A two-year energy audit of Hamilton schools has identified energy conservation measures that could reduce their energy costs by almost $2.4 million annually. The audit was conducted by engineering faculty and students at McMaster University
The measures, presented today to officials from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, range from recaulking windows, adding insulation and using more efficient lighting to new investments in advanced heat recovery systems and boilers, and solar and wind generating systems.
"We found that the school boards are already involved in implementing many of the more achievable energy conservation measures at their schools," said Samir Chidiac, professor of civil engineering at McMaster and one of the lead organizers of the audit. "But they need support and decision tools to install technologies that will generate the greatest savings over the long term."
The energy audit, which was sponsored by Union Gas, was conducted by seven mechanical and civil engineering students working on co-op terms, supervised by two McMaster research engineers.
"Through the Union Gas EnerSmart program, we help our business customers make smart investments in energy-efficient equipment and technologies," said Mel Ydreos, vice-president of marketing and customer care at Union Gas. "The McMaster students and their advisors have clearly demonstrated investment opportunities for Hamilton schools to significantly reduce energy costs while also reducing their environmental footprint."
The students first classified all the schools into groups with similar characteristics referred to as archetypes. The criteria for establishing archetypes included the school size, operation, building envelope, electrical, heating, cooling and ventilation system properties. The students then visited a subset of the schools representing the various archetypes to conduct f
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