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Olin Energy Use

Olin Energy Use

Suggestion/Problem/Idea:
Tension between sustainability efforts in Olin to reduce energy use in cooling and risks to experiments because of high temperatures. (There is a report of an experiment which died this summer from the heat). Facilities staff and academic staff and faculty have been working on coordinating which areas need AC, and which areas do not.  

Update:
Had conversation to let the Director of Facilities Services know about the problem, and to emphasize this is a recurrent concern. Thanked him for addressing the issue in the past years but explained the current situation. The Director of Facilities Services followed up with his staff. There are already ongoing discussions about this issue, a plan to install temperature sensors in the affected lab, and now in addition they are going to explore getting “a budget cost for a feasibility study to determine the costs and energy savings for an environmental unit serving spaces in Olin.”

Resolution:
The conversation the Sustainability and HVAC team had with faculty last summer also included a commitment to proactively communicate with all affected researchers regarding their summer environmental control needs in April and May each year.  In addition, as we progress towards publishing a 5 year facilities capital improvement plan (before the end of Block 4), we will have at our disposal the improvement plan specific to Olin Hall and will be able to include prioritization and timing associated with needed mechanical unit improvements, retrofits, and control upgrades.