The campus has committed to reducing energy use, not only to reduce costs, but to meet the goals set for carbon reduction in our Climate Action Plan (PDF).
SUNY Cortland is doing everything it can to become more energy efficient in many ares. We are in the process of phasing out inefficient natural gas fired boilers and replacing them with individual natural gas fired condensing boilers in each of the buildings on campus. These "Satellite" boilers are over 90 percent efficient and are projected to reduce the consumption of natural gas by 20 percent per year. Check out some of our other energy related projects.
SUNY Cortland has replaced older, inefficient fluorescent lighting with more efficient fluorescent designs. These types of lighting upgrades are at least 40 percent more efficient than older designs.
Many of the existing buildings on campus have also been retrofitted with new highly efficient HVAC systems, energy efficient windows and re-insulated to today's modern standards.
Each building on campus is controlled by an Energy Management System (EMS). These systems control and monitor the building's mechanical equipment such as HVAC systems. They also monitor electrical equipment such as indoor and outdoor lighting. These sophisticated systems maintain the proper temperatures, air quality and lighting levels in the most energy efficient manner possible and provide the tools for energy use monitoring and analysis.
Major building projects going forward are all designed to meet LEED Gold standards. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39 percent of the energy and 74 percent of the electricity produced in the U.S. each year. LEED designed buildings promote a wide variety of "energy-wise" strategies such as:
The Student Life Center was designed and constructed to seek the industry's highest measurement of environmental sustainability. The LEED construction includes, a rooftop that houses a portion of the College's 3,600-panel electricity-generating solar panels, jet fans places underneath the tracks, and a bio swale to reduce the building's impact on flooding. The water run off is controlled by large rain gardens, permeable pavement, and underground storm water storage.
The Professional Studies Building is another example of forward thinking in the area of sustainability, energy efficiency and renewables. This building is heated and cooled by a Geothermal Water Source Heat Pump System. A series of 40 wells, 400 feet underground on the building's west side, are used for pumping heat to or from the ground. In the winter, it uses the earth as a heat source, while in the summer, it becomes a heat sink. The design takes advantage of the relatively stable temperature of the Earth's crust throughout the year to boost efficiency and reduce electric and natural gas consumption.
“After a thorough infrastructure analysis starting in 2006, the campus decided to close its central steam plant and move forward with a Satellite Hot Water Boiler Project in 2009. By installing high-efficiency boilers in each of the campus buildings, the campus-wide energy efficiency improved between 15-25%. We have gained more autonomous control of each buildings heat load needs as well as eliminated the underground steam line-loss from an aging steam distribution infrastructure. This has greatly reduced our carbon footprint, and has contributed to the campus achieving compliance with Executive Order 88.”