HARTFORD, CT, February 12, 2014 – Locker rooms in the Ferris Athletic Center, the hub of fitness and athletic programs at Trinity, are undergoing a multi-phased renovation. The men’s and women’s locker rooms and a combined equipment and laundry facility are being modernized. In addition, several measures have been taken to reduce the carbon footprint of Ferris, which has historically been one of the largest energy consumers on campus.
With amenities such as shower and laundry facilities, energy-consuming lighting fixtures, and long hours of operation, the project team looked for efficiency gains throughout the various phases.
“From the start of the project we felt a responsibility, not only to the College, but also as good environmental citizens, to try to reduce our energy footprint,” stated Mike Renwick, director of athletics. “We chose more environmental friendly fixtures where time and budget allowed. ”
Areas where an immediate impact will be realized include new equipment room machinery, shower and wash facilities, lighting fixtures and a new HVAC system.
The laundry facility was an area of focus early. Inefficient, high-use washing and drying machines were replaced with state-of-the-art, high performance machines. The combined efficiencies of the machines will cut drying time by more than 25 minutes per load and include moisture sensors with automatic shutoffs when laundry is acceptably dry. Additionally, an ozone injection system was installed to eliminate bacteria, reduce chemical usage and reduce the need to rewash items.
“We’ve reduced our water and energy usage and chemical consumption and the clothes are just as clean if not cleaner,” said Kira Sargent, environmental health and safety and sustainability assistant for Aramark Management Services, which is in charge of Trinity’s facilities operation.
When the project concludes in May, both locker room facilities will be equipped with low-flow toilet fixtures and new faucets and shower heads that will reduce water consumption by approximately 20 percent, as compared to prior usage levels.
A water bottle filling station with a high-efficiency chiller has been installed in the women’s locker room. The fountain, which will eliminate the need for throwaway plastic bottles, has a quick fill rate of 1.1 gallons per minute. The Trinity community is encouraged to take advantage of the station to help reduce the use of plastic throwaway bottles.
Of the advances that have been made so far, Sargent said, “Trinity is taking an important step to maintain the quality of life we expect but reduce our water and energy consumption. In the long run, these important changes will also reduce the College’s operational costs; so it’s a smart long-term investment allowing us to continue investing in such initiatives.”
The lighting in the facility, right down to the exit signs, is being replaced with LED technology and censors that detect occupancy using both infrared and noise sensors. The occupancy sensors are distributed throughout the space so the lights will go out if it is unoccupied.
The original goal of the project was to provide student-athletes and the campus community with a modernized building. By consolidating the equipment room into one central area, the facility will also feature:
• Upgraded team rooms for in-season student-athletes
• Upgraded common areas for the campus community
• Renovation of bathroom and shower facilities
• Climate-controlled spaces to allow for a more pleasurable experience
“Thus far we have been able to meet all of our project goals and stay relatively on schedule,” Renwick said. “We are planning to open a new, more energy-efficient part of Ferris to the entire community next academic year and are hopeful the upgraded spaces will attract many more students, faculty and staff to Ferris.”
ON ANOTHER GREEN FRONT:
In terms of shrinking Trinity’s carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable campus, the College received good news recently when the U.S. Green Building Council notified the school that the new Crescent Street residence halls, which were built by Kirchoff Campus Properties, has been certified as LEED Platinum, which is the highest environmental rating that can be granted.
LEED certification is one of the recognized standards for measuring building sustainability. The LEED green building rating system was instituted to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impact of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being. Trinity has hired Aramark as its Facilities and Operations management provider to help ensure that these buildings do not stray from their achievement.
Among the energy-conserving elements in the Crescent Street townhouses are low-flow faucets, Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent and LED lights, a building automation system, and solar panels. Students moved into the new residence halls last September, with the second cluster of buildings currently receiving students.