AASU Receives $1.5 Million in Stimulus Funding
(September 28, 2009) Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) has received $1,534,100 under the State Facilities Retrofit Program to fund an energy-conservation project in its 126,000 square-foot Science Center. The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority is providing the funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act popularly know as the federal stimulus package. The AASU award is one of 71 energy-conservation measures funded by a grant to the University System of Georgia totaling $27.3 million.
The project will reduce total building energy consumption by reducing airflow during unoccupied hours. Fume hood exhausts will be converted from constant to variable airflow. Occupancy sensors will be installed to reduce airflow by as much as 50% while maintaining room comfort and code required air changes in the labs. Additionally, installing variable airflow valves on fume hoods will reduce sound levels in the labs.
David Faircloth, director of Plant Operations said, "One of the reasons we were successful in the application for this project is that we did two pilot projects in previous years. The results of these projects demonstrated a potential for substantial energy savings and gave us a ?near shovel ready' design for our grant proposal. Now we must complete the design, finding a way to execute the almost year-and-a-half modification while the labs are in full use. But that's a good problem to have."
Energy savings are expected to reach $343,383 per year with the stimulus investment simple paid back of 4.6 years.
Ten new construction workers will be hired for the 17 months it will take to install the new technology. In addition, two engineering positions will be retained during the four-month design phase and 17-month construction phase.