Indiana University of Pennsylvania students living on campus in one of the eight suite-style residence halls will compete next week to see which building can reduce its energy usage the most.
Residents of the eight campus residence halls will compete from Monday to April 14 to see which building can achieve the largest percentage reduction in energy consumption compared to the benchmark period, now in effect.
The competition will help students understand how their living habits impact larger issues, geoscience professor Dr. Steve Hovan said.
“Sometimes it’s hard for students to make personal connections to big issues such as the greenhouse effect and climate change,” he said. “This level of awareness only makes it that much easier to ‘think globally and act locally.’”
The students in the winning building will be presented with the Residential Energy Award during IUP’s Earth Day Celebration on April 19.
“Following this year’s energy competition, we will have a better idea of what might be a reasonable energy reduction goal,” Dr. Jack Makara, assistant director for Assessment and Academic Initiatives, said.
As part of the IUP Residential Energy Project, which aims to increase students’ awareness of their impact on energy usage, students will be able to monitor their building’s energy usage on a website provided by ICETEC Energy Services. Students will also be able to view graphs of their building’s energy consumption on monitors in the lobby areas of the buildings as well as on Channel 5 of the IUP cable TV system.
“We hope the energy competition will promote a greater awareness among our current residents of the impact of their own energy usage habits that extends far beyond the competition period,” Makara said.
All eight of these residential facilities, the product of the recent Residential Revival project, have earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Certification Institute. This certification recognizes that the buildings meet the Institute’s standards for buildings and building design that improve energy savings, water efficiency and outdoor environmental quality while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.