Sustainability at Reed

Reed College campus aerial photo

Sustainable Decisions in Facilities Services

Facilities services manages and monitors Reed's utility use on campus with the goal of realizing optimum environmental comfort with minimum energy use. Facilities maintains records for comparative analysis and continually reviews operational practices to maintain efficiencies of all mechanical equipment.

All building mechanical systems are linked through a central, computerized energy management system for optimum natural gas savings. Low voltage lighting, time clocks, motion detectors, and light sensors minimize electrical use. Low flow nozzles on sinks and showers and low volume toilets in restrooms ensure efficient water use. Additional commitments to sustainable practices are evident in the following:

  • Considerations for lifetime efficiency in building materials and mechanical systems for new construction and upgrades
  • Limits on the use of air conditioning (78°/summer) and heating (68°/winter)
  • Use of a central boiler plant and steam tunnel for efficient heat delivery; condensation of return
  • Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance program for mechanical equipment
  • Use of Specify Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for new mechanical installations and replacement to increase efficiency and reduce motor load and operating costs
  • Conversion from pneumatics to all-digital controls
  • Research on energy effective procedures and equipment upgrades
  • Treatment of boiler water with minimum chemistry and best recovery; deaeration and maintenance of line conditions for optimum operation of central steam plant
  • Use of only low-VOC paints
  • Use of natural gas in fire tube boilers; can burn oil for backup capacity when gas is curtailed
  • Use of PS 300 is in boilers instead of bunker “C” when required to burn oil; researching alternative fuels for back up
  • Use of biodiesel in grounds equipment
  • Use of synthetic oils for vehicles, mowers, and tractors owned by facilities services

We want to hear from you.

If you have ideas about what Reed could do to improve sustainability efforts on campus, send an email to the sustainability committee.