Wake Forest moved to its current home on the Reynolda Campus in 1956. The majority of existing campus buildings were constructed in the early days. These fifty-year-old facilities are due for comprehensive renewal and modernization.
Environmentally preferable construction
- Dianne Dailey Golf Education Center was the first building on campus to receive LEED certification in the Fall of 2010. The education center earned LEED Gold certification.
- South Hall, a first-year residence hall, received LEED Gold certification in May 2011.
- Porter B. Byrum Welcome Center received LEED Gold certification in July 2011.
- The Barn, an on-campus social venue, received LEED Silver certification in April 2012.
- Farrell Hall is the new home for the Wake Forest University School of Business. Farrell Hall received LEED Gold certification in February 2016.
- Dogwood Residence Hall received LEED Silver certification in January 2015.
- Magnolia Residence Hall also received LEED Silver certification in January 2015.
- North Dining Hall received LEED Silver certification in February 2015.
- Wake Downtown received LEED Platinum certification in April 2017.
- Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education received LEED Platinum certification in April 2017.
This temperature setback program significantly reduces energy consumption on campus. Through this program, the University has saved over $300,000 and 2,300 metric tons of carbon emissions over the past eight years.
We are asking for help from the campus community in conserving energy during Winter Break. It is the responsibility of each building occupant to do the following before leaving:
- Turn off all lights and shut off all office equipment when you leave for break. This includes computers, monitors, printers, copiers, coffee makers, etc.
- Close all office and classroom doors. Make sure all operable windows are closed as well.
- Lower and close blinds, if applicable.
- Remove all perishables from refrigerators and increase the temperature to the maximum setting possible.
Thank you for supporting this effort to save energy during the holidays! Please note that students, faculty, and staff who intend to visit or work on campus during the holiday period are advised to dress appropriately for the cooler conditions.
- Refrigerant management (1)
- Rooftop solar (10)
- District heating (27)
- Solar water (41)
- Heat pumps (42)
- LED lighting (44)
- Building automation (45)
- Home water saving (46)
- Recycled paper (70)
- Retrofitting (80)
MATERIALS: Common Techniques and Technologies to Close the Loop
Refrigerant management is the top Drawdown solution. So, what is refrigerant management, and why is it important? Every refrigerator and air conditioner in existence contains chemical refrigerants that allow us to keep things cool. Up until recently, refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were key culprits in in depleting the stratospheric ozone layer. Upon discovery of their damaging effects, CFCs and HFCs were slowly phased out. Nevertheless, refrigerants continue to cause problems for our planet. Ninety percent of refrigerant emissions are created at the point of disposal, and without proper management of refrigerant waste, resultant emissions can be detrimental. In 2016, officials from more than 170 countries enacted the Kigali Deal, a mandatory agreement with specific targets and timetables for phasing out HFCs. It is estimated that the accord will reduce global warming by nearly one degree Fahrenheit. With the Kigali Deal in place, as well as additional safety measures for managing existing refrigerants, we may draw down carbon emissions by nearly 90 gigatons.
How does Wake Forest play its part in refrigerant management? Mike Draughn, Director of Maintenance & Utilities Services with Facilities & Campus Services (FACS), says that FACS partners with the university’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety to administer an all-encompassing, campus-wide program. “Basically, campus is treated as a giant balloon, and we try to measure any escaped refrigerants given both type and asset—the equipment from which it came.” Draughn states that FACS works to quickly identify and fix or replace any equipment that has a refrigerant leak or is at the end of its life. When appliances are discarded, refrigerant is either sold back to the installing contractor and reclaimed (for large items such as chillers), or is removed on campus and collected in warehouse recycling containers (for smaller equipment). “We always report a draw or deposit of inventory on any refrigerant that was either used or recycled and added to refrigerant storage in our warehouse. In terms of replacing and renewing appliances, we update and choose equipment based on a review of the most current, efficient, and environmentally-friendly refrigerant options.”
Wake Forest is also committed to Drawdown solution number 46—home water saving. If 95 percent of taps and showerheads are converted to low-flow options by 2050, we would avoid 4.6 gigatons of carbon emissions. According to Doug Ecklund, the Building Systems Manager for WFU FACS, we have seen a 45 percent increase in water savings as new buildings on campus are renovated and equipped with low-flow shower and water fixtures, as well as dual-flush toilets.
ENERGY: Planning for the Transition
One technology with which many are familiar is rooftop solar. First tested in 1884, solar capture technologies have become mainstream over the years and have seen increases in both affordability and effectiveness. If rooftop solar can grow from 4 percent of global electricity generation to 7 percent by the year 2050, we can avoid 24.6 gigatons of carbon emissions. There are several demonstrations of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology on campus: on the Barn, Reynolda Gardens greenhouse, and North Dining. To make a meaningful transition to solar PV, Wake Forest would need about 20 acres of panels. A changing regulatory environment in the state might release some of the current constraints on this transition.
Solar energy can also be used to heat water. Creating hot water for showers, washing dishes, and cleaning laundry makes up 25 percent of residential energy use worldwide. If solar water heating grows from 5.5 percent to 25 percent by the year 2050, we can draw down carbon emissions by 6.1 gigatons. This is currently the most cost effective application of solar technology on campus. South Hall’s water is heated by solar. Additionally, in phase three of the Reynolds Gym renovation, solar will be installed as a source of heating for the water for the pool.
BUILDINGS AND CITIES: Innovation in Our Urban Habitat
In terms of regulating the temperature of buildings in urban spaces, district heating is the way to go. Rather than having small heating and cooling units in each building, district heating entails funneling steam and/or chilled water from a central plant across a network of pipes to a variety of different buildings. By replacing stand-alone water and space-heating systems that currently exist with district heating techniques, we could draw down carbon emissions by 9.4 gigatons by 2050.
John Shenette, Wake Forest’s Associate Vice President for FACS, believes that the WFU campus is a great example of district heating. From the main Facilities plant, steam and chilled water are distributed to campus buildings through underground ducts to heat and dehumidify, through cooling, indoor spaces. “Wake Forest has invested a good deal of money into improved automation and controls,” says Shenette, “And for good reason—district heating and cooling is much better than individualized units in terms of efficiency.”
Building automation systems (BAS) are becoming very common in the commercial sector. In a building with a BAS, a centralized, computer-based “brain” monitors and controls all mechanical functions in order to operate under the greatest level of efficiency and effectiveness. If BAS usage expands from 34 percent of commercial floor space to 50 percent by the middle of the 21st century, we could draw down 4.6 gigatons of carbon and generate a large savings in operational costs. BAS exist in most campus buildings here at Wake Forest. The campus makes great use of occupancy sensors that adjust lighting and control heating and cooling by detecting the presence of someone in a room. There are also sensors to determine bathroom exhaust fan speeds according to occupancy and to detect the need for certain amounts of hot water. Over the past few years, the implementation of such controls has resulted in a 20 percent decrease in electricity usage on campus.
One efficiency solution that is easily recognizable from residential buildings and other locations across campus is LED lighting. LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, convert electrons to photons and use 90 percent less energy to emit the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb. In addition, LEDs have an extremely long life—27 years if turned on five hours per day. It is assumed that LEDs will become standard by 2050, replacing less-efficient bulbs and avoiding 7.8 gigatons and 5 gigatons of carbon in households and commercial buildings, respectively. LED lighting exists across the Wake Forest campus. According to Shenette, there are upwards of 1,000 LED fixtures both indoors and out.
From full renovation of residence halls on the upper quad to routine replacement of ordinary appliances, Drawdown solution number 80, retrofitting, is highly visible across campus. Retrofitting—updating existing buildings by installing better insulation, more energy-efficient features in the “envelope” like windows and roofs, and upgraded management systems—is taking place all around campus. “A great example of retrofitting is the Reynolds Gym,” says Shenette. “Rather than creating a brand-new building, we converted the bones of the original gym, revamped and reengineered everything with more efficient structural, electrical, and mechanical infrastructure. The same thing is also happening right now with the Salem Hall renovation. It’s incredibly innovative.”
Want to learn more about how you can play a part in Project Drawdown to reduce GHG emissions? Join us for a public lecture by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, the senior writer of Drawdown, on October 5 in the Byrum Welcome Center starting at 6:00 pm. RSVP here.
The university removed a total of 395 high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps and incandescent bulbs, and replaced them with 78 LED fixtures that produce a brighter, cleaner light to the arena floor. The reduction from 419,000 watts to 32,832 watts with the LED system represents a 92 percent energy savings.
The LED lights dramatically improve the lighting quality of the coliseum while practically eliminating maintenance costs — LED fixtures last for over 10 years. The new systems also offers:
- Efficient controls – Provides instant on/off capabilities and dimming controls for when full power of the system is not needed.
- Special effects and visual experience – A control board for special effects allows for customized lighting for pre-game introductions, concerts, and other special events.
