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12-04-2001

Clarkson Students Present Energy Conservation Recommendations

Even small steps taken to conserve energy can have a significant impact on the environment. As part of Clarkson University’s theme year on environmental sustainability, students in the Honors Program were challenged with developing ways for the University to reduce its energy consumption without compromising function of the buildings or human comfort. This week the students will present their findings.

Students in the sophomore Honors class (HP208) investigated energy consumption in Price Hall, a student residence hall, and the CAMP building, a classroom and laboratory facility. Acting in the role of consulting firm hired by Clarkson, the students analyzed energy use data, conducted a feasibility study and developed recommended changes to energy use.

The class was charged with developing recommendations within a framework of “sustainability”; the recommendations were required to consider equally environmental impact, cost, and social issues. For example, while recommending that thermostats in Price Hall be turned down to 58 degrees would certainly reduce energy consumption and cost, it would not be comfortable for the students living there. Therefore, it would not be considered a sustainable option.

The feasibility study conducted by the students suggests that significant reductions in energy use, with resultant cost savings to the University, could be realized in several areas. These included better regulation of temperature control in CAMP, reducing excess lighting in CAMP, improving lighting in Price Hall, and reducing energy wasted by computers and monitors being left on overnight.

The students will present their final recommendations to the campus community on Thursday, December 6, at 12:30 p.m. in Barben Rooms A and B in the Cheel Campus Center. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.

Each year, the Honors Program offers interdisciplinary, team-taught courses that focus on current and emerging problems in science, technology and society. This class has been taught by Clarkson professors Dan Bradburd, Tom Ortmeyer, Sue Powers, Ken Visser and Marc Compeau. Assistant Director of Facilities and Services Tim Albright and his staff acted as the class's client and provided valuable time and expertise about the campus energy systems.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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