Wednesday September 13, 2017

Lean Buildings

In the midst of rising temperatures and energy bills this summer, the University of Dayton School of Engineering received another $100,000 from the state of Ohio for the Ohio Lean Buildings Program to conduct energy audits with local energy consulting firm Entriq Solutions and Sinclair Community College.

This latest award adds to the $720,000 the University shared with Sinclair, Cleveland State University and Zane State College for the 2015-16 academic year. With that award, the quartet conducted 70 assessments, identifying approximately $2.4 million per year in energy savings opportunities. That amounts to 21,500 metric tons per year in potential carbon offset, which is roughly equivalent to removing 4,500 passenger cars from the road.

"We appreciate the program extending our participation so we can help local business save on their energy costs," said Andrew Chiasson, a University of Dayton assistant mechanical engineering professor administering the School of Engineering's participation. "Plus, this is yet another opportunity for our students to get real-world experience before hitting the workforce."

Approximately 15 University of Dayton students have assisted University faculty experts with the energy audits. After audits, they offer companies advice and next steps for reducing energy usage. Tips include upgrading lighting to LEDs and improving scheduling of air handlers, among others.

Companies can inquire about receiving audits by calling Chiasson at 937-229-2835. Only companies with greater than 10,000 square feet of floor space are eligible.

The work is similar to what's done in the University's Industrial Assessment Center, a two-time winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's Center of Excellence Award. Since 1981, the IAC has saved more than 900 small and medium-sized companies an average of 10 percent on their energy costs.

In the last decade, the University has expanded opportunities for students to gain knowledge and hands-on work experience in renewable and clean energy and encouraged students to think about their impact on the planet.

In 2008, the University created Ohio's first master's program in clean and renewable energy. It has attracted three times the projected number of students, including many international and Fulbright scholars. In 2010, the University unveiled a minor in sustainability, energy and the environment (SEE).

The Hanley Sustainability Institute, established with a $12.5 million gift from the George and Amanda Hanley Foundation — the largest single gift in school history — is working to spread sustainability education throughout all academic programs so students will gain sustainability skills for the workplace and civic leadership on sustainability issues.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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