The University of North Texas at Fort Worth (HSC) Health Sciences Center has signed a major contract with Schneider Electric, the Massachusetts-based leader in digital energy and automation solutions for the efficiency and sustainability, in order to support current and future research programs.
The 20-year, $ 10 million energy savings performance contract is primarily focused on a new cooling demand modernization project in the university’s health research laboratories. According to Schneider Electric, it will provide HSC with $ 424,912 in annual avoided costs over the next two decades.
HSC has a limited physical footprint, but has continuously developed its research programs as one of the nation’s leading graduate medical centers. Limited real estate posed a challenge when the time came for major infrastructure changes, like upgrading to a massive mechanical system.
A new system, necessary for the future growth of research, would occupy space where new laboratories, classrooms or clinical space could be replaced. This is where Schneider Electric comes in.
The company aims to redesign the system, allowing it to be moved from a large cooling tower in the campus’s shared green space to an inconspicuous location on the roof of an existing building. The redeveloped space could house additional labs and, according to management, should improve the overall aesthetics of the campus.
“Research is an important part of the HSC community, generating funding and recruitment for the university, while making it a great place to host continuing education for medical students,” said Randall Christopher, head of the HSC Energy, in a statement. “The upgrades will provide reliable energy infrastructure to help continue this legacy with reduced risks from disruption. “
Solving the space challenge will also help HSC attract more researchers and students. The graduate school is home to six schools specializing in patient-centered education, research and healthcare. This requires a reliable energy supply and constant temperature control.
“The reality of our research facilities previously meant a large, noisy cooling tower in the middle of our campus green space,” Christopher said. “Our partnership with the Schneider Electric team improved our infrastructure and the aesthetics of our campus by relocating the cooling tower. “
A long partnership
This is the third phase of the project between Schneider Electric and HSC focused on the future growth of research. Overall, both are aimed at avoiding significant costs and increasing operational savings for the university.
The first phase of work began in 2001 and focused on energy conservation and management. That alone reduced HSC’s carbon emissions by 25,425 tonnes, according to Schneider Electric.
In 2010, the second phase began to further expand the energy infrastructure through a variety of upgrades and project installations. The first two phases saved HSC $ 14.2 million in total energy and operational costs, according to a press release.
The last chord is the third phase.
Schneider Electric’s future plans at HSC include designing a campus-wide building operations platform to migrate and expand its already installed automation systems.
“Because the University of North Texas at Fort Worth Health Sciences Center is an institution that supports important research projects, it was important that Schneider Electric make these upgrades without disrupting ongoing research on the campus, ”said Greg Knudson, program director at Schneider Electric. in a report. “During our multi-year partnership, we understood the needs and ambitions of the university, so we are well positioned to help them creatively modernize their facilities and reallocate the space within their existing footprint to position them. at best for their future success. “
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