Liberal Arts college dives into monitoring

Written by April Wright

For many students the first week is over and routines are once again being established. Last week, we featured Whitefish School District and their work as they seek to achieve net zero while also using their CSE building as a learning opportunity for students throughout the year. This week we switch gears to share how Buddy Ohm can be used in a university or college setting.

Students are drawn to universities for a variety of reasons—some choose colleges based on their geographic location, their desired major, or based on their extra-curricular programs the school supports. In the case of our next college featured, the aquatics center and swimming and diving program is a big draw for some prospective students, but it’s also a big draw of energy consumption.

Kenyon College
A private liberal arts college located in Gambier, Ohio, they are piloting Buddy Ohm to monitor resource use in their aquatics center. The James A. Steen Aquatic Center opened in 2006 and was renamed to its current state in 2013 to honor the long-time, title-winning coach. The facility features a pool that holds 985,000 gallons of water. The Center also includes a wet classroom, a meet manager’s office, hot-tub, locker rooms, and second-tier stands that seat approximately 350 fans.

In the pool, athletes work to set their best records; making slight shifts and tweaks to their performance to reduce their race time. This is exactly how Kenyon College is approaching their Buddy Ohm installation – to look for areas where they can make slight shifts and tweaks in building performance—without sacrificing student comfort—to reduce energy use.

One of Kenyon College’s goals with installing Ohm in their aquatics center was to determine areas where they could reduce their energy use; particularly when it comes to the pool which is not always in use. You’ll notice in the image above, from August 17 – 24 there was an 11% reduction in the center’s energy use. If operational processes and goals could be put in place to make this decrease in energy use the norm or even the norm during off-peak hours, Kenyon College could save upwards of $24,000 a year. This is precisely what Kenyon College is hoping to do.

We’ll be back next week with another school or university and another plan for the Fall semester.