Hutch News

Yale Building recognized for energy savings

Center’s main administration building earns the U.S. government’s Energy Star label for high marks in energy efficiency

Oct. 25, 2010
Yale Building

Minimal illumination at night is among the ways Facilities and Engineering reduces energy consumption in the Yale Building.

Photo by Dean Forbes

Thanks to collaborative efforts by Hutchinson Center staff to cut energy consumption, the Yale Building has earned a prestigious Energy Star designation from the U.S. government.

The Environmental Protection Agency awards the Energy Star label to buildings that score in the 75th percentile or higher for their energy efficiency. The Yale Building scored in the 89th percentile, illustrating the Center’s commitment to lessening its environmental footprint while limiting overhead costs. 

“It’s a team effort between Facilities Engineering and the occupants of the Yale Building to help the Center save money and earn an Energy Star rating at the same time,” said Bob Cowan, director of the Facilities Engineering Department.

How energy consumption declined

As part of the Center’s recent attempts to trim its operating expenses amidst a budget shortfall, Facilities Engineering undertook a detailed evaluation of 50 potential means for cutting energy consumption. They ultimately implemented a number of important changes, including:

  • Adjusting the number of hours per day that air handlers and lights are turned on by default
  • Cutting back energy use on weekends and holidays
  • Installing a more energy-efficient technology for cooling computer servers.
Robertito Raymundo and Jim Walker

From left: Robertito Raymundo, Facilities Engineering supervisor, and Jim Walker, staff facilities engineer, with the Yale Building's Energy Star plaque.

Photo by Dean Forbes

As a result, the Yale Building’s energy consumption declined by more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2009, Cowan said. In addition, the building’s total energy bill declined from $268,000 in 2006 to $187,000 in 2009.

In the future, Facilities Engineering also plans to apply for an Energy Star rating for the Arnold Building. The Center would like to submit other campus buildings for recognition; however, Energy Star doesn’t currently rate structures that house a large share of laboratory facilities, which have different energy needs.

Read more about the Center's cost-cutting energy conservation measures in the Oct. 12 edition of Tradeline.

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