Transforming education infrastructure. A progress report.
A message from Ruth Gratzke, President of Siemens Smart Infrastructure U.S.
With a new school year fast approaching, Ruth Gratzke, President of Siemens Smart Infrastructure U.S. provides an update on opportunities for leveraging federal funding to improve the nation’s education infrastructure. Highlighted are new funding vehicles made available in the recent Bipartisan Infrastrcuture Law (BIL).
For additional information on funding opportunities:
A Smart Campus is one that is digitally connected to the next generation, for the next generation. And every day, the Internet of Things (IoT), digitalization, automation, and vast amounts of available data bring us closer to creating an ideal learning environment – a truly Smart Campus – one that is digitally connected to the next generation, for the next generation.
More than ever, leaders in higher education recognize the value in making campus improvements that will benefit today while allowing buildings to adapt to tomorrow’s emerging technologies.
IoT, digitalization, and digital learning continue to reshape how, when, and where students learn, live, and explore. And today, campuses can leverage data and digitalization to improve every aspect of the educational experience.
By taking the right steps today, we can transform our educational infrastructure so that it’s smarter, safer, more sustainable, and more resilient – all of which can also translate into enhanced efficiency, improved comfort, and lower cost of operations.
Like our students, every building and institution has its own needs – so there’s no one right answer for every campus. But by working together, we can create a Smart Campus that positively contributes to your strategic objectives, core priorities, and vision for the future.
It has never been more important to find new and compelling ways to engage, attract, and retain more students to your campus. Similarly, there needs to be a strong draw for talented and experienced faculty, researchers, and staff.
Did you know?
Parents and incoming students now rank campus cleanliness and IAQ third in importance when deciding which university to attend. Only quality of academics and affordability ranked higher.~FacilitiesNet.com
Our long history with Siemens was a significant factor in this project’s success. Their understanding of our systems and how this project would work on our campus really added to the trust factor.Doug Crossman, Director of Facilities Management
Located on the eastern edge of the greater Toronto region, Durham College is extending its long history of environmental responsibility by building a new geothermal system. The installation uses clean, sustainable geothermal energy to heat and cool the 265,000-square-foot Gordon Willey Building, Durham’s largest facility and a hub of student activity on campus.
Siemens led the team that constructed the geothermal ground source heat pump system across a 6,086-square-meter field. Using this new system, the college is projected to reduce the Willey Building’s GHG emissions by 64 percent. The installation also acts as a living laboratory designed to engage students in understanding the geothermal field and other sustainability related topics and technologies.
It’s nice to be able to do something that makes sense financially, yet at the same time provides comfort to our students, faculty, and staff.John Mercer, VP of Administration and Finance
Gulf Coast State College
By proactively tackling rising energy costs and greatly reducing their carbon footprint, Gulf Coast State College has transformed its campus, and is now at the forefront of sustainability in the state of Florida.
Located in Panama City, Gulf Coast State College was the first public two-year institution to open after the 1957 Florida Legislature established a statewide network of community colleges. The college is committed to delivering life changing learning opportunities and developing the next generation of talent while being equally dedicated to the cultural and economic development of the region.
Ultimately, our role is to promote the academic mission of this university and this has given us the opportunity to better do that.Danny Gallant, SFA’s Vice President for Finance and Administration
Stephen F. Austin State University
Stephen F. Austin initiated its “Building Efficiency and SFA Campus Retrofit Program” in order to meet its goals to reduce annual utility consumption and associated operational costs by 20 percent, increase energy operating efficiency, modernize aged equipment and processes, and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Following a competitive process to find the right ESCO partner, Siemens was selected due to its “strong experience in performance contracting, a detailed project management plan, financing flexibility, credentials of personnel assigned to the project, and history with SFA.” (Lee Brittain, SFA’s physical plant director)
Between October 2010 and March 2016, three phases of campus-wide energy savings performance contract work has been accomplished to date, with the total investment of $28.5M across 4 million gross square feet (120 plus facilities) and annual guaranteed energy savings over $3.3 million/year. Siemens and SFA have continued to improve facilities and drive energy costs out of the campus and together have achieved over $15M in utility savings.
