Trane presented its annual Energy Efficiency Leader Award on Aug. 29 to the University of Florida. The company says the award recognizes the university’s commitment to providing a healthy and productive learning environment with minimal impact on the environment.

This commitment includes an energy-efficient approach to the renovation of the university’s J. Wayne Reitz Union building, an upgrade project that continues to exceed performance expectations. Actual energy savings have surpassed 53% since infrastructure upgrades were implemented. The upgrades are saving more than $550,000 a year, which represents more than 150% of anticipated savings.

"The University of Florida has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and we wanted to ensure that our work on the union upgrades reflected this environmental stewardship pledge,” said Eddie Daniels, assistant vice president of business services, who helped lead the project for the union. “We are here to provide educational opportunities for students, and this project demonstrates our commitment to doing that in an energy efficient and sustainable way.”

Each year, Ingersoll Rand and its brands recognize organizations which demonstrate an outstanding commitment to implementing best practices in energy efficiency and sustainability. Trane has selected the University of Florida as one of just three organizations to receive the award in 2017.

At the award ceremony Felix Wilson, vice president of commercial HVAC NA & EMEA at Trane, presented the award to university leaders, including Eddie Daniels and Curtis Reynolds, vice president for business affairs.

“The University of Florida exemplifies the leadership in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship that we seek to recognize with the Energy Efficiency Leader Award — both based on their results, as well as their overall commitment in implementing their vision of sustainability,” said Dave Regnery, president of commercial HVAC North America and EMEA at Trane. “This institution is truly demonstrating the ‘gold standard’ in leading sustainability for campus communities.”

The University of Florida funded the infrastructure improvements with a performance contract which enabled the school to pay for the upgrades through future energy savings rather than additional capital expenditures.

Prior to implementing the upgrades, university leaders completed an audit of the building to identify opportunities for improvements. Based on the results, University of Florida leaders maximized energy conservation measures for the facility. Improvements included an upgraded chilled water system designed to lower environmental impact. The project team also added a BAS to control HVAC and lighting systems throughout the building and to use for scheduling occupied/unoccupied control for night setback of cooling and heating set points.

The union upgrade project also received the 2016 EBie® Power to the People Award for the greatest percentage reduction in building energy use from the Urban Green Council in New York.