Last September, Facilities Services substantially upgraded the lighting in five residence halls and three administrative buildings on campus. The project entailed the installation of lighting fixtures that are designed to reduce the energy used, while increasing the quality of lighting provided. New components added to the fluorescent lamps are expected to make them more efficient, in some cases by as much as 48 percent.
Other incandescent lighting fixtures have been replaced with fluorescent bulbs, a move that will offer an expected wattage reduction of 81 percent while improving lamp life from 1,000 to 10,000 hours.
In some common areas, such as lounges, laundry rooms and recreation rooms, motion sensors were installed that turn off lights when no person is detected in the room.
The lighting improvements were completed in 66 Commonwealth Avenue, Gabelli, Voute, Edmonds and Walsh halls and Robsham Theater, Conte Forum and Bapst Library.
Administrators estimate the project will reduce the University's total annual electrical consumption by a total of 512,925 kilowatt hours.
As a bonus, through a special incentive program from N-Star Electric, Boston College is being offered a rebate on the project and will see a "sizeable reduction" in its annual utility bill, according to Facilities Services Director Roger S. Goode Jr.
"It's really a win-win situation for us," said Goode. "On the one hand, we're going to see an annual savings on our utility bill, on the other hand we're conserving energy - and that's always a good thing."
Goode said an added benefit to the lamp-replacement project is that fewer maintenance hours are required for the system, allowing technicians to work on other projects.
Boston College has also recently completed a water conservation project in some campus residence halls. Low flow toilets and showerheads were recently installed in Walsh, Gabelli and Voute halls, and will be used in new student living areas being created through renovation and expansion projects in Upper Campus and Newton Campus residence halls.
Goode said the project will reduce water consumption on campus by 115,000 gallons per day.
He added that the utilization of underground sprinkler systems across campus provides for an efficient irrigation process.
"We're always looking for opportunities to save money and resources and both of these projects will be helpful to those causes in the long term," said Goode.
A recent letter to Goode from the Boston College Environment Action Committee praised Facilities Services and expressed gratitude for the University's recycling efforts. The students also suggested placing additional receptacles for recycled materials in some areas of campus, an idea which Goode said was quickly implemented.
"The students really care about the campus and the environment as a whole and it's great that we can work together," he said.
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