The net result is that Texas A&M will have buildings that are better able to meet the requirements of the occupants.Les Williams, Associate Director, Utilities and Energy Management
Texas A&M University
Learn how Texas A&M has partnered with Siemens over six phases of energy performance contracting to engage the campus community and raise awareness for its grassroots energy stewardship and other award-winning initiatives.
In addition to a 20 year building automation, fire and security relationship at College Station and 7 satellite campuses, Siemens has partnered with Texas A&M on over six phases of energy performance contracting with guaranteed annual savings exceeding $2 million. This collaboration is highly transparent and transformative in all facets, including campus community engagement to raise awareness for the university’s grassroots energy stewardship and award-winning initiatives. For example, Siemens Phase 3 ESCO project reduced energy usage in one section of campus by 35.5%, leading to Texas A&M being declared “National Champion” in EPA’s Better Buildings Competition in 2016, taking 1st place amongst 125 contenders.
We want to train students so they are prepared for the future. At the same time we are going to do that research.Zhihua Qu, Chair of UCF’s Electrical Engineering Department
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida (UCF) received a $750,000 investment to open a high tech classroom at the university to teach students how to run a digital grid. Engineering giant Siemens has partnered with UCF to train students and conduct research in operating computerized grids.
Students will have simulated control of UCF grid factors that include weather, output of a small power plant, the cost of electricity from Duke Energy and a campus that serves the nation’s second-largest student body.
The partnership has saved the university $12.9 million in energy costs in just over four years and has paid even larger economic dividends for the regionPresident James Ramsay
University of Louisville
Siemens performed three phases of energy savings performance contracting for the University of Louisville between 2009 and 2016 that included extensive building energy efficiency improvements; central utilities conversion from coal to natural gas, and athletic facilities lighting upgrades. Total guaranteed savings to the University is $71 million over 14.8 Years. To date, actual savings has exceeded guarantee by 14%.
An independent economic impact study on Siemens energy savings performance contracts at the University reported “through the end of 2013, technology and energy optimization improvements had generated $5.2 million in savings beyond the amount owed in annual debt service payments and supported over 600 jobs in the Louisville metropolitan area.” Total documented benefits to local business and community exceeded $60 million.
We are trying to realize the vision we have written about, which describes an evolution from an incidental campus— meaning this compilation of buildings that happened to be geographically near each other—to a very intentional, deliberate institution, where everything we do is predicated on clearly defined strategy comprising the components and facilities representative of a top-tier academic medical center. It’s an enviable position for us to be in to have the partnership of an enterprise such as Siemens to help us realize our vision.Dr. Kennard Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor and COO
University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is the primary healthcare teaching campus for students to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in the schools of dentistry, nursing, and medicine such as physician assistants, pharmacy, and other health professionals such as biomedical, physical therapy, and speech and hearing therapy. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, the University has partnered with Siemens and made substantial investments in safety and security technologies, as well as improving infrastructure through HVAC improvements, energy efficiency and more throughout the campus.
We want to recruit new students, and so we need a more comfortable, beautiful environment for people to want to be in, to want to learn. It’s a competitive world out there in higher education, and we have to be able to compete, not just for the sake of our mission, but for our ministry and the students’ education.Rob Hartman, Chief Financial Officer
A faith-based, private institution of higher education, Columbia International University (CIU), sits at the highest peak in Columbia, SC overlooking the Broad River. CIU partnered with Siemens to develop a roadmap to overcome their dated infrastructure and HVAC challenges, a limited budget, and deferred maintenance issues. They wanted to deliver a student experience that aligns with their mission as an institution.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has facilitated the study of the complex environmental issues facing the planet, with a focus on sustainable development.
Since its founding in 1949, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory—a research unit of Columbia University located 15 miles north of the campus on a forested 157 acres overlooking the Hudson River—has facilitated the study of the complex environmental issues facing the planet, with a focus on sustainable development. Now, appropriately, its use of solar power is crucial to a university-wide goal of reducing carbon emissions by 35 percent in the next three years.
