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The Rockefeller University
The Rockefeller University

In 2007, The Rockefeller University accepted the NYC Carbon Challenge. In less than five years, the university had cut emissions by 30.6% from 2005 levels.

To meet the 30% goal, The Rockefeller University:

  • Formed a Green Task Force of faculty, staff, and administrators to discuss environmental projects and initiatives
  • Installed variable air volume (VAV) controls to vary air delivery to laboratories for occupancy sensors and cooling requirements
  • Installed more energy efficient lighting, reducing up to 50% of lighting loads in some buildings
  • Rebalanced air flows throughout the campus
  • Converted No. 6 heating oil to natural gas
  • Adjusted temperature settings to be warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter
  • Reduced heating during nights and weekends
  • Launched a "Shut the Sash" campaign to lower fume hoods when not in use, which reduced air conditioning needs in laboratories
  • Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards for new construction
  • Engaged students in sustainability efforts through recycling programs

Total Savings: At least $1 million per year


Highlight: Energy Efficient Labs
Laboratory air systems are required to use 100% outside air and are typically designed for the worst case load scenarios. This level of air turnover is extremely expensive, but is only required about 1% of the year. To increase the efficiency of air flows in its labs, Rockefeller University installed variable air volume (VAV) controls to vary the quantity of air delivered based on occupation levels and cooling requirements and installed sash monitoring controls on fume hoods to reduce hood exhaust flows. With these measures, Rockefeller Univer­sity reduced the volume of air on average by about 15%.

“After joining the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge, The Rockefeller University made energy a major priority, making significant upgrades to its buildings and infrastructure. As a result, in less than five years The Rockefeller University met the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge goal. The Rockefeller University now operates more efficiently and sustainably—which is good for the research community, the University, and the planet!”
Alex Kogan, Associate Vice President of Plant Operations & Housing

Learn more about Rockefeller University’s sustainability initiatives here.

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