Energy Utilization and Energy Efficiency Projects to Help IC Achieve Sustainability Goals

Posted by Michelle Jones at 10:57AM
Peggy Ryan Williams Center: LEED Platinum

Leardership in Energy and Environmental Design

The Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise opened in spring 2008 and was one of the first 100 buildings in the world to receive platinum LEED certification. Platinum is the highest rating a building can achieve under LEED standards. Not long after the Business School received its LEED platinum certification the Peggy Ryan William Center was built, and received its platinum certification in late 2010.

These buildings have come equipped with new technologies that students, staff, and maintenance crews have had to adapt to and learn to use. Along with LEED certification, there needs to be education about how occupants can work with the building. In the Peggy Ryan Williams Center, facilities staff has had to learn about the ground source heating system that they had no previous experience with, as well as the outside air ventilation system that is also new technology.

Along with the building itself being sustainable, the facilities department has been working toward implementing operational best practices to make sure that everything about the building is sustainable. Lisa Belokur, Director of Facilities Services, has implemented microfiber cloths for cleaning instead of disposable wipes and water cleaning technology using the Ionator.

With these new technologies there have been some challenges to overcome, but with the help of the occupants and facilities staff, we will hopefully have these buildings running as efficient as possible.

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

Posted by Michelle Jones at 9:27AM
WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation

Employees who work at a computer for several hours each day are at risk for a variety of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) related to monitor, keyboard, and mouse usage. Many people underestimate the time they spend sitting every day. The average person in the United States sits for 7.7 hours a day.

Studies have found that the mechanisms of sitting are completely different from those for walking or exercising. Sitting for long periods causes a completely different set of problems than lack of exercise would. So exercising to make up for sitting all day will not help the problems you attain from that sedentary behavior.

Ergotron has come out with the WorkFit-S, which is a docking system that attaches to your office desk and holds the monitors, keyboard, and mouse. This can be lifted up or down depending on if you would like to be sitting or standing while you work. Workers are able to alternate sitting and standing throughout the day, which helps reduce back and neck pain, improves energy, productivity, and is quick and easy.

Here at Ithaca College, Brian Scholten, who works in the office of registrar in the Peggy Ryan Williams Center, has purchased a WorkFit-S. These are the questions that I asked him about his new workstation and the answers he provided:

Have you felt any mental or physical differences since the new workstation has been installed?
Yes. The new work station has allowed me to stand most of the day and the result has been that I've strengthened my back muscles and have more energy. It's the norm for me to stand at work now; I don't sit much unless I have to attend a meeting.

How much did the equipment cost?
The work station I'm currently using is one I'm borrowing but I recently purchased my own work station. The cost is about $400.00.

How easy it is to use?
It is very easy to use. All I have to do is adjust it up or down with my hand depending on whether I'm going to sit or stand. That's all there is to it.

Would you recommend this product to others?
Yes. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I believe these work stations that allow people to stand at work will be the wave of the future. There is quite a bit of information out there now that indicates sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy but standing is not only healthy it helps you burn calories.

Patricia Santelli '12
Environmental Science
Energy Management Intern

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