MSU is wrapping up energy conservation renovations in Anthony Hall that eventually will save money and reduce the building’s energy use by 34 percent.
The changes are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. MSU is an educational partner in the challenge, with a long-term goal of making campus 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. The project at Anthony Hall is projected to be finished by the end of November, with similar additions coming to other buildings on campus.
Anthony Hall was chosen first because it offered a number of opportunities for energy upgrades, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Managing Environmental Engineer Lynda Boomer said.
“It’s a science building, and science buildings tend to use more energy than a classroom building or office building,” Boomer said.
Anthony Hall houses MSU’s Meat Laboratory, the Department of Animal Science, the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the MSU Dairy Store.
Assistant Vice President of Operations Bill Latta said one change in Anthony Hall will include the installation of air-quality sensors in the laboratory ventilation systems.
“Normally, the ventilation system in a lab operates by providing 10 to 12 air changes per hour, whether needed or not,” Latta said in a statement. “This will allow that rate to be reduced and have it increase air changes on an as-needed basis.”
Latta also said the $7 million project should pay for itself in 10 to 13 years.
Having better control over automated systems will help conserve energy, Project Manager Kevin Durkin said.
“The majority of what is happening for the project is behind the scenes,” Durkin said. “It’s not things the public would necessarily notice, like changing out the motors for heating and air conditioning equipment. But it all comes back to saving energy.”
That also includes better lighting control, or installing motion sensors that will make sure the lights are turned on or off depending on when the building is occupied.
Boomer said the Better Buildings Challenge fits in perfectly with the university’s Energy Transition Plan.
“The plan is all about using renewable energy and moving towards better energy efficiency,” she said. “These changes will save the university in fuel costs and labor hours.”
Compared to the 2009-2010 academic year, MSU already has reduced its energy output by 10 percent, Boomer said. Anthony Hall is the first building to receive upgrades for the project — 115 campus buildings currently are going through the commissioning process.
“We’ve upgraded Munn Ice Arena, and the Breslin (Center) will be the next to get upgraded LED lighting,” Boomer said. “There are buildings all over campus with a lot of potential for more sustainable energy.”
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