NUI Galway has announced its Energy Management System (EnMS) will be certified to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 50001. The certification, which will be completed in September 2012, will cover the University campus in Galway, including more than 110,000 sq m of facilities, including teaching, leisure and sports, conference, laboratory and cutting-edge research facilities.
Energy is one of the biggest recurring costs NUI Galway faces annually. The implementation of an energy management system will not only help to manage and monitor energy consumption, but also to reduce it. This maximizes energy efficiency and reduces annual energy consumption and resulting expenditure on critical utilities. Savings made in this way will help to fund ongoing expenditure in other energy reduction programs and to invest in new energy efficient technologies.
Noel O’Connor, Buildings Services Engineer at NUI Galway, says: “NUI Galway has focused on energy management for many years. We chose to have our EnMS certified to give us, and our stakeholders, confidence that we are managing energy use efficiently in all our operations. We also believe that the regular audits will help us to keep energy at the top of our management agenda and help us to focus on continual improvement. NUI Galway intends to build on lessons learned from the ISO 50001 certification process into our fundamental design criteria for new buildings. We are also conscious of our role as a research-based university and we will share relevant data gleaned from our EnMS and improvement projects as an educational resource for our students and researchers; particularly those in the Environmental, Engineering and Economics programs.”
NUI Galway has an annual replacement program for existing building stock to install energy efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling systems. The capital building program is heavily influenced by a focus and philosophy of improving the energy efficiency of buildings, beyond present day regulations and planning standards.
A case in point is the newly opened Engineering Building. The building contains a wide- range of technologies such as large-scale rainwater harvesting for grey water use, combined heat and power plant, biomass boiler, solar thermal system, insulation and glazing properties in excess of planning requirements, intelligent control systems low-embodied energy materials such as zinc, grass roofs for water attenuation, and many other cutting-edge technologies. The structure is among the first inIrelandto employ the use of voided slab systems. The innovation introduces ‘plastic bubbles’ into the concrete, reducing the weight and quantity of concrete used.