Water and Energy Conservation
Being careful stewards of our own grounds and buildings means thinking carefully about daily practices. Surrounding Minneapolis’s first public park (Murphy Square), Augsburg College holds tightly to a long tradition of serving as space to enjoy nature in the midst of the city.
Natural landscaping initiatives build on that legacy. A new campus garden will offer up natural beauty and bountiful harvests of vegetables but also embracing the diversity of our friends and neighbors in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Plans for a green roof on our new Science building is an example of how buildings can teach daily environmental stewardship and make economic as well as ecological sense.
Careful assessments of campus wastes, water, and energy use have led our campus to transform its physical plant. Facilities Management continues to upgrade water fixtures throughout campus to reduce water use without inconveniencing the community. The switch to energy-efficient illumination in buildings throughout campus reduces Augsburg’s reliance on off-site sourced electricity.
Over the last several years, the Augsburg College Facilities department has been making changes to buildings on campus to reduce the amount of water and energy used.
A two-phase campus water conservation project began in 2003. In phase I (November 2003 to September 2006), new fixtures in Anderson Hall reduced water consumption in that building by 9.8 million gallons to date.
In phase II, new water fixtures in other campus buildings reduced water consumption across the entire campus by 2.25 million gallons from March 2006 through October 2006.
Steam water conservation
Where steam is used on campus, improvements have been made to reduce the amount of steam (and therefore, water and energy) needed. Insulation in steam vaults prevents heat loss and reduces consumption. In addition, new water heaters use less steam and allow improved temperature control in the hot water systems. Improved temperature control also means less steam is needed.
Across campus, lighting fixtures have been upgraded to higher-efficiency bulbs and fixtures which require less electricity to power them. Ventilation fans have been fitted with variable-frequency drives, allowing fan speed and electricity consumption to be reduced when a higher horsepower is not necessary.
In addition, tune-ups on campus boilers increased the boiler efficiency resulting in lower use of natural gas in these boilers.