Buildings at BYU are designed to increase energy efficiency. One energy reduction technique is to use larger windows that allow in more natural light. Indoor lighting accounts for 20 to 50 percent of total buildings consumption. Lighting design addresses over-illumination to ensure that energy consumption is minimized. In concert with decreasing the need for artificial lighting, occupancy sensors turn off lighting fixtures automatically when they are no longer in use. Indoors and out, more efficient lamps that include fluorescent and LED are being used to drive down energy consumption.
Another energy reduction measure is to install improved building envelope technology, which reduces air flow through traditional energy loss spots (between roofs and walls) by adding an additional specialized membrane over the building insulation. This helps by keeping the conditioned air inside the building and by keeping out the unconditioned outside air. It has been estimated that building heating ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems accounted for approximately 30% of total energy consumption in the United States. We are also improving our Building Automation Systems (BAS) across campus. To do this we have initiated a re-commissioning process that was originally tried on the Office of Information Technology Building. Over the last two years we have reduced Natural gas consumption by approximately 50% and electrical cooling consumption by 30%. This equates to thousands of dollars in annual energy savings. The lessons learned from this process are currently being replicated across campus.
Recently, BYU acquired infrared technology that allows technicians to produce photographs showing the details of building heat loss during the winter and cooling loss during the summer. Armed with this information, we are able to take corrective measures and make our buildings as energy-efficient as possible. In the next several years, Physical Facilities has established a goal to significantly reduce energy consumption in 15 major campus buildings. We have also installed variable speed drives on all fans and pumps, replaced incandescent lights with fluorescent lights, upgraded the campus electrical system to prevent power loss, replaced office light switches with motion sensors, upgraded to more energy-efficient chillers, upgraded roof insulation and retrofit many campus buildings with low-E reflective glass.
BYU currently has three LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and represent a high standard for construction certified buildings on campus. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) describes LEED as an “internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” These buildings are the Hinckley Center, BYU Broadcasting, and the Information Technology Building.