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ERIC Number: EJ1069908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Energy Efficiency of Higher Education Buildings: A Case Study
Soares, Nelson; Pereira, Luísa Dias; Ferreira, João; Conceição, Pedro; da Silva, Patrícia Pereira
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v16 n5 p669-691 2015
Purpose: This paper aims to propose an energy efficiency plan (with technical and behavioural improvement measures) for a Portuguese higher education building--the Teaching Building of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra (FEUC). Design/methodology/approach: The study was developed in the context of both the "Green Campus--Challenge for Energy Efficiency in Higher Education" and the Energy for Sustainability Initiative of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. An energy audit was conducted based on the analysis of the energy consumption profiles. A monitoring campaign was carried out to measure and disaggregate the electricity consumption. The consumption of natural gas and water were also assessed. The building envelope and the heating and lighting systems were also evaluated. Some patterns of energy-environmental behaviours of the academic community were investigated through a Web-based survey. Findings: The energy efficiency plan contemplates short-term tangible/intangible actions. It also considers the investment and payback period of the tangible measures. The implementation of three improvement measures in the lighting system would lead to a consumption reduction of about 26,123 kWh/year, avoiding the emission of 3,704 KgCO2/year, for an initial cost of 9,920 (payback period of 3.7 years). Research limitations/implications: Results are restricted to the case study and there are limitations in their generalisation outside of their context. However, they show some broadly implications and trends that have relevance for the higher education sector. This paper highlights the importance of engaging students, faculty and technical staff for working together on the assessment of the energy efficiency of the buildings where they study and work. Social implications: The higher education sector holds important functions in educating the next generation of professionals for a sustainable culture. The categories of activities described in this paper are good examples of what can be done within the academic community for acting towards sustainability. The results also pointed out that making users aware of their energy consumption is a priority towards the energy efficiency in higher education buildings. Originality/value: Reductions on energy consumption are expected if the energy efficiency plan would be implemented. The results of the behavioural study were presented to the FEUC's board of directors to be integrated in the "Good Practices Manual on Water and Energy Management".
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A