A New Experience in Residence Life
University of Florida’s residence life conducted a master plan in 2018, a component of the plan was to address energy and wellness. CMTA hosted Wellness, Energy and Sustainability Charettes, workshops and surveys with stakeholders including students, staff, and faculty. The existing performance and policies were reviewed and goals for the construction of the 1,400 new beds on campus were established.
The metrics considered were baseline energy consumption, water consumption, metric tons of CO2 per year, photovoltaic array sizing and costs, acres of forest needed in one year to clean the air. Translating the energy usage to the environmental impacts and future costs for zero energy and carbon neutrality.
Since behavior drives consumption in many areas, plug loads are a target for energy reduction. A student activity was designed to determine if they were willing to limit plug loads to the buildings. This included reducing the number of appliances purchased and disposed of annually, the cost of electrical infrastructure in the rooms and the energy consumed. The results of the activity indicated that the majority if the residents would adhere to limitations to items brought into the rooms if an adequate number of shared resources are provided and kept clean.
CMTA conducted and completed a thorough system selection and life-cycle cost analysis process. CMTA’s goal through this process was to help determine the best path to reach sustainable and wellness goals at the lowest first cost project. The decisions to deviate from the norm on this project will save the university about $26.4 million over 25-year life of the building. This included increased filtration and increased ventilation rates over code minimum, which is in alignment with studies that show lower CO2 levels provide improved sleep patterns and cognitive function. The master plan was followed by delivering a set of design development plan with a criteria package to design build contractors for bidding with clear goals for sustainability and wellness. The building will be completed in 2023 and energy will be tracked as one metric to validate the sustainability goals.