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May 08 www.bus-ex.com 59 UniversityofPittsburgh also oversees 450 employees as well as capital projects, both renovations and new construction. He’s responsible for carrying out 228 capital projects with an estimated value of $468 million currently on the books, varying from a roof replacement to the construction of a new building. His department’s budget is about $45 million per year, about half of which is for utilities. Despite limited room for expansion—“We’re a landlocked, vertical campus, with 186 elevators to maintain,” says Fink—the university recently constructed several new facilities, including the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (the first LEED Gold Certified laboratory building in a university setting in Pennsylvania), as well as the Biomedical Science Tower and two dormitories, Panther Hall and Darragh Street Housing. In early 2007, as sustainability was working its way into the public’s awareness via news media, the university’s Faculty Senate Committee for Plant Utilization and Planning asked what the school was doing in that realm, including energy conservation, recycling, pollution reduction, and so on. Fink’s department prepared a comprehensive report that demonstrated the many ways that the university had in fact been engaged for at least a decade. “It was an eye-opener for our faculty,” says Fink, “and at the same time, students got on the sustainability bandwagon with their own grassroots movement to encourage conservation and recycling. And today it’s an issue that continues to grow.” Fink’s department has been incorporating more visible sustainability aspects into its designs. For major construction projects it hires a designer who adheres to its design standards, to include, for example, energy-efficient mechanical systems. “Currently we’re renovating a lot of science laboratories,” says Fink, “and in a wet lab situation, outside air is tempered, brought into the space, then exhausted through the roof. Capturing that energy and recycling it back into the system is important, since utility costs are skyrocketing. There’s a payback to this scenario, and we’re installing energy recovery systems on our mechanical systems. So we’re driven by cost savings. “As environmental stewards, we’re also developing new standards for construction recycling,” Fink continues. “Waste costs are escalating, so we try to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. We’re currently writing those specs. It’s a matter of evaluation on a per-project basis, and we’ll require contractors to implement waste management plans with a goal that at least 50 percent of waste material at a site is recyclable.” Buildings constructed on the university’s campuses in the 1960s and 1970s have mechanical systems that wear out and need replacing with more energy-efficient components, linking the mechanical systems to the buildings’ central automation systems. The work has to be done with the buildings occupied, since there is no option of moving the occupants to another building. A case in point was the renovation of the chemistry building, a 13-story building filled with fume hoods, the biggest energy hog on campus. The exhaust system contained 150 fans, and the constant noise was a source of complaints. “We designed a customized, variable-volume, quieter ventilation system within an enclosure on the roof, incorporating energy recovery,” says Fink. “It’s a unique system that we’ve considered pursuing a patent on. We’ve been able to shave 400 tons of cooling requirements out of the building, and our steam usage was reduced by about 65 percent.” When the day comes to renovate any floor in that building, all that’s needed is to tap into the horizontal mechanical systems because the supply and exhaust ducts are on the exterior of each floor. Consultant firm Wiley & Wilson was hired in 2000 to direct the university’s energy conservation efforts. “Students got on the sustainability bandwagon with their own grassroots movement to encourage conservation and recycling. And today it’s an issue that continues to grow”

Carrillo Street Steam Plant, a new, ultra-low nitrogen oxide emitting, gas-fi red plant to replace a coal-fi red plant built in 1890, beginning a complicated planning and execution process that has changed burners and emission goals a few times. Despite the rollercoaster process, the new plant should be completed by late 2008 or early 2009, and early estimates indicate an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 19,000 metric tons, which is a 46 percent reduction in steam-related greenhouse gas emissions. Fink says his department’s challenge going into the future is renovating the existing facilities. “In terms of sustainability, we need to keep looking for ways to do a better job, such as continuing to improve recycling and energy conservation on campus. Our goal is to strive to do all that can feasibly be done to promote sustainability and to be good stewards of the environment.” It surveyed the buildings and produced a utility master plan that identifi ed a number of areas, such as lighting retrofi ts, where investing $6 million would save energy dollars with a short payback. Upgrades to the central chilled water plant replaced ineffi cient pumps and other older equipment and achieved more than $100,000 in annual savings. “Another measure in conjunction with our buildings’ energy management system in our chilled water plant was developing some demandlimiting schemes, since electrical demand has always been an issue here,” says Fink. “Our building automation system would determine when the chillers should start or stop. Another issue was free-cooling our chiller system, which allows us to shut down the chillers and take advantage of exterior air temperatures, and that will save us about $165,000 per year.” In 2004 the university decided to build the UniversityofPittsburgh 60 www.bus-ex.com May 08