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Appalachian State U Eyes Energy Efficiency in Science Buildings

Appalachian State University has launched phase two of an energy efficiency initiative, turning its attention to energy use in lab and non-lab areas within three science buildings on its Boone, NC campus, in hopes of saving one million kilowatt-hours of energy each year.

The school has partnered with Aircuity and Hoffman Building Technologies for implementation of the project, deploying centralized air quality controls in its Chemistry, Astronomy, and Physics Building and both the north and south wings of the Rankin Science Hall.

"We have long known that our science and laboratory facilities are among the highest energy consuming buildings," said Michael O'Connor, Director of Physical Plant at Appalachian State, in a release. "Aircuity's demand control solutions will help us hit our energy targets and give us insight into how our buildings are performing over the life of the contract."

The installations are designed to boost energy savings by optimizing ventilation rates via Aircuity's OptiNet centralized sensing system, which continuously monitors indoor air quality parameters, "lowering the ventilation when the air is clean and increasing fresh air when an issue has been detected," according to a release.

"Laboratory facilities were once thought to be off-limits for energy efficiency projects, but Appalachian State and other institutions are proving that they really should be a top priority," said Chuck McKinney, Vice President of Marketing at Aircuity, in a release. "Continuous monitoring and optimization of ventilation in labs delivers a dual benefit: significant energy savings and tremendous insight into the indoor environmental quality of all labs. Airside optimization is quickly becoming the next big trend in energy conservation measures."

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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