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Binghamton University

Case Study

Binghamton University

Binghamton University is home to over 16,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a member of the State University of New York system, Binghamton University is also subject to New York State Executive Order 88, which requires all state facilities to reduce 20% of their energy consumption per square foot by the year 2020. The university has taken their commitment to sustainability even further through former Binghamton President Lois DeFleur’s signing of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2009. In the university’s Climate Action Plan, Binghamton has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050.

HVAC typically accounts for 50-70% of total operational cost in lab buildings. Recognizing this, the facility planning department determined that one of the most impactful ways to reduce campus energy use was to implement demand based control of air flows in their labs. Binghamton University’s Engineering and Science building was selected for the first implementation of this solution, also known as “laboratory demand control ventilation”.  The $66 million, 125,000-square-foot building was added to the Innovative Technologies Complex in 2012 and built with high efficiency fume hoods to save energy. Binghamton knew that the labs could be even more efficient by basing the amount of dilution air provided on the current needs of the space.  The laboratory demand control ventilation systemwas installed in 32 lab rooms in the building with an overall target of 4 ACH, depending on thermal or fume hood air requirements. Based on the group of rooms that are not currently fume hood driven, the university has achieved a 42% reduction in CFM in approximately one half of the rooms; the remaining rooms are undergoing further analysis.

image of graph from the Binghamton University Case Study

Figure 1. CFMs were reset in mid March 2014. Room ESB014 base: 624 CFM, 10 ACH; post OptiNet targets achieved: 238 CFM, 4 ACH.

Based on Binghamton’s success in the Engineering & Science Building, they have expanded the implementation to laboratory demand control ventilation to their newest buildings in the Integrated Technologies Complex, Center of Excellence and Energy R &D.

Capital Facilities