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Two RU Buildings Receive Coveted ENERGY STAR® Certification

RADFORD -- Installing infrared motion sensors, magnetic window contacts and other high-tech devices has earned Radford University this week the prestigious U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star certification for two of its older residence halls.

The Energy Star certification of Floyd Hall, built in 1964, and Norwood Hall, built in 1939, validates the efforts that the RU Facilities Management, building occupants, and others have put into conserving energy and making the university a more sustainable campus.

“The ENERGY STAR is the mark of superior energy performance and identifies your building as one the most efficient buildings in the nation,” states the EPA announcement. “By taking this important step along the path to energy efficiency, you are not only saving money – you are preventing the release of greenhouse gases and protecting the environment.”

Floyd HallCommercial buildings that earn the Energy Star use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In Floyd Hall, each dorm room has been updated with infrared motion sensors and magnetic window contacts. If a room is unoccupied, the room temperature set points are changed to the unoccupied set points, the fans are shut down and lights turned off. If a window is opened, the room set points are changed to unoccupied set points and fans are shut down.

In Norwood Hall, RU changed dual-temperature valves in the building’s mechanical systems and there is on-going commissioning of the building mechanical systems as well.

Norwood Hall“This will hopefully only be the first step in a long walk as RU evaluates its energy efficiency across campus,” said RU Sustainability Coordinator Julio Stephens. “Not only does the Energy Star Program Manager software tell us how we are doing currently, it will help to prioritize our future efforts.”

Jo Ann Alger, RU’s Building Automation Engineer, who recently received her Certified Energy Manager certificate, expects that there will be additional Energy Star certified buildings on RU’s campus in the future.

This week’s certification bolsters RU’s expanding initiative to shrink both its utility costs and its carbon footprint.

In August, President Penelope W. Kyle created a Sustainability Steering Committee, which is investigating every facet of university life – from investments to dining facilities to housekeeping products – in an effort to transform the university into a green campus and a leader in resource conservation.

Already, the university:

  • Fuels all buses and diesel grounds equipment with a biodiesel blend (B20);
  • Utilizes six electric vehicles and one solar-electric vehicle;
  • Employs a Building Automation System that includes equipment setbacks/shutdowns and cycling, ice storage and load shedding;
  • Employs a Certified Energy Manager, Sustainability Coordinator, Recycling Coordinator, Recycling Technician and Sustainability Work Study position;
  • Features tray-less cafeteria dining, which, according to one recent report, lowers food waste by 25 to 30 percent and reduces the amount of water used by half a gallon per tray;
  • And uses spring water for certain irrigation needs and several Green Seal products for housecleaning.

Radford University promotes nationally recognized faculty-student collaborations and a diverse curriculum of more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs focused on student achievement and career preparation. A student body of more than 9,300 studies in seven colleges: Business and Economics, Education and Human Development, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Science and Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, Waldron College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. RU is located in the scenic New River Valley near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Southwest Virginia.

Dec. 18, 2008
Contact: Michael Hemphill (; 540-831-5803)

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