Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.18
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Columbia University
OP-T2-13: Timers for Temperature Control

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Dan Held
Assistant Vice President
Strategic Communications, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
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Does the institution use timers to regulate temperatures based on occupancy hours in at least one building?:

A brief description of the technology used:

A number of buildings use timers to regulate temperature. Temperature timers in buildings are on schedules, such as office spaces. These times are virtually managed. Night set back and cut back on usage on air handlers turn them off completely or change set points in IAB, CEPSR, Social Work, Northwest Corner on mostly the north campus at Morningside depending on lab or office space usage and occupancy.

The chiller optimization program engaged by Johnson Controls installed metering and sensors on the chillers and on the chilled water loop so Facilities can read how the system is performing and run more efficiently. Columbia has an economic dispatch model (told to run the most efficient machines) so the University had 11 and replaced 2 with more efficient units and adding 2 new ones and then will remove the 3 in CEPSR. The University is able to trend over a period of time with an optimization program developed by JCI and Optimum Energy.

Typical faculty, staff, and graduate student apartment buildings have timers for temperature control to monitor the temperature in the apartments. If above the set point, turns boiler on or below, turns it off for far reaching apartments furthest from the loop technology. Technology and service is provided by Tri-Star and have resulted in savings of 20-25% on consumption.

LEED Gold-Certified Faculty House contains an HVAC system that is highly energy efficient. The air conditioning is partly an outdoor air cooling system. On warm days, it uses chilled water provided by the main campus system – which also provides steam heat during winter. When the outdoor air is dry, and temperatures range from around 55 to 65 degrees, automatic controls shut off the chilled water flow and louvers open to bring in outside air. Additional sensors count occupancy and adjust the necessary amount of air flow accordingly.

The Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building on the LDEO campus also has occupancy sensors for both heating and lighting.

The Allan Rosenfield Building has HVAC mechanical timers installed on each of its air handling units that serve non-critical spaces. The timers shut down the fan at 10 pm and turn it back on at 5 am. Building management systems are used in the Audubon (Russ Berrie, Irving, Lasker) buildings to set back temperature a few degrees at night to reduce mechanical load in non-critical areas and/or raise the chilled water temperature.

For additional information:
Faculty House: http://www.environment.columbia.edu/newsandprofiles/faculty-house-reopens-%E2%80%93-green-inside-and-out
CUMC Timer Project: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/facilities-management/cpm-projects/hammer-health-sciences-building-chiller-project
New Water Chillers and Timers Project: http://facilities.columbia.edu/new-water-chillers-bring-energy-savings

The website URL where information about the practice is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.