July 2016 Meeting of Sustainability Task Force

Sustainability Task Force
Flash Report for July 12, 2016

Task Force Attendees:  Andy Friedland (co-chair), Lisa Hogarty (co-chair), Gabe Lewis, April Salas, Anne Kapuscinski, Flora Krivak-Tetley, Elena Bird, Bruce Sacerdote, Erin Mansur, Merritt Patridge, Fabian Stocek, Rosi Kerr, Jenna Musco

Invited Presenters:  Frank Roberts, Abbe Bjorkland, Joanna Whitcomb, John Scherding


Decision-making Process: 
Individuals with expertise in a particular topic will be asked to meet off-line to develop a strawman of recommendations that the full Task Force can review and discuss at each meeting. 

Sustainability Themes and Team:  We’ll soon distribute a schedule of themes and associated meeting dates these themes will be discussed, as well as template/form for Task Force deliverables. 


High Performance Buildings
John Scherding, the Director of Design and Construction, shared a presentation of high performance buildings and campus energy, in which the past 25 years of development of Dartmouth’s high performance buildings was described in 3 distinct phases with increasing sophistication of building systems at each phase.  While Dartmouth has recognized substantial and important energy efficiencies (measured in terms of EUI – Energy User Intensity) and is considered a leader amongst our peers, Anne K. encouraged us to consider what energy benchmarks should be used for our buildings.  Can we consider international building benchmarks, rather than those that compare our newest buildings to our own historical facilities or to peers?

Energy Background:
Abbe Bjorkland, the Director of Engineering and Utilities, reviewed the history and emergence of Dartmouth’s current energy program.  Dartmouth has one of the oldest co-gen plants in the country, and in the past 10 years installed monitors that provide real-time energy data for every building on campus.  Our Central Energy Management System is an integrated tool that incorporates monitoring data, system controls, and data from the central power plant to detect problems and conduct sophisticated utility modeling.
Starting in 2012, retro-commissioning efforts have produced an average of 5-10% energy savings per building. While this is good news, a graph of GHG (Green House Gas) Trajectory with Renewable Energy shows that Dartmouth won’t meet its original pledge to reduce GHG by 30% by 2030 if we continue with current initiatives.  Much more transformative initiatives are needed to make a real difference in Dartmouth’s energy future, and for Dartmouth to be an energy leader.

The College is currently working with Ramboll, a Denmark-based consulting firm, to develop a comprehensive energy strategy.  Thus far, the plan is to: 
• Replace the existing power plant with a bio-mass plant that would generate hot water, which would then be distributed to heat and cool buildings across campus.  The plant would be located on the campus’s perimeter, thus freeing up ~1 acre of core campus space for other academic use. 
• Interconnect the chilled water systems across campus;
• Utilize photovoltaics to generate ~ 16-20% of Dartmouth’s electricity needs. 
• Diversify our energy sources, and not rely only on 1 source. 
Two challenges of implementing a new energy system include figuring out buildings can be occupied while their distributed systems are changed, and funding the huge amount of capital investment. 

A Task Force member suggested that Dartmouth divest stock holdings from its endowment to positively impact sustainability energy practices across the world.  Andy agreed to have a group further discuss this topic. 

In response to Task Force questions, the following information was shared:
• There are no current plans for a natural gas pipeline to the Hanover/Lebanon area in the foreseeable future.
• It’s not economically feasible to utilize wind power to support our energy needs.

1) Establish a group to consider divesture of the endowment to positively impact world-wide sustainability practices.

2) Rosi and Jenna to place the following documents in the Task Force Drop Box:  
• The High Performance Building presentation
• Listing of all Dartmouth buildings with their EUI (Energy Use Intensity) factors
• Worldwide, best-in-class energy standards