Powering a Campus with Renewable Energy
Northland College is an old school with a modern mission. The school was founded in 1892 with a liberal arts focus. In the early 1970’s Northland evolved to focus on an environmental living and learning curriculum.
The campus has 19 buildings on a 100-acre site and an enrollment of approximately 600 students. Northland is now well ahead of the curve as other academic institutions are catching up trying to meet students' expectation for sustainability on campus and in their curriculum.
When a new facilities director came to the campus he asked if a net-zero campus was feasible. Gausman & Moore was invited to participate on the study team because of our experience engineering four net-zero energy buildings and our experience at Northland restoring the historic administration building, Wheeler Hall.
The first stage of the study proposed to assess the existing buildings on campus to determine their energy usage and potential for energy load reduction. The second stage of the study was to look at renewable energy sources that could provide the capacity necessary to power and heat the campus.
The first stage of the study discovered that there were some very high performing buildings and some very low performing building on campus. Unfortunately, we also discovered that there were deferred maintenance and health and safety issues that became the highest priorities on the capital expenditures budget.
With Stage One of the study complete and capital assigned to deferred maintenance and health and safety projects, Stage two is now holding waiting for capital funding.
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