UCONN recently seized the national spotlight as its men’s and women’s basketball teams made history by winning the national championship in the same year. The Storrs university’s ongoing commitment to expanding its existing BAS has also been winning over its facility management staff while providing significant savings.
The University of Connecticut (UCONN) recently seized the national spotlight as its men's and women's basketball teams made history in winning national championships in the same year. Founded in 1881, the campus in Storrs has seen freshman enrollment increase by 59% since 1995, and applications have increased 100% to nearly 20,000 while freshman enrollment has been capped for the last three years. With the high profile hoops programs gaining even more attention for the university, its growth is ensured.

To meet this growing demand on campus infrastructure, Connecticut's state legislature enacted the UCONN 2000 Program in 1995. The $962 million, 10-year program was established to fund new construction, renovations, and additions to existing facilities on the Storrs campus and its satellites. Specifically, this funding will help the university expand its existing Andover Controls BAS to new buildings and upgrade those already in place. Supplemental energy savings funds are also provided through financial incentives from the local utility, Connecticut Light & Power.

Giving Credit to the System

The Storrs campus had chosen Andover Controls in the mid-1990s after an extensive search for a new BAS to replace multiple older systems, which, at the time, were proving more and more difficult to service and to provide proper training.

Andover was selected over five competing systems for several reasons, according to Al Lewandowski, UCONN's energy manager. "The Andover system was compatible with the existing Ethernet network on campus, provided a multitasking environment, a powerful graphical user interface, and a single programming language, Plain English®." Phase I involved the change-out of the existing controls in 11 buildings, including the library, two engineering buildings, biology/behavioral sciences, the math and science building, and the student union.

UCONN chose Andover to provide centralized HVAC control for 53 of its academic and utility buildings, residential halls, and sports facilities on the Storrs campus, as well as for several satellite locations in Connecticut. The Storrs campus will have approximately 280 facilities on-line by the end of the year using Andover Controls.

The heart of UCONN's HVAC, its two campus utility plants with the chillers, boilers, VFDs, ozone generators, meters, pumps, and condensers that make it all happen, reside on the campus Ethernet backbone and are controlled by the Andover system.

The chiller system on campus runs on both gas and electric. Depending on the cost of energy at the time, plant operators switch back and forth between the two. This changeover is done using the Andover graphical interface in the central operations office. Because both the gas and electric utilities provide rebates for energy savings, the operations staff is very adept at load shedding. According to Les Trout, a UCONN energy management technician, "When notified by the utility, we can shed 2.5 mW of energy with a single click of button within an Andover workstation graphic - right here in the central facilities office."

Home of the Huskies

The spacious Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, a state-of-the-art domed facility, serves all the needs of the UCONN Huskies™ championship basketball teams. The 227,480-sq-ft- facility seats 10,027 fans, making it the largest capacity on-campus basketball arena in the Northeast. "No doubt, air quality is very important when hosting a crowd of this size," noted George McFee, the project manager for Andover Representative, Select Energy Contracting, Inc. located in Bristol, CT.

"A Continuum™ system, Andover's newest product family, works behind the scenes to keep the fans comfortable and safe." Along with standard HVAC control, CO2 sensors throughout the arena monitor potential build-up and Continuum reacts before there's even a hint of a problem.

Gampel's "practice" and "events" schedules are entered into the Continuum CyberStation™ front-end workstation in the central operations office, ensuring the proper room conditions at all times. For example, one hour before game time, the facilities staff clicks on the events button on the Continuum CyberStation screen. The space temperature in Gampel automatically drops 2.5°F and the supply air fans turn on in anticipation of the large mass of people that are about to enter the pavilion.ES