The University of Massachusetts Medical School has the right prescription for saving energy and money. By becoming a more efficient operation, UMMS will increase its capacity to generate electricity on its Worcester campus while reducing its green-house gas emissions.
“As a public institution, we believe it is incumbent on us to lead by example and manage our resources in ways that limit the impact on our environment,” said John Baker, associate vice chancellor of facilities management at UMass Medical School. “Our energy efficiency measures help us reduce our carbon footprint by introducing cleaner technologies to our campus that will pay dividends for the people of the commonwealth for decades to come. At the same time, we are actively engaging staff, faculty and students to be more aware of how, through small everyday actions, they can help reduce energy consumption.”
On the energy efficiency front, it has been working with National Grid, which offers a variety of incentives to make efficiency projects more affordable. The latest example: the medical school expanded its combined heat and power plant, adding a new 7.5 megawatt natural gas-fired turbine and associated heat recovery system. Existing boilers were upgraded and a new electric chiller will be added, as well. The project increased the efficiency of the plant to 78 percent, which provides the Worcester campus with steam, chilled water, and electricity.
New LED lights in classrooms, offices and in the parking garage save energy and cut maintenance costs. The loading dock, which had automatically been lit 24 hours a day, now responds to real-time demand, thanks to new controls and upgraded lighting.
The UMass Medical School is one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the country, and as new buildings go up, new energy efficiency measures go in. The 500,000-square-foot Albert Sherman Center — a research and education building scheduled to be completed in December — is designed to be 26 percent more energy efficient than current building codes require.
At a time when the continued use of our limited natural resources carries more and more environmental consequences, the University of Massachusetts Medical School is finding ways to cut its carbon footprint with a systematic and consistent approach to energy efficiency.