Aircuity CEO Dan Diehl and Zac Cook, facilities manager at Utah State University (USU) recently led a webinar, hosted by APPA titled “Creating a Ventilation Strategy to Meet Carbon Reduction and Healthy IAQ Goals.”
Below is a summary of the USU case study and we encourage you to listen to Zac’s full presentation HERE.
A Commitment to Being Carbon Neutral
In 2007, USU signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment and pledged USU would become carbon neutral by 2050. In 2019 Faculty members passed a resolution challenging the University to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent each year for the next 20 years – this was approximately equivalent to a 90% reduction by 2040, with a 20 percent emissions reduction per full-time employee (FTE) and 30 percent emissions reduction per square foot.
The university measured the energy use intensities in all their buildings and as expected found that the labs used 2-3x the amount of energy as office and classroom buildings. USU undertook efforts to reduce the ventilation load. These involved improving the operational efficiencies of run around heat recovery loops and implementing occupancy control in approved laboratories. Although these measures had impact, they needed to do more to meet their carbon reduction goals.
After evaluating more options USU chose Aircuity to help them reach their goals. USU selected a lab that was under construction, as well as an existing laboratory building for installation of the Aircuity System. Edwards Mother Earth Foundation Grant funded 2/3 of the project and the remaining portion was funded through USU’s energy management program. Aircuity is currently installed and the university is monitoring the energy reduction using Aircuity’s web-based analytics.
The Path to Greater Efficiency
Going forward, USU plans to continue working with both Aircuity and facilities managers to develop a strategy to optimize energy efficiency while providing safe laboratory environments. USU officials plan to investigate monitoring building exhaust air quality and VOC levels to reset exhaust stack velocity. They also plan to expand to other laboratory buildings and develop a standard for new laboratory buildings built on campus.