NAU Energy Efficiency


Energy efficiency refers to the methods utilized to reduce energy use while providing the same level of service. There is a sweeping worldwide movement to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through improving current building systems or by adding new systems to the already existing one. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) developed a “green-building” rating system known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. The USGBC’s mission statement on their website is “to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.”[4] LEED is a certification accredited to buildings that meet certain criteria or level of energy efficiency; however, having a building being LEED certified does not necessarily mean that the building in energy efficient.
Some of the items that are taken into consideration when measuring the building’s energy efficiency is analyzing its current energy usage, water efficiency, material of building, air quality, thermal energy losses and insulation, and lighting (amount of natural light versus indoor bulbs and weather the bulbs use high or low voltage). This project will require the team to apply thermal fluid principals (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer) as well as engineering economics. Increasing any system’s energy efficiency is often costly at first and an analysis needs to be done to determine the system payback period compared to its cost. The team will conduct energy savings and cost analysis with the help of mentors so that a certain budget is not exceeded when determining measures to improve the system.

Project Description

Following is the original project description provided by the sponsor: “NAU is committed to lowering its impact on the local and global environment. One of the most impactful ways NAU can reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions is through the reduction of energy use either through student/employee behaviors (energy conservation) or through the implementation of energy saving designs (energy efficiency). The goal of this project is to identify locations on campus, or campus wide efforts that could benefit from energy efficiency savings and to design or redesign a system to realize these energy savings. In short, you are tasked to develop energy efficiency designs for the Flagstaff Mountain campus.

Original System

Since there is no re-engineering or major improvements that will be done for this project, the project is deemed to not have an original system.requirements are met. In order to satisfy those CRs the team will try hard to contain it in the final design system to facilitate effective functioning and also to assure that the customer necessities are met.