The University Record, July 23, 2001

Facilities managers for 28 buildings honored for Energy Star certification

By Diane Brown
Facilities and Operations

Facilities managers for 28 buildings were recognized July 10 as the first to get U-M facilities certified through the national Energy Star program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Energy Star program in 1996 to encourage energy-efficient building operation and upgrades. The U-M partnered with the EPA in 1997 and agreed to implement the five-stage program within seven years in all major general fund buildings.

“This program brought together many existing energy conservation efforts from across campus as well as several new initiatives into one focused program,” says Michael Swanson, one of the Energy Star project managers in the Plant Operations utilities and plant engineering department. “We have 120 large buildings scheduled for the Energy Star program.”

The campuswide implementation is expected to reduce energy usage by more than 71 million kilowatt-hours annually by the year 2005, according to William Verge, associate director of utilities and plant engineering.

“This program has already reduced our energy consumption,” Verge says. “But perhaps even more importantly, we’re improving our stewardship of our assets and our environment with each building we complete.”

The buildings in which the five-stage program has been completed and which have been certified are: Alumni Center, Alumni Memorial Hall, Buhr Building, Central Campus Recreation Building, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Institute for Social Research, Neuroscience, News and Information Services, Power Center for the Performing Arts, five College of Engineering buildings (Advanced Technology Laboratory, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, G.G. Brown, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Space Research Building), five LS&A buildings (Argus II, Willard Dow Chemistry Building, East Hall, Lorch Hall and Tappan Hall), and eight Medical School buildings (Animal Research Facility, Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Kresge Medical Research I and II, Lloyd Memorial Laboratory, Medical Science Research I and II, and the Upjohn Building).

The five stages of the Energy Star program include: the Green Lights program, building tuneups and three stages of energy conservation measures.

Green Lights includes replacement of lamps and lighting fixtures with more efficient systems, and selective installation of lighting controls such as dimming systems and occupancy sensors. The Green Lights program will be completed in all buildings by June 2002. The Health System also has implemented the Green Lights program.

The building tuneups ensure that heating and cooling coils, fans, and pumps operate as efficiently as possible. The energy conservation measures include improvements to the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and distribution systems. The improvements are based on a 65-item checklist.

For more information on the Energy Star program, Green Lights and other energy management initiatives, visit the Web at