This article was originally published by The Mennonite

EMU places in the top ten of Campus Conservation Nationals competition

Roselawn, a recently renovated building, recorded the largest drop in energy consumption during a three-week period among the 10 buildings on the Eastern Mennonite University campus monitored for the Campus Conservation Nationals competition. Photo by Lindsey Kolb.

In its rookie debut, Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Va., was a top finisher in the Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), landing within the top ten schools among 125 campus participants in North America that achieved the most reduction in electricity consumption over a three-week period.

As a Top Ten finisher, EMU was awarded the grand prize of a one-year license to equip two buildings on campus with competition sponsor Lucid’s energy monitoring hardware and software.

The accomplishment was particularly notable.

“As a first-time participant, EMU placed solidly in the top 10 reducers, consuming 21% less electricity in just three weeks,” said Lucid CEO Vladi Shunturov. “The commitment from EMU’s students and staff is truly inspiring.”

The win is “an affirmation of the Eastern Mennonite University’s long-running commitment to reducing our school’s energy use,” said campus sustainability coordinator Jonathan Lantz-Trissel.

From March 8-28, ten campus buildings were monitored for energy usage. Roselawn came out on top with a 40.2 percent reduction, followed by Maplewood (39.7 percent) and Elmwood (37.3), Hartzler Library (28) and Cedarwood (23.2).

The results make sense to Lantz-Trissel: recently renovated buildings such as Roselawn, and the LEED-certified dormitories “are carefully designed to heat and cool efficiently in small zones, where older buildings have fewer thermostats and less flexibility and response to users or outside temperature changes.”

However, campus culture plays a large role in this success. “We also have a strong community ethic to conserve and care for creation, which means in a competition the community responds to the challenge to reduce energy or recycle and EMU usually outperforms our peer schools.”

Greg Sachs, whose job is to implement energy management, efficiency and sustainability measures as EMU’s building automation coordinator, had some idea of how competitive faculty, staff and residents were getting when he heard some voicing disappointment during March that “their building wasn’t doing better.”

That bodes well for next year, Sachs said, when he plans to implement a social media campaign to raise awareness and get more people involved.

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