- Cost savings – The system will reduce energy consumption and associated costs at the Coliseum by 92 percent compared to previous lighting equipment.
“Wake Forest University Facilities and Campus Services has standards for renovation and new construction projects that incorporate sustainable products and practices. When the time came to replace the existing lighting in the LJVM Coliseum court, LED light fixtures were the perfect replacement,” Wendy Wooten, Senior Project Manager of Facilities & Campus Services, said in regards to the update.
In addition to their work at the Coliseum, the athletics department is currently renovating the varsity locker rooms in Manchester Athletic Center, enhancing the student-athlete experience while incorporating sustainability into the design. The sustainable features include:
- Occupancy sensors – These sensors automatically turn off lights and exhaust fans when not in use.
- Dual flush toilets – Unlike traditional toilets that use 3.5 gallons of water per flush, dual-flush toilets offer a 1.6 gallon high-volume flush and 1.1 gallon low-volume flush, resulting in a 63 to 69 percent reduction.
- Low flow shower heads – These low flow shower heads have a flow rate of no more than 1.5 gallons per minute, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in water compared to previous shower heads.
- Low flow faucets – Water consumption was reduced by 67 percent by installing faucets that use .5 gallons per minute versus 1.5 gallons per minute.
- Built-in recycling receptacles – Labeled with a “Go Deacs, Go Green” logo, these containers make recycling convenient and simple.
Farrell Hall, the 130,000 square-foot home to Wake Forest University’s School of Business, recently received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.
Among the strategies that contributed to Farrell Hall’s Gold-level certification is its inclusion of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood paneling and regional materials. Almost 30% of the building materials by value were manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. More than 80% of on-site generated construction waste from the project was diverted from landfills. The incorporation of bicycle storage facilities also encourages alternative transportation.
One of the most notable features of the building is its open floor plan with classrooms, offices and social spaces on every floor—an intentional design aspect that encourages faculty-student interaction. Before Farrell Hall’s opening in 2013, School of Business faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduates were housed in two separate buildings on the Reynolda campus.
“Farrell Hall was designed to be an innovative space from the ground up. Our aim was to provide a remarkable home for our school, without compromising our commitment to sustainability. Our open, collaborative environment fosters business education and encourages engagement between faculty, staff and students,” said Charles Iacovou, Sisel Distinguished Dean of the School of Business. “Achieving LEED Gold certification places the School of Business in excellent company at Wake Forest.”
Georgian-style façades facing east, north and south feature Wake Forest’s classic Deacon Blend brick. The building’s modern, glass-covered west side is shaded by a loggia and overlooks a terrace surrounded by a wooded lawn. A minimal number of trees were removed for the project’s construction. “Farrell Hall was sited and organized to take advantage of an existing grove of mature pin oak trees,” said Marek Turzynski, LEED Accredited Senior Associate at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, who served as the firm’s project manager for Farrell Hall.
All new buildings on Wake Forest’s campus are designed to meet a minimum LEED Silver standard. Farrell Hall was made possible by a generous gift from Mike and Mary Farrell in 2010, broke ground in 2011, and opened its doors to students in July of 2013. Prior to any project receiving certification from the US Green Building Council, a post-occupancy performance verification is required. The process to certify projects isn’t quick, as “commissioning of building systems is a complicated process,” explained Turzynski. “A lot of documentation has to be compiled and verified.”
Farrell Hall features 18 total classrooms, 16 of which have natural light—a contributing factor in decreasing energy usage. The building can house 1,250+ students and features office/work areas for 170 faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about Farrell Hall.
Optimized energy performance may seem like a dry topic, but it’s one of the features that earned Magnolia and Dogwood residence halls and North Dining Hall LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certifications this semester. Undergraduate residents have occupied the residence halls since fall 2013. North Dining Hall welcomed students in January 2014. Prior to receiving certification from the US Green Building Council, however, each required post-occupancy performance verification. All new buildings on campus are designed to meet at least LEED-Silver standards.
The buildings include hi-tech occupancy sensor lights, an interactive energy and water usage dashboard, and low- flow plumbing fixtures. Natural light and high performance lighting in the buildings also decrease energy usage.
Strike up a conversation with John Shenette, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Services, and along with that genuine smile and deep Bostonian accent you will find a wealth of knowledge and passion about the role of facilities in higher education. Shenette joined Wake Forest University in March and has been a prominent figure on campus ever since. Facilities and Campus Services plays an important role in our effort to transform the campus, bringing strategic sustainability goals to fruition and providing metrics for continuous improvement.
What attracted you to Wake Forest?
I toured the university in 1997 and was struck by the uniqueness of the campus. However, the more research I did, the more I learned about the quality of education Wake provides and the presence Wake Forest has in the US and internationally. It was also evident to me that at Wake I would have the opportunity to engage with faculty and staff and continue to grow and learn in the profession, both of which were important to me.
Why are you interested in sustainability?
Sustainability in its definition is integral to facilitates. When you’re in facilities, it’s all about being a good steward. If you’re replacing equipment and buildings, everything hinges on the right materials. Awareness and adaptability is important. Technology changes and student lifestyles change and we must embrace that changing mindset. Facilities is no longer viewed as just a “physical plant,” it is now much more broad and engaging. It’s important for facilities to be a financial steward and support the mission and vision of the institution, which includes staying modern and incorporating sustainability.
What are you most looking forward to?
I look forward to embracing the Wake Forest culture and bringing Facilities and Campus Services from the background to the forefront so we’re seen as part of the fabric of the university. We can and should use our physical structures and lands as living, learning laboratories.
Faces of Sustainability is a regular feature on our website. You can read about past Faces of Sustainability here.
Wake Forest’s celebration of Earth Day this year included the announcement of Champions of Change award winners. This was the first year of the program, which recognizes the creativity and innovation of individuals and teams who work to integrate principles of sustainability across campus. Provost Rogan Kersh and Sr. VP/CFO Hof Milam presented the awards.
Winners were recognized in four categories: Resource Conservation, Service and Social Action, Teaching Research and Engagement, and Bright Ideas.
- Residence Life & Housing and Financial Services were jointly named champions of change in Resource Conservation. Residence Life and Housing dramatically reduced solid waste and conserved water through renovation and retrofit programs this past year; Financial Services supported the conversion to electronic business processes campus-wide.
- Campus Kitchen was named as a winner in the Service and Social Action category. Campus Kitchen repurposes prepared, but not served, food from our campus dining facilities into balanced meals for members of the broader Winston-Salem community.
- For Teaching, Research and Engagement, Lynn Book and her faculty colleagues Angela Kocze and Wanda Balzano were recognized for their work in the new course, “Women, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.” Students collaborated with community partners Margaret Norfleet-Neff and Salem Neff, the mother-daughter team who founded the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market.
- Abby McNeal was recognized for her Bright Idea in turf management and the installation of the UgMo Wireless Soil Sensor System at Spry Soccer Field. UgMo is an underground monitoring system that measures soil moisture at the root level and determines when and how much to water on a zone-to-zone basis.
Thirty nominations were received for the four awards. A committee evaluated the nominations based on:
- The ways in which the nominees have helped advance one or more of the Wake Forest University campus sustainability strategic goals
- The level of participation by colleagues within the department or unit
- The measurable impact among constituents across campus or in the community served
Additionally, Green Team captains Peter Romanov, Darlene Starnes and Carol Lavis were named champions of change for their departmental leadership. 65% of our departments and units across campus are now led by Green Team captains – they support their colleagues with the resources and encouragement to integrate sustainability into everyday workplace decisions.
Spring semester is here: new classes, new students, and the highly anticipated opening of North Campus Dining Hall. The 21,000 square foot-facility was designed and constructed to LEED-silver standards. From equipment to furnishings, it showcases some unique – even one-of-a-kind – sustainable design features.
John Wise, Associate Vice President of Hospitality & Auxiliary Services at WFU, who helped oversee the project, emphasizes the value of creating a building that does more than just meet the functional needs of campus: “Beyond simply meeting the needs of a growing student population, it is important that we create an environment that showcases sustainable practices that students can adopt and learn about now, so that when they leave Wake Forest, they will bring an understanding of what’s possible with them.”
Energy and Water
Behind-the-scenes technical features create a relaxed campus hangout that is also energy efficient. The variable air volume heating and cooling system and exhaust hoods are expected to be at least 12 percent more efficient than a standard system. A leading-edge, real-time exhaust hood system will also reduce energy use in the kitchen. Fluorescent and LED lighting, combined with occupancy sensors in numerous spaces, lower the electricity load of the building as well. Dual flush toilets and low flow faucets, part of the campus standard adopted four years ago, reduce water usage in the facility.
On the South side of the dining hall, a unique solar photovoltaic “awning” covers an outside seating area. This, the third small-scale solar array on the WFU campus will provide up to 10 kilowatts (kW) of power during peak hours. Numerous wide-framed windows also allow natural light to fill the space, reducing electric lighting needs.
