Through the use of the Florida Energy Code, USF has implemented standards in building insulation values for walls, roofs, windows, motor and equipment efficiencies, mechanical systems insulation and controls for both HVAC and lighting. Life cycle cost analysis and FLACOM (Florida Commercial Building Energy Computational Program) are required as part of the Building Construction Document process.
Facilities Planning and Construction has hired commissioning services on Magnolia Hall and the new Patel Center for Global Solutions, and is currently procuring one for the SE Plant. Commissioning is now a requirement for all new and renovated projects; this includes the new Interdisciplinary Sciences building, Music, the Wellness Center, and the Athletics Basketball Center.
First replaced T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with F32 T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts under the Green Lights program. The second replacement (currently underway) includes replacing F32 fluorescent lamps with F28 T8 fluorescent lamps for all campus buildings in excess of 4 million square feet. Installed vend-mizer, a motion sensing lighting and energy control technology for vending machines on all vending machines. Replacing incandescent traffic lights with LED traffic lights (a current project). Modified University standards to Induction lighting for street and walkway lighting for current and future projects. Installed motion sensing light switches in classrooms and conference rooms in some existing and new buildings. Converting chilled water distribution system from Primary/Secondary pumping to variable primary type to reduce energy use in pumping and to improve chiller efficiency. Installed economizers on boiler stacks to recover heat from boiler stacks to pre-heat make up water for boilers. Replaced inefficient single stage steam absorption chillers with highly efficient centrifugal electric chillers with up to 0.55kW/ton efficiency. Replaced 3-way bypass valves on chilled water coils with 2-way valves on 90 percent of campus buildings to improve temperature differential between chilled water supply and return, thereby improving energy efficiency of the central chiller plant. Installed building control automation for centralized monitoring and efficiency improvement using newly created specialized team of building control technicians. All new buildings have night setback and/or occupied/unoccupied control. Installed energy metering on most buildings with remote reading and data gathering, also standardized for new buildings. Cost efficient purchasing of natural gas through gas transportation contracts has saved $7.7 million in gas costs. Close buildings for usage outside of normal operating hours of offices and classes to reduce energy consumption; also reduces after-hours cleaning.
Energy recovery is now implemented into design where appropriate. The Greenlights Program has replaced inefficient light fixtures across campus. High efficiency chillers have been installed. Heat pipes on high OA systems have received additional insulation. Roof replacements, with new highly reflective surfaces, have been ongoing. The conversion of the chilled water distribution system from primary/secondary to variable primary has recovered lost energy. Heat pipe heat recovery systems in air handling units with 100% outdoor air have been installed. Return ducts are insulated even though not required by Florida Building Code.
The Solar Energy Charging Station (at the College of Engineering) was established in 1995 and represents the first 20,000 watt solar charging station in the U.S. A solar golf cart retrofit for existing gas-powered carts is currently under evaluation. The Clean Energy Research Center at USF has received over $15 million of funding in the last 10 years for renewable energy project research, design, and development, including: electric vehicles, photovoltaics, microturbine landfill gas, battery development and management, and hydrogen production/storage and conversion to fuel cells. The Power Center for Utility Explorations at USF has secured a prestigious Smart Grid project worth more than $15 Million to work with local utilities to create, test, and develop smart grids.