Reducing Energy Usage in Underutilized Academic Spaces with IoT and Automation

A US Mid-Atlantic University Case Study

A case study assessing space usage in one building of a US mid-Atlantic university, using semester schedules for reservable rooms and occupancy sensors for drop-in rooms, and identifying energy savings achievable by aligning the climate control schedule to better match usage.

At this university, the building is climate-controlled to comfort settings Monday-Friday 6a-11p, or 85 hours a week. SRT Labs analyzed the usage of the space and found: 

  • Classrooms, labs, and seminar rooms are unoccupied 63% of the time.
  • Drop-in student study rooms are unoccupied 68% of the time.
  • Faculty offices are unoccupied 90% of the time.
  • When we assume administrative offices have an expected use of M-F 9a-5p, these rooms are unoccupied 47% of the time.
  • Restrooms are unoccupied 59% of the time.

There is a significant opportunity to adjust Building Automation System (BAS) settings to reduce energy usage in maintaining comfort settings during unoccupied hours.

SRT’s software integration allows for micro-level of climate control over the BAS settings that were not previously possible, thereby allowing for more granular energy-saving policies and processes. 

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