Historic Campus Teaches Lesson In Energy
Founded in 1867 to educate freed slaves, St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC, serves a multinational, multiracial student body. Situated on 110 acres, the tree-lined campus includes 38 buildings with 450,000 sq ft and hosts 1,400 students and 95 faculty members. The college ranks among the top twelve of the nation's Historic Black Colleges and Universities.
The core mission of St. Augustine's College dates back to the intent of its founding fathers: 'To establish a venue for learning for the freed people; to create agents of change ensuring students will pass through here with education for life; to provide an understanding of global inferences and implications; to acquire knowledge that will prepare students to pass on the same kind of learning to others, and, more importantly; to become agents of change themselves.'
Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, the first woman president of St. Augustine's College, adds: "Our vision today is to keep the core mission of our founding fathers in place, and to transition that mission to the 21st century by embracing the advantages of technology and maximizing all other resources available. We strive to graduate young men and women of high moral character and integrity who demonstrate a sense of well-being and community."
The challenges facing St. Augustine's were great: improve and enhance the campus environment, expand technology and heighten security, with limited capital available; reduce equipment downtime and comfort complaints throughout the campus; and upgrade campus facilities, equipment, and landscaping maintenance using existing budget.
Campus-Wide Retrofit NeededIn 1996, Johnson Controls, Inc. (Milwaukee) initiated a three-month audit of the campus. The audit revealed the need for campus-wide lighting retrofits, fire alarm systems, new boilers in 80% of the buildings, new air conditioning systems in several buildings, installation of fiber-optic cable and major repairs in the majority of the buildings.
Faced with great needs and limited capital, St. Augustine's College partnered with Johnson Controls to provide a self-financed solution Ð a $5.2 million performance contract that pays for improvements over a 10-year period through long-term energy savings.
The performance contract covers deferred and normal maintenance in addition to installation of new equipment, such as a lighting retrofit. Additionally, a Metasys building automation system (bas) monitors and controls the lighting, temperature, and Intelligent Fire Control System.
"We are able to sleep better at night knowing our fire and hvac systems are in place and working in our residence halls. Thus far, we have met budget goals for deferred maintenance which we had not been able to meet for some time prior," remarked Eugene Nicholas, Jr., vice president for business and finance at St. Augustine's College.
Great Savings in the First Year"The first year the performance contract has reduced energy and operations consumption by 18% and supplied savings of $17,000, even though we experienced a utility rate increase and buildings were added on-line," comments Mr. Nicholas. Based upon the maintenance requirements of facility and equipment needs, the customized five-year, $404,000 service agreement includes preventive, predictive, proactive, and reactive services.
"This is a small city we are running here. We need to have a handle on energy usage and be able to qualify requests for things like adjustments in air conditioning. It can be very difficult for our staff to efficiently manage energy usage and respond to the needs of the student population," says Mr. Nicholas. The reporting features allow the maintenance staff to monitor energy consumption and determine where usage patterns can be modified for efficiency, and for the comfort of the students.
In addition, "the fixed five-year budget has allowed us to begin budgeting for deferred maintenance, which we have not been able to do for some time. Johnson Controls has done a good job, the transition was smooth and we've raised our credibility with students and parents," states Dr. Suber.
Outsourcing Maintenance DutiesIn 2000, St. Augustine's signed a $1.6 million operations and maintenance agreement with Johnson Controls to oversee landscaping, housekeeping, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, event set-up and tear-down, painting, hvac service, chemical treatment, filter replacements, waste removal, elevator service, pest control, and grease trap service.
The facility management department supported the outsourcing program with Johnson Controls. The previous supplier had provided the college with equipment, but did not have the proper maintenance or measurement standards in place. "Our goal is to maintain campus facilities, equipment, and landscaping better than before, at the same or at a reduced price, so that administration can focus on recruitment and retention of faculty and students," said Stephen Sylvester, Johnson Controls physical plant manager for St. Augustine's College. By transferring eight of the existing maintenance employees to the Johnson Controls staff, St. Augustine's College enjoys keeping most of the same department contacts.
The maintenance staff receives Johnson Controls training on the Metasys system and on maintenance procedures, which has improved performance and increased productivity.