LU Facilities
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Energy and Water Conservation

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Energy and Water Conservation Programs

Lehigh is taking meaningful actions to mitigate global climate change while also preparing our campuses and the surrounding community to adapt and respond to its potential effects.  The University continues to establish ambitious but achievable goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy conservation and sourcing renewable energy.  Lehigh is also making strides to reduce water usage via water conservation measures.  See below for brief descriptions of the latest progress that LU Facilities has made toward these goals.

HVAC System Retrofits

Facilities has reduced energy usage (and greenhouse gas emissions) with several different types of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) projects.  Older chillers were replaced with more energy-efficient models at Alumni Memorial Building and Zoellner Arts Center on the Asa Packer Campus.  Older fixed-speed air-handling fan motors were replaced with new variable-speed models.  This is often done in conjunction with replacing pneumatically-controlled HVAC control systems with direct-digital-control (DDC) systems.  During 2018, these types of projects occurred at Maginnes Hall and Zoellner Arts Center on the Asa Packer Campus and several buildings on the Mountaintop Campus: Iacocca Hall (Building A), Jordan Hall (Building F), Imbt Laboratories (Building H), and Building J.

During 2018, LU Facilities also worked with Siemens to reprogram some HVAC control strategies used in laboratories at the STEPS building.  These changes were aimed at reducing energy while improving occupant comfort and maintaining consistent indoor air quality.  The strategies included reducing the number of air changes per hour and fume hood face velocities, and setting-back space temperatures when rooms are unoccupied.  A similar project is being performed at the Mudd Laboratory and Neville Hall in 2021.

The energy recovery systems in STEPS were not working properly.  In 2020 the former technology of heat wheels was replaced with a different technology known as heat pipes.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Installations and Lighting Controls

Lehigh, like many other institutions, has been reducing energy usage (and greenhouse gas emissions) by replacing fluorescent light fixtures, bulbs, and ballasts with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, bulbs, and drivers.  This has been occurring for several years and it will continue for several more years.  Since 2018, the following buildings were completely retrofitted with LEDs:

  • Mudd Building

  • Neville Hall

  • Central Heating and Cooling Plant for Asa Packer Campus

  • Central Heating and Cooling Plant for Mountaintop Campus

  • Mountaintop Electrical Substation

  • Alumni Parking Garage

  • Farrington Square Parking Garage

  • Zoellner Parking Garage

  • Whitaker Laboratory

  • Sherman-Fairchild Center for Physical Sciences

  • Sherman Fairchild Laboratory

  • Taylor Gym

  • Grace Hall

Buildings currently being upgraded include:

  • Cundey Varsity House

  • Linderman Library

  • Stabler Arena

  • Zoellner Arts Center

For some projects lighting controls are also installed, such as occupancy sensors, vacancy sensors, or photoelectric (daylight) sensors.

Water Conservation

In summer 2021, LU Facilities replaced higher-flow water fixtures with lower-flow water fixtures in two residence halls (M&M and Dravo) and two academic buildings (Iacocca Hall and Imbt Laboratories).  This included many faucets, toilets, urinals, and showerheads in each building.  This was the first step of a multi-year effort aimed at reducing university-wide water usage by 10% by 2025 from a FY 2019 baseline.

For additional information on ways to reach these goals, please visit the Sustainability website.