With the completion of Pierce College’s major capital projects, college officials plan to start improving the effectiveness and long-term operation of facilities.
They intend to undertake initiatives that will manage the costs of maintaining the current buildings as well as extend the operation use of the college.
Director of Facilities Jim Taylor explained the college will manage the long-term operating costs of the facilities in two ways.
The plan is to improve the existing systems by replacing or refitting older systems and by managing energy costs.
In both ways the college’s facilities will be maintained and able to continue satisfying the needs of the college.
At both Puyallup and Fort Steilacoom campuses, