would support the further purchase of green paper products.
Student Sustainability Advisory Board Now Active
The first meeting of the Wharton Student Sustainability Advisory Board took place in December 2009. The board is comprised of both graduate and undergraduate students and will serve as our primary conduit for student feedback, action and communication regarding sustainability issues. This board will meet regularly with Wharton’s Associate Director of Sustainable Initiatives, Emily Schiller, and will interface with student clubs and organizations. We hope to work with this group to ensure that we are engaging student stakeholders and balancing our environmental goals with the needs of our facilities’ users.