Delicate Balance Project Abstract Archive

This database stores some detail about delicate balance projects over the years.

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Student's Name: Katie Emerson
Professor: Heather Keith
Year and Term: F12
Project Title: Off Campus Energy
Project Abstract:

Delicate Balance Archives: Energy Audit of the Wellness Center


My project addressed the lack of attention given to the energy consumption of off campus buildings like the Wellness Center.  I worked with Aaron Witham, the sustainability coordinator, Cathy Renoylds from Efficiency Vermont and Heidie Vazquez-Garcia, the director of the Wellness Center. I analyzed the electricity records from the utility bills and I conducted a walk through audit with Cathy on November 2, 2012. We began by talking with Heidie about the energy habits of the occupants. We then walked through each of the rooms noting the number of lights and if they were incandescent or compact florescent bulbs as well as the computers and other appliances or electronics. We also went into the basement to examine the insulation and the hot water heater. I wrote a report (with much input from Cathy) about how the Wellness Center uses energy (all electric including heat) and opportunities for improvement.

            The Solar Harvest Center and the Two Editors Inn are two other buildings that have not been audited for energy efficiency and represent an additional opportunity to learn more about the auditing process and to save the school energy. My research paper focused on the economic benefits of energy audits and the resulting improvements and barriers that keep people from getting audits.  But more could be done about the environmental benefits of improving efficiency or the elements of behavioral change necessary to reduce energy consumption.

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