Would you like to reduce the environmental impact of your workspace? Interested in knowing how much energy you're consuming while working on campus? A free service provided by the Sustainability Office, sustainability audits equip building occupants with information and recommendations on how they can make their space more sustainable. While the main focus is on occupant-controlled systems (lighting, computers & other electrical equipment, water and waste) any topic of interest can be evaluated. Sustainability audits have also lead to cost-sharing opportunities, the reporting and rectification of maintenance issues, and the strengthening of ties between departments and Facilities Services. Ask for one today!
Sustainability audits are performed by Sustainability Office students workers and can be scheduled at your request. Audits can involve a complete assessment of environmental impacts associated with your workspace, or can be focused just on areas that interest you. There is no charge for this service.
To request an audit, or for more information, email us. Please include a description of the area you would like examined. While whole buildings or floors are the preferred audit size, individual offices can be scheduled as time allows.
The Audit Process
Audits typically take between 1 and 3 hours for small offices or office suites, and up to 8 hours for entire buildings. The audits focus on occupant-controlled systems such as:
- Computers and peripherals (printers, speakers, UPSs, etc.)
- Other electrical equipment
- Waste and recycling
- Purchasing and paper use
Audits typically began with a 30 minute meeting of Sustainability Office staff and building contacts. The audit process is discussed, problem areas are identified and building contacts have time to ask questions, or express concerns. After this meeting, Sustainability Office staff walk through every space in the building and inventory equipment, note areas for potential improvement, and interact with occupants as needed. Building contacts are encouraged to join part or all of the walkthrough, though it is not required. At some point during the audit, personnel familiar with purchasing will briefly be asked about purchasing practices.
The Audit Report
After a site visit, a report recommending changes is issued to building contacts. Recommendations are not mandatory and can be implemented at any reasonable pace. Changes can be behavioral, equipment or infrastructure-related, and some will require approval and implementation from Facilities Services.
As of April 2012, if all audit recommendations were implemented, the total annual resource savings would total over $140,000. Emissions reductions of more than 5.2 millions lbs of CO2, 37,000 lbs of SOx and 19,000 lbs of NOx would be realized. View past audit reports here.
Follow-up and Implementation
While the audit report is purely recommendatory, it is the goal of the Sustainability Office to actually as many recommendations as possible. The following is a partial list of actions resulting from sustainability audits:
- Restoration of the lighting control system at Dixon Recreation Center
- Installation of T5 linear fluorescent lamps at La Sells Stewart Center's Austin Auditorium
- Replacement of almost 60 incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents (CFLs)
- Installation of window films in areas of high solar exposure
- Yellow-jacket infestation controlled at Adams Hall
Many recommendations in audit reports have the opportunity for cost-share financing from Facilities Services. For more information on cost-sharing, please contact Brandon Trelstad.
In August 2009, an audit implementation event took place at Adams Hall. Each space was revisited with the goal of actually implementing audit recommendations. The results were encouraging:
- 15 incandescent lamps were changed to CFLs
- Over 25 computers had their power management settings changed to use less energy
- 4 large printers had their power management settings changed to use less energy
- Temperature set points in 4 offices were changed to recommended standards (cool at 78°F and heat at 68°F)
- Work orders were placed to retune outdoor lighting photo sensors
Audit Reports and Schedule of Audits
The table below lists past and future audits. Building names in blue are links to the Audit Reports. Please contact the Sustainability Office with any questions or comments.