The facility’s real-time water and energy footprint can be viewed online or on screens in the building via WFU’s building dashboard system.
All of the dining hall’s pre-consumer and post-consumer waste (e.g. vegetable peels, food scraps, and biodegradable napkins) are fed into a state-of-the-art pulper. The industrial pulper macerates food waste, from banana peels to chicken bones. With water that is recycled through the system, the ground “meal” is transported out of the kitchen into bins that are collected regularly by Gallin’s Family Farm. “The pulper is the first big step towards the campus-wide goal of developing a comprehensive pre and post-consumer composting program,” says Megan Anderson, WFU Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager.
An electronically monitored, direct plumbed waste oil management system filters and pumps fryer oil to a sealed outdoor storage tank with the touch of a button. This feature reduces the possibility of oil spillage and contaminations, maintaining the quality of the oil so it can be efficiently repurposed into biodiesel.
Carefully chosen furnishings contribute to the comfort and sustainability of the space. The project team collaborated with local companies for the construction and sourcing of the majority of the furniture: Bistro ’34 lunch chairs and tables were created in Winston-Salem and High Point, cushioned banquettes were sourced from Newport, TN, Starbucks lounge furniture was built in Hickory, NC, and communal oak tables were cut and milled in Lincolnton, NC. The most local of all of the furnishings, however, are the four benches that line the atrium. The wood for the seats was milled in Durham and comes from oak trees that were removed from the project site; the frames were crafted in Winston-Salem.
To get to the dining hall from points south, visitors cross a unique pedestrian bridge. Although also visually pleasing, the bridge was required in order to preserve several of the heritage trees that surround the atrium of Farrell Hall. A traditional walkway would have resulted in significant root cutting and soil compaction, likely killing the trees.
David Davis, Associate Director of Landscaping Services and member of the WFU Tree Care Plan Committee, commented on the bridge: “I think this project makes a strong statement about the university’s commitment to preserving heritage trees.” The native, low-irrigation landscaping that surrounds the building also reflects a holistic approach to low-impact design and operation.
While all of these features translate into quantifiable energy and water efficiency, they also signify something greater: a comfortable space that supports the wellbeing of its occupants and the environment.
By Hannah Slodounik, Program Coordinator
This coming April, Wake Forest will host our inaugural Champions of Change award ceremony.
In March, we will accept nominations for awards that honor sustainability through:
- resource conservation (energy, water, or waste reduction),
- academics (teaching, research, engaged learning),
- service and social action, and
- bright ideas (innovative ideas that have been or could be implemented).
We look forward to hearing about the work of all the inspiring change agents across campus.
Refilling stations are becoming the norm at Wake Forest University, with a total of 46 water bottle refill stations across campus. What started with 2010-11 Choose to Reuse intern Frannie Speer, a grant from Brita’s Filter for Good program, and a pilot refill station outside the Office of Sustainability in Reynolda Hall, has propelled into a campus-wide initiative.
A strong show of support from students, faculty, and staff has spurred the installation of refilling stations throughout campus. The impetus to install a station in Greene Hall originated from administrative assistant Tara Ogletree, in the Department of German and Russian. “I thought that having the refilling station installed on the third floor of Greene Hall would be a small contribution to our growing eco-friendly campus.” In another show of departmental backing, the Office of Budget and Financial Planning co-sponsored the installation of the refilling station outside the Fresh Food Company in 2012. Residence Life & Housing installed stations in nearly every residence hall this year.
Each water bottle refill station located around campus has a built-in sensor that starts the flow of chilled, filtered water from an overhead port when a bottle is placed in front of it. The refill stations are “no-touch” and provide immediate feedback that tracks the number of “disposable plastic bottles” that are avoided through use of the refill station.
The amount of waste refilling stations reduce is one of many benefits to having the stations on campus. Additionally, water from the refill stations does not bear the same transportation fuel waste burden as bottled and distributed water, nor does it generate the same resultant greenhouse gas emissions. When compared to single-use plastic water bottles, that are sometimes shipped internationally, this equates to notable emissions reduction. Looking at the bigger picture, it translates to better air quality and natural resource management, all of which contribute to a healthier environment.
It is clear that refilling stations have much to offer campus — convenient, good tasting, filtered, chilled hydration. As Ogletree puts it, simply, “Hopefully, the installations will encourage others to participate in the program and promote healthier lifestyles.”
By Hannah Slodounik, Program Coordinator