Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012 Sustainability Profile: East Field House Gym Lighting Retrofit​

Next time you’re exercising on the east side of campus, check out the new lighting in the East Field House Gym—it was retrofitted over winter break with lights that will reduce energy consumption in the gym by 43% and cut down on maintenance and electricity bill costs. The project was funded last spring by the UCSC Carbon Fund, a funding body that was founded in 2010 and which uses Measure 44 money to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conduct relevant research, or carry out education and behavioral change programs.UCSC Green Campus interns conducted the research and oversaw the project with the help of the UCSC Physical Plant. The idea for the retrofit came from the Sustainability Inter-Org Retreat last winter. Green Campus performed a similar retrofit at the West Field House, so the Green Campus team identified the East Field House Gym as a site in need of an upgrade to energy efficiency. Green Campus interns Abbas Mohamed, a fourth year, and Erin Linney, a third year, were assigned the project. 
The brand new, energy-efficient lighting in the East Field House Gym
“It was my first day on the job. When I started, I didn’t know anything about sustainability or lighting,” Abbas, who was the Project Coordinator and has since been promoted to Team Manager, said during an interview at the East Field House in January. “Now, I’m passionate about lighting."
East Field House Gym Retrofitting Project Coordinator, Abbas Mohamed
Abbas and Erin conducted research during winter quarter last year and drew models of the gym using software to download details and predict lighting levels and energy usage with different types of lamps. After coming up with all the figures regarding cost, carbon emission reductions and more, they submitted their proposal and were awarded funds to install new induction lamps in the gym.

Their Carbon Fund proposal states that “An important part of the project is to provide a more welcoming atmosphere and better light quality for sports events…By tackling lighting efficiency in a sports gym, we will reach out to a diverse group of students.” In addition to the social benefits, their estimated annual green house gas savings for the project are 3.41 tons CO²e, which over the course of the induction lamps’ life (25 years) will come out to 85.35 tons CO²e. In terms of money, they estimate $95,782 savings over the course of the lamps’ life, taking into account the fact that these new lamps require little to no maintenance, especially compared with the lamps that were in place before the retrofit.

The project is near completion. “We are still waiting for the company to send the wire guards which will be placed on the lamps to protect them from an airborne ball,” Erin, who now holds the position of Facilities Project Coordinator for Green Campus, wrote in a recent email. “Also, we will be receiving a large PG&E incentive check for the estimated saving of 14,860 kWh per year. The PG&E incentive money will be returned to the UCSC Carbon Fund to finance more projects which reduce our campus greenhouse gas emissions.”

If you have an environmental project that you need funding for, consider applying for the Carbon Fund. More information about the Carbon Fund’s mission and application process can be found on their website.

The Green Campus team. (Erin Linney, who worked on the East Field House Gym Lighting Retrofit project, is pictured on the far left in the front row. Project Coordinator is on the far left in the second row.)
To learn more about Green Campus and other projects they are working on, please visit their Facebook page.

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