Center for Sustainability has big plans for 2016

Story by Madison Wilder, Managing Intern
Photo courtesy of Facebook

The sustainability department at AQ has been extremely active over the past few months and even during Christmas break. Most recently, they have implemented sub-meters in 11 buildings on campus. These meters have real-time capabilities to check the energy use as each building runs. Head of the Center for Sustainability, Jessica Eimer, says that the buildings with meters were chosen because they are suspected to be the largest ‘energy hogs’ on campus.  Eimer talked to The Saint newspaper to inform students about the meters along with what can be done to become more involved with Aquinas sustainability.

What is the purpose of the meters?

The purpose of the project is to make the Aquinas community more aware of their energy use and encourage behavior change. Right now, members of our community have no idea how much energy they are using.

What is the long term goal of implementing these meters?

We already have the “AQ Unplugged: Campus Energy Challenge” planned for April 2016 and the winner will be presented a traveling sustainability trophy. We hope the energy displays will continue to elevate the conversation about sustainability and help to create agents of change among our student population.

How do the meters work?

The sub-meters have real-time capability and energy use information will be continually transmitted to a Honeywell Software tool. The software will then display the information on the displays mounted in the lobby of each building. Not only will real-time electricity information be available in the lobbies, but it will also be available on the web. The software also has a backend that is password protected for Physical Plant to better monitor and track campus energy use.

What buildings can the meters be found in?

Art and Music Center, St. Joseph the Worker Hall, Performing Arts Center, Grace Hauenstein Library, Academic Building, Sturrus, Albertus Hall, Wege Center, Holmdene, Hruby Hall, and Regina Hall.

What can students at AQ do to become more involved in sustainability projects?

If you are interested in being involved in AQ’s Community Garden during 20016, please save the date for our planning meeting on Thursday, February 4th from 12pm to 1pm in the Loutit Room. RSVP’s requested, but not required. If you would like lunch, please stop by the Loutit Room a little before or at noon to pick up a voucher for the cafeteria. For more information about how students can become involved, email Jessica Eimer.

About the Writer…

IMG_4061 copyMadison Wilder is a first-year student from Grand Haven, Michigan. Her interest and hobbies include swimming, reading, being outside, and reading/editing newspapers.

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