The performance contract allowed us to move forward and address a lot of deferred maintenance items…things that aren’t glamorous but are certainly necessary for a 100-year-old institution to repair.David Kumm, Executive Vice President
Concordia University, Nebraska’s main campus is located in Seward, about 25 miles west of Lincoln. The university is a private institution founded in 1894 by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. The 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,300 undergraduate students from more than 40 states and several countries.
We chose Siemens for both its technical expertise and its financial acumen. It was the perfect combination.Anthony Catanese, Ph.D., President, Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
The Siemens performance contracting vehicle was an ideal option for Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) to address needed campus efficiency improvements. According to FIT’s Director of Facilities Operations, “We were able to proceed with Siemens on the project because of the ability we had to finance the project totally through savings in utility costs.”
The Siemens energy audit of the Melbourne campus studied FIT’s infrastructure needs in light of future growth. Siemens and campus officials identified $9.2 million in improvements to be made. These would produce over $15 million in energy savings over the course of the 20-year contract. Siemens Financial Services provided the funding to cover the initial construction costs. “Siemens put their money where their mouth is; they said they see this as a great project and they were willing to finance it,” President Catanese said.
With the help of Siemens, FIT was able make needed infrastructure improvements without impacting its capital budget, creating a more efficient and sustainable campus, befitting a premier national research university.
The new systems make our organization a lot more efficient in delivering the services we are trying to provide for students and faculty.Robert Kroh, Asst. VP, Facilities Management and Capital Development
La Salle University
The partnership between Siemens and LaSalle University is not only reducing energy costs as modernized classrooms and sustainability programming have made LaSalle a more perfect place to learn.
La Salle University is a private, Roman Catholic institution that faced significant challenges to providing an ideal learning environment. Aging infrastructure and a severe deferred maintenance backlog required constant attention from the facilities staff and resulted in higher utility costs. With the help of a Performance-Based Solution from Siemens, La Salle was able to address major infrastructure challenges and make campus-wide improvements that have energized students, faculty, and staff.
We want students to maximize their learning, and to do that in a comfortable, safe, and quiet atmosphere is important. We had some major challenges, both with classroom spaces our students occupy and the offices our employees utilize on a daily basis.Cam Cruickshank, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Madonna University, near Detroit, Michigan, partnered with Siemens to implement sustainability programs that will maximize student learning in a comfortable, safe, and quiet atmosphere.
Madonna, like many campuses, had aging infrastructure that resulted in the maintenance staff focusing on reactive maintenance and left the administration struggling with which needs to address first. Siemens worked with Madonna to first understand the infrastructure needs of the campus and then to help the administration identify those priorities that would have the most profound impact on the student experience.
University of San Diego
USD transformed its campus into a leading example of how implementing sustainability and water saving initiatives can create real financial value for the university.
Partnering with Siemens, the University of San Diego (USD) turned its campus facilities into a leading example of its “Be Blue, Go Green” sustainability initiative. Through a performance contract, and leveraging incentives and rebates from its local utility, USD was able to complete energy efficiency and operational improvements in over 40 campus buildings. Facility improvement measures have generated $1.5 million in utility savings for USD in just one year and have reduced the campus’ water usage and carbon footprint.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated its facilities, Xavier University worked together with Siemens to transform the campus and create the perfect place for students to grow and succeed.
When Xavier University reopened just four months after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the staff was focused on reconstruction and put planned facility improvements on hold. Several years later, Xavier turned to long-time partner Siemens to develop a performance contract aimed at reducing energy costs from aging infrastructure and lingering hurricane issues. Together, Siemens and Xavier implemented $4.3 million in upgrades to save more than $5.53 million in energy costs.
We wanted a strategic partner to help us educate, operate, collaborate, and innovate for a clean energy future.John Tattersall, Director of Physical Resources
Following a phased campus transformation program, Algonquin College is perfectly designed for its purpose and well on its ambitious journey to become a sustainable institution of the future.
Algonquin College of Applied Arts in Technology, the largest college in Eastern Ontario, is on an ambitious journey to becoming a sustainable institution of the future.
The college was looking for a company it could team up with—an organization willing to go far beyond the normal boundaries of a traditional energy services contract. John Tattersall, Director of Physical Resources at Algonquin, drove the selection process. “We were looking for people to go beyond the normal bounds of just a simple energy services contract,“ he says. “We were seeking people who could go to the very heart and purpose of what our college is all about. We wanted a strategic partner to help us educate, operate, collaborate and innovate for a clean energy future.”
Siemens really understood what we were trying to accomplish on our campus. You get a lot of companies that try to sell their product, but what Siemens did was understand our overall goal.Mike Mayer, SVP for Administrative Services
Lakeland Community College
Lakeland Community College believes that sustainability can prevail with a global culture that preserves the environment, develops strong and peaceful relationships, and maintains flourishing and just economies.
Lakeland Community College was able to drastically cut energy usage and reduce green house gas emissions when they partnered with Siemens Building Technology. Siemens helped them achieve their mission for less environmental impact through a budget neutral approach. Reductions in natural gas, electricity and water translated into an average annual savings of more than half a million dollars, as well as meeting the college’s goal for sustainability.
The typical student question is ‘when am I ever going to use this information?’ With what we’ve done in partnership with Siemens, students aren’t asking that question anymore.Denise McNeil, Vice President of Academic Services
St. Clair Community College
St. Clair County Community College (SC4) prides itself on a wide range of pioneering, thought-leadership initiatives and for leading the pack among the nation’s community colleges. One of those forward-thinking initiatives is the “living lab” concept, which allows students and faculty to take advantage of campus facilities already in existence as teaching and learning tools.
Over the last two decades, SC4 has partnered with Siemens to implement a wide variety of infrastructure improvements, energy efficiency measures, alternative energy projects, and enhancements to the school’s living labs. Siemens and SC4 have worked collaboratively to help the school achieve its business and educational objectives, which include:
• Implementing alternative, or “green,” energy projects, including solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable technologies to both enhance students’ learning environments and reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
• Improving facilities’ infrastructure with building and mechanical improvements, including equipment service and maintenance, as well as building automation.
• Generating energy and utility savings through a variety of energy efficiency improvements
• Creating and enhancing living labs throughout the campus through engagement with administration, faculty, staff, students, and the Board of Trustees, allowing campus facilities to be used as real-world teaching tools.
• Adapting to dynamic environmental and economic conditions to support educational goals.
We can now overhaul the heating and cooling systems and the lighting throughout the main campus and our service centers, and lay the groundwork for future students.Barbara Wills, Chief Business Officer
Siemens has begun addressing significant infrastructure improvement needs at Tallahassee Community College (TCC).
Through a performance contract with Siemens, TCC will use new building technologies and make capital improvements that are designed to reduce energy use and operational costs. The total projected savings over the 15-year life of the contract include more than $8.6 million in energy savings and nearly $750,000 in operational costs.
Siemens is replacing two failed boilers on the TCC main campus with four high-efficiency boilers, For cooling, one new 500-ton chiller and one cooling tower will be installed, and two 750-ton chillers and another cooling tower will be refurbished. Lighting upgrades will also be completed in buildings and parking lots. Siemens will also help improve TCC’s energy efficiency and systems monitoring by migrating building controls to Siemens’ integrated building management platform, Desigo CC. TCC is projected to save more than $9.3 million in energy and operational costs over course of 15-year performance contract.
In addition to implementing infrastructure improvements, Siemens will assist TCC in designing and equipping a Living Lab, where students in TCC’s building technologies programs will be able to train on the new equipment in real-world situations. The concept of the living laboratory was taken into account at every stage of the development of the project, including spacing equipment out and rotating it in order to give students better access and visibility of how the systems operate. The program’s unique training approach will help students succeed in the local and regional marketplace
Leveraging Sourcewell Contracts to streamline projects
Siemens is proud to partner with Sourcewell and their Cooperative Purchasing Contracts. This agreement allows colleges and universities to purchase solutions, equipment and services through a pre-negotiated contract vehicle, saving time and eliminating the RFP process. Even with allocated federal funding now available for education, this vehicle can accelerate this process. This applies to planned or actionable projects due to the pandemic that can improve the health and safety of your institutions. Our team can assist in assessment, planning and managing your improvements, as well as providing continued support as needed.