Renovations Generate Significant Energy Savings

Kirner-Johnson Building
Kirner-Johnson Building

By the end of this approaching summer, campus construction, renovation and replacement projects completed by Hamilton’s Physical Plant will create energy savings equal to more than 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. While a significant reduction in our “carbon footprint,” the figure is difficult to conceptualize. Translated into gallons of gas, the decrease represents the amount required to drive 170 cars for a year based on national driving and gas mileage averages.

Associate Vice President for Facilities and Planning Steve Bellona, who oversees these campus-wide reductions, has issued a challenge to the community on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day: reduce energy usage by 40 percent on April 21. Usage is monitored and can be viewed on the College’s energy dashboard.

The Hamilton Environmental Action Group has issued another challenge for the day, the “Pledge to Go Veg.” The student group has calculated that the amount of energy required to bring a pound of meat to the consumer equals the energy required to drive an SUV 40 miles.

Hamilton community’s sensitivity to its impact on the environment has recently been reflected in several national awards. The renovated Kirner-Johnson building has received Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Hamilton has also received ENERGY STAR certification for Skenandoa House and Spencer House, as noted in a recent New York Times article. The ENERGY STAR is the mark of superior energy performance and identifies buildings as among the most efficient buildings in the nation.

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