Schulz Energy Efficiency
The Schulz building optimization project is the living laboratory concept in action and demonstrates the value of using campus buildings for teaching and research.
In 2015, Dr Lei Chen, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of ECMS, received $20k from the Ecoversity Green Project Fund, to test an innovative approach to building management on the Schulz building, the tallest multi-use building on the North Terrace campus.
Working with Bruce Lawson (Mechanical Services Manager) and staff and students from the School of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Chen developed a software model that integrates with the existing BMS to predict thermal interactions in a building.
Efficiency improvements led to a 11% reduction in energy consumption (including up to 23% energy reduction in the Summer months), displacing 44 tonnes CO2e per year and saving the University more than $20,000 annually in electricity costs.
These reductions are in addition to significant energy savings and improvements to thermal comfort that were realised following the Schulz BMS upgrade in 2014. Following replacement of building plant energy use decreased by around 60% (from a 2011 baseline) which equates to 244 tonnes of C02 and a cost saving in excess of $60k for the period.
The technology will be next applied to a number of other buildings on the North Terrace campus, along with the University’s new $246m Adelaide Health & Medical Sciences building in the West End.
This project won a Highly Commended Award at the 2017 ACTS Green Gown Awards in the Facilities & Services category.