Heating & cooling system renovation approved by Board of Trustees

Brandon Semler, Staff Writer

A $25.5 million renovation of the heating and cooling system on campus has been approved by the Board of Trustees, and will begin in February.

 

According to an article issued by the Office of Communications and Marketing,  the change will decrease campus energy consumption by 40 percent, and will save Wright State $35.8 million over the next 15 years.

 

Wright state has contracted with ABM Industries, a building maintenance and facility management company. The project is expected to take two years, according to Vice President of Business and Fiscal Affairs Mark Polatajko.

 

“The focus is on completely transforming the way we heat and cool this campus,” Polatajko said.

 

Polatajko also said that Wright State will be the first public university in Ohio to implement energy conservation measures on such a large scale. Other universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Notre Dame and Duke have installed similar energy saving technology.

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“It’s been tried and tested,” Polatajko said.

 

The current heating and cooling system requires a boiler and a chiller for every building on campus. Using “pressure integrated control valve technology,” ABM will install centralized plants of heating and cooling that will service multiple buildings with one hub, according to Polatajko. He said that the decrease in overall machinery would also decrease the amount of money spent on future maintanance.

 

“They have estimated that nearly 30 boilers and chillers will be able to be taken out of our current infrastructure,” Polatajko said. “What that means is that 5, 10 or 15 years from now, we won’t have to replace those.”

 

The project will also include changing all exterior lighting to LED and induction lighting, and implementing geothermal heating and cooling for the Nutter Center using the pond outside of it.

 

Polatajko emphasized that no student tuition funds would be used for the renovation.The project is being funded through bonds that Wright State will be paying back over a 15 year period. ABM has offered a guarantee that the energy savings match or exceed the amount spent on the project.

 

“if this project dosn’t deliver as proposed, ABM writes us a check for the net difference.” Polatajko said. “At the end of the day, it’s basically a no lose proposition for us.”

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