UA plans energy-saving upgrades across Fayetteville campus

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 695 views 

Cross-laminated timber pavilions at Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus. (Photo by Chieko Hara)

The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is set to begin a series of energy-saving facility upgrades across campus. According to a UA news release, the improvements will help reduce the university’s annual expenses by $1.35 million.

To help facilitate the project the university has contracted with Little Rock-based Entegrity, an energy service, sustainability and solar development company. It’s the next step in advancing the university’s sustainability goals through a combination of cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades, the UA said in a news release.

The UA did not disclose the cost to complete the upgrades.

“This project will not only help the University of Arkansas campus become more energy-efficient, but it will also provide another example of our commitment to leading the way in supporting environmentally beneficial projects that also make good financial sense,” Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said in a statement.

The improvements will include LED lighting, retro-commissioning, fault detection diagnostics and upgrades to HVAC and building envelope systems. The upgrades will help the university save enough energy to power approximately 1,240 homes annually.

In 2007, the UA became one of the first institutions to become a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and establish the goal of net carbon neutrality by 2040. The university is working to reduce its carbon footprint with a combination of sustainable building practices, energy efficiency upgrades and sustainable commuter transportation options.

This project will be overseen by the Arkansas Energy Office, according to the release, which will help steer the process, evaluate project economics and ensure that Pre-Qualified Energy Service Companies maintain the highest levels of quality.

“We applaud the university for continuing their leadership role by making measurable progress toward their carbon neutrality goals,” Becky Keogh, cabinet secretary of the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, said in a statement.