Van Munching Hall Goes Green
The Robert H Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, is going green!
This semester, Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam has agreed to participate in the new
Energywi$e UM program at the University of Maryland, College Park, in an effort
to promote energy conservation. Van Munching Hall, the location of the Smith School,
is one of only three academic buildings (Glenn Martin Hall and the Chesapeake Building)
on the campus to participate in this program.
Energywi$e UM aims to allow faculty, staff and students to be more aware of their
energy use in the buildings they sit in each day. The program, which is a result
of a team effort between Facilities Management and the Office of Sustainability,
is also taking place in 15 fraternity and sorority houses on the campus.
Throughout the semester the Office of Sustainability will alert the occupants
of Van Munching Hall about their energy use. They will also pose conservation challenges
to help faculty and staff members integrate energy conservation into their daily
routines. The pilot program lasts for six weeks, and aims to cut down the 400,000
kWh – enough to power 365 homes – that Van Munching Hall uses each month. This will
help save energy and money.
Each week, faculty and staff receive an e-mail with an energy conservation topic
they are asked to incorporate into their day-to-day lives. Week one focused on simple
oversights, including turning off lights when they aren’t in use, turning of projectors
and printers, using natural daylight when possible, and closing windows. Faculty
members were encouraged to share these tips with their students, too.
After the first week, Van Munching Hall used 540 kWh less than the historic September-October
baseline, saving $64 and about 860 lbs of CO2. This information was sent with the
next week’s challenge: Harness your human energy – meaning opening doors instead
of hitting the automatic buttons and taking the stairs instead of elevators.
On top of the tips to conserve energy in Van Munching Hall, Energywi$e UM also
provides weekly tips for reducing energy at home. These tips include switching to
LED holiday lights, replacing old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent
bulbs, and caulking any gaps in windows.
In mid-December, when Energywi$e UM ends, participants will be notified of the
total energy saved in Van Munching Hall. By combining consumption data with efficiency
strategies, the faculty and staff will help stimulate VMH’s potential for leadership
in taking the University of Maryland one step closer to its goal of carbon neutrality
Jessica Bauer, Intern, Office of Marketing Communications