Buildings and Energy

Buildings and Energy

Buildings and Energy

Millersville University’s buildings are striking—ranging from ornate historic structures such as the Biemesderfer Executive Center to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Student Memorial Center, Francine G. McNairy Library and Learning Forum or new suite-style housing.

Throughout we seek to apply good planning and design procedures to create healthy spaces that have a low environmental impact and that we want to be in and around. 

Net Zero Energy Building

LombardoThe Lombardo Welcome Center will be Millersville’s first Net-Zero Energy Building, meaning that it will produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. The 15,000 square foot facility will stand as a clear testament of Millersville’s commitment to sustainability and to the goal of pursuing carbon neutrality by 2040.

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Energy Management Approach

Millersville has a unique history associated with meeting the University’s energy demand. Like many other universities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States, the University originally operated a centralized steam plant that provided heat to campus buildings. The steam plant was in use from the late 1930s to 1970 at which time Millersville transitioned away from meeting heating demand using centralized steam generation toward providing decentralized heating—primarily through electric heat. The steam plant was converted into what is now the University data center (Boyer Building).

Rising electricity costs and lower natural gas costs combined with an interest in converting to less-carbon intensive forms of energy have spurred a recent transition toward natural gas heating. Approximately 15 campus buildings are now supplied by natural gas to meet either space heating or water heating needs or both.

Moving forward Millersville seeks to continue to transition to less carbon-intensive forms of energy as part of a three-tiered energy management strategy:

  1. Conserve Energy First
  2. Use Energy Efficiently
  3. Use Renewable Energy

Energy Conservation

Conservation can be as easy as turning off a light switch. It therefore offers the most cost-effective means of reducing energy consumption. While cost-effective, conservation also relies almost entirely on the energy consumers—the faculty, staff and students that use the classrooms, offices and residence halls. Through campaigns such as ‘Ville Unplugged[CS1] , competition and recognition, Millersville is enhancing a culture that values energy conservation.

Energy Efficiency

Coincident with energy conservation campaigns and other activities that lessen the overall demand for energy, Millersville is implementing a suite of energy efficiency upgrades to campus buildings. Millersville recently completed a two-phase energy project designed to increase the energy efficiency of campus buildings.

Through the project, Millersville:

  • Upgraded lighting in Biemesderfer Executive Center, Duncan Alumni House, Jefferson, Roddy, Caputo, and Gordinier Hall.
  • Expanded and upgraded the existing Energy Management System in Gordinier Hall, Lyle Hall, McComsey Hall, and Pucillo Gym.
  • Replaced and upgraded HVAC equipment in the Dilworth Building and Roddy Hall.
  • Replaced electric boilers with gas-fired boilers in Gordinier, Lyle, and Roddy Halls.
  • Installed chemical pool covers at Brooks and Pucillo Halls.
  • Replaced three chillers at Caputo Hall.

Millersville also recently completed a multi-year, $11.5 million project to upgrade its electrical infrastructure to prepare for broader energy management and energy reduction activities. Millersville also used the project to install utility-grade meters on each building and tied the meters into the building energy management tracking system.

Renewable Energy

As noted above, Millersville has an ambitious project planned for the spring of 2017 to construct a net-zero energy building featuring a rooftop solar array that generates enough electricity to meet the building’s energy demand. The building will serve as Millersville’s first step toward pursuing a goal of meeting 25 percent of the University’s electricity demand through renewables by 2040.