Energy Savings Project Recognized as Largest in the Nation
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 8, 2009) – UCM recently took the lead in the nationwide effort to create sustainable environments on higher education campuses with the official kickoff of a two-year energy savings project. Corporate partners from across the country joined UCM officials in a ceremonial signing of the agreement with Trane of Piscataway, N.J., launching a two-year energy savings initiative that will radically reduce energy consumption while reducing the university’s carbon footprint.
Officials Sign Agreement to Kick Off Project
Signing the agreement for UCM were Richard Phillips, president, and Weldon Brady, secretary, of the UCM Board of Governors; UCM President Aaron Podolefsky, and Betty Roberts, UCM vice president for administration and finance. Also signing were John W. Conover IV, president of the Trane commercial business systems in the Americas; Arah Schuur, director of the energy efficiency building retrofit program for the Clinton Climate Initiative; and John Gould, leasing credit products executive for Bank of America.
Renovations will Create Energy Savings, Reduce Carbon Footprint
Following an investment grade audit of campus facilities to identify conservation measures, the university’s board in April 2009 approved the $36.1 million energy performance contract with Trane to guide the renovation and upgrade of campus buildings with any eye toward significant energy savings while providing a vastly improved learning and working environment across the campus.
Key elements of the upgrades include the installation of renewable energy-efficient HVAC systems, new hot water distribution systems, installation of more energy-efficient lighting, installation of campus-wide building automation, life safety measures, laboratory air systems and controls, green technologies for curriculum utilization and campus green awareness, replacement of roofs and windows on various buildings, improved air handling systems and acoustical improvements for the classroom and office spaces.
A Team Effort
The sustainability initiative is the result of the efforts of Betty Roberts, vice president for administration and finance, and her staff in a concentrated team effort to develop a comprehensive approach toward more efficient energy usage and a much improved work environment.
Financing Provided by Banc of America Public Capital Corp.
Financing for the project will be provided through a 15-year lease-purchase through Banc of America Public Capital Corp., a subsidiary of Bank of America. The lease-purchase agreement will provide financing for all costs associated with the construction, installation of equipment and labor.
Fufilling a Commitment
The energy services contract (ESCO) initiative is part of a commitment made by UCM President Aaron Podolefsky when he became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007. He established the UCM President’s Commission on Sustainability to focus on campus-wide efforts to increase sustainability through recycling, waste management, transportation, utilities and energy, planning and funding, and curriculum and education.
Looking to the Future
As he signed the agreement, Phillips acknowledged that he was obligating future boards of governors to future debt.
“But we also are providing them with a tremendous opportunity, not only to decrease our energy usage and carbon footprint, but the recover the cost of doing so while making a strong statement of the values that we believe in."
The Largest Project of Its Kind in the United States
Schuur confirmed that the UCM project was the largest higher education project of its kind in which CCI has been involved in the United States.
“It will serve an important example,” she added. “By sharing the success and leadership you have shown with other schools and with building owners around the world, CCI will be able to accelerate our work both within in the United States and elsewhere.”
Leading by Example
Conover noted that the efforts of Roberts and her staff to implement the project on the UCM campus will serve generation to come.
“We hope the university’s commitment to greener learning and workplace environments will inspire other leading institutions nationwide,” he said. “Leading by example, we can best teach the next generation that we value them, the environment in which they learn, and their very future.”
Improving Existing Infrastructure
Gould congratulated UCM for “taking the common sense approach” to addressing the university’s needs in energy use reduction.
“This project fits right in with that common sense approach,” he added. “Many of the projects we’ve financed have received recognition for using non-traditional sources of power. It’s good that we are investing in that technology, but his project that we’re celebrating today demonstrates that we have a huge amount of energy savings to be realized by just improving the infrastructure we already have.”