Holistic approach to energy management: Web exclusive

In 2011, Lakeland Community College developed a plan to help reduce energy use on campus. The building of the Holden University Center has helped the college be recognized as a leader for energy conservation among higher learning facilities.


Outside view of the Holden University Center of Lakeland Community College. Courtesy: Acuity Brands/Lithonia LightingPrior to building the new Holden University Center in 2011, Lakeland Community College developed a master energy plan to help reduce energy use on campus. The plan was implemented in 2008 and in the subsequent 18 months, the college reduced its energy use by almost 40%. 

“When we had the opportunity to build a new facility,” said Mike Mayher, the college’s senior vice president and treasurer, “it was a no-brainier on the energy minimums that we expected. One of these minimums was simple—everything on the interior had to be LED lighting. In the new facility, the lighting is incredible. It is 100% better than fluorescents, and we are achieving phenomenal energy saving as well as maintenance savings.”

However, lighting was not the only important factor to achieving energy savings. The cornerstone of the college’s energy plan is a very robust building management system. Both the main campus and the new Holden University Center are networked into this system, and the same system controls both the HVAC and lighting. “We are very proud to have a holistic approach to building management and energy conservation,” said Mayher. “A very big component of this is lighting. It is necessary to have great lighting—like we do—tied into a vibrant building management system to achieve our energy goals.” 

Lakeland Community College is currently recognized as best in class for energy conservation among higher education facilities in North America. It won a 2010 Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. 

The college was also acknowledged in 2010 by the Central Association of College & University Business Officers (CACUBO) for best practices associated with its energy conservation programs. 

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