Minutes of the Environmental Advisory Committee
EAC meetings are open to the public. Minutes are published online after being approved by the committee members. Contact the committee chair with any questions.
November 4th, 2009
- Location: Sayles 252
- Time: 4:00 pm
- Present: Mark Kanazawa, Mike Kowalewski, Steve Spehn, Kate Dorwart, Hannah Heavenrich
- Absent: Andy Clark
- Guests: STAs: Arpita, Ben, Michelle, Ben
- Secretary: Katie Blanchard
- Keywords: EAC Minutes
1) Report from the Geothermal/Solar Consultant: Larry Just, Wentz Associates Wentz Associates does all sorts of institutional consulting. Small group of engineers (8 people). Consultant for report of geothermal/solar. The report looked at the Library, the CMC, the Rec Center. The Rec Center is particularly important because of its distance from the steam plant. Geothermal: 24/7/365 building operation is ideal for the geothermal field. Our soil conditions are really ideal, they actually had to use more conservative numbers for the number of wells needed. You still have to use energy, but it's taken from the natural gas side and put to the electrical side, means that the utilities are more even year-round. Nothing sticks up above the wells. The report looks at the reduction in cubic feet of natural gas used. Limitations: We can't just demolish the whole building, so how can the existing structures be used? Need a central structure, not a room-by-room generator. Heating is the problem here in Minnesota----cooling is not really a problem. There is disruption in the ground where each well is drilled. Wells are usually about half the cost of the project.Can do it under parking lots, but if you have to fix something, that makes it difficult. The wells are usually about 200 feet deep. The Rec Center would need about 80 wells. Choice to make: build it to the peak day, or agree that peak days will not be ideal? We could not do full heating of the Rec Center and make it economically viable--it would need a high-efficiency additional boiler for really cold days. Makes more sense to get the Rec Center off the steam plant---there is a lot of energy loss since it's so far away. Katie: Could the Rec Center be made more energy-efficient in the first place? Not part of the analysis. Mark: How does the size of the field influence the payback period? If we increase the size of the field, the payback period increases and vice versa, because the initial investment is so much. But you can increase the size of the field at any time. Part of the reason are paybacks are so favorable is because our soil is so great, we don't need as many wells. The payback is mostly the savings of energy use. There is more maintenance though. Didn't include added benefit of not having to invest in the steam plant. You can use solar energy to heat up the water in the winter---can help reduce the size of the wellfield. There are a lot of unknowns because this is new technology. But the cycling of heating/cooling means the fields last longer. Fields in the south are likely going to start failing within 10 years because they are only on the cooling side. It would probably take a summer to drill the field. We would have 2-3 well diggers. Benefit: could work on parts of it and not disrupt the original systems. A season would be lost. But there are a lot of perimeters of the fields that could be used/try to not disrupt the fields. Activities within the building would not be affected that much. If there is a problem, you can switch back to the other system. There are some alumni who might want to be a part of the design side of things. Katie: What about the materials/construction/etc? Much of it is from abroad. Don't know the exact impact. Most heat pumps are not made in the US. Mike: More danger of pulling more radon into buildings? No, because there is not an open airway. 2) Rashad '12: wants to go to Copenhagen! from Bangladesh, which will likely be submerged by 2030. Has experienced impacts of climate change. Was talking to Oden about representing Carleton and Bangladesh in Copenhagen. Could be registered with an organization so that he could be a student delegate. Recommendation: apply to CSA Budget committee as well. Talked with Christa Owens. Discussion: Katie: essential to fund him! Kate: especially since he is a Bangladeshi citizen. Steve: not a particular problem for our budget, and appropriate for our budget. Mark: it's definitely within our budget and would have great benefits. Motion passed. 3) Sustainability Website Our website is actually quite good compared to those of similar institutions. It would be good to consolidate the EAC, ENTS, and Sustainability websites. 4) Arts Union update There was an update at the most recent CSA meeting---is that building being included in the PCC? LEED Silver is our campus minimum requirement now. Looking at the LEED Gold option for the building. We're pretty close. Steve is going to push for it. This is a very different project now: more renovation. This is a Phase I, the option is open for Phase II. 5) PCC Consultant Update Still working on it. 6) Presidential Search Committee Attend forums! 7) Last Meeting in ONE week. We will figure out the future-Rob dream job description.