With more than 700,000 square feet of space in more than a dozen facilities, maintaining temperature consistencies while being energy- and cost-conscious would prove a challenge for any organization or institution. For Rockhurst University, this reality became an opportunity for implementing smart technology to achieve improved operational objectives. After placing meters in every building to identify significant energy loss and evaluating complaints from students, faculty and staff, the facilities team knew that it was time to start replacing analog controls with digital ones. By partnering with Control Service Company, the university could use Automated Logic to seamlessly integrate with other protocol and maintain occupant comfort with ease.
Initially, Rockhurst struggled specifically with its science center, a sizable facility that includes lecture rooms, labs and faculty offices for various departments. After bringing in Control Service Company for the retrofit, project managers discovered blown fuses, defective reheat coils, high humidity levels and constant volume air handling that was making it more expensive to operate the science center than all other campus buildings combined. Control Service Company went to work replacing or reactivating defective parts and designing a solution using WebCTRL’s BACnet to interface with Tekaire fume hoods in the labs. By reducing heating and cooling requirements and adding occupancy sensors for lighting and temperature setbacks, the university began saving $4,000 per month in energy usage while nearly eliminating occupant complaints.
With such a huge success under their belts, Rockhurst and CSC’s partnership began to grow as other projects came to light. To date, some of the campus facilities have been completely converted to digital controls, some have been partially updated and some remain on the rolling three-year list of projects to be addressed. In the past three years alone, the university has been able to decrease its utility costs from $2.25 per square foot to $1.70 per square foot and drop its kilowatt-hour usage by 15%, beating benchmarks at many similarly sized institutions. CSC has helped Rockhurst work through any programming hiccups and ensure that reporting across the network is continually working properly by conducting technology reviews on a regular basis. The two companies have also started integrating lighting solutions in specific facilities, such as residence halls, to maximize energy savings while keeping students, faculty and staff comfortable.