Energy Star Policy
To reduce campus energy consumption, Goucher College enacted a policy in 2007 that requires the purchase of Energy Star-certified equipment whenever available. Energy Star is a joint certification program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that certifies products more energy efficient than average.
Heating and Cooling Plants
Goucher's heating and cooling plants distribute hot and chilled water to most campus buildings through a system of underground pipes. The plants make ice during non-peak hours of energy consumption, which is then melted and used for cooling during the day. This allows the college to buy the electricity at a reduced rate and also allows the utility to shed load during its peak periods and operate its most efficient plants.Also, centrally controlled energy management systems have been installed in all buildings constructed or renovated since 1993. This allows FMS to control the heating and cooling from a central location, turning the heat and cooling off and on as spaces are occupied and using outside air to cool a building.
Energy-Conserving Renovation Projects
FMS converted domestic hot water systems to more efficient equipment that reduces emissions. The new hot water system boilers were installed in Froelicher, and Mary Fisher residence halls. In addition we have installed similar boilers in Stimson. Installation of new hot water system boilers in Froelicher, and Mary Fisher residence hall, along with a similar system in Stimson, reduced the college's carbon footprint. These boilers are 95 percent efficient, compared with the old ones, which were 84 percent efficient.Windows - FMS installed highly energy-efficient windows in all residence halls and various other buildings, with plans for more on the way.HVAC and Electrical Efficiencies -- Since 1992, Goucher has performed $85 million worth of renovation and construction. All of the work has been based on criteria established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The standard governs equipment efficiencies (kilowatts/ton, high-efficiency motors, etc.) and mechanical and electrical system efficiencies (variable speed control of water and air flow).Fluorescent bulbs - In 1991, FMS converted from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs where possible.Roof Replacement/Repairs - FMS has upgraded roof insulation where possible.
Greening our Buildings
A new policy passed in 2009 ensures all new buildings or major renovations are planned with the goal of achieving at least a Silver rating according to the US. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green-Building Rating System.Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent of water consumption, and 15 percent of gross domestic product per year, making "green" building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Goucher College has recognized the benefits of incorporating sustainable design principles into its facilities planning and has begun to build and renovate in a more environmentally conscious way.
The Athenaeum, completed in September 2009, is Goucher's first Gold-certified new building. It is the centerpiece of Goucher's campus, weaving together the various threads of life at the college in one signature building - a physical centerpiece for the campus that also is the figurative heart of the academic community. The Athenaeum employs energy-saving features, such as high-performance insulated glass that admits daylight while reducing heat gain, solar water heating, light-activated motorized window shades, motion sensors for lighting, and displacement ventilation. The building incorporates recycled building materials, low volatile organic compound adhesives and sealants, a system zoning control of the HVAC and lighting systems for maximum efficiency, and two "green" roofs that reduce heat gain and alleviate stormwater runoff. The building's water conservation features include dual-flush toilets, waterless urinals, water-efficient landscaping, and motion-activated faucets.For more information on the Athenaeum's "green" features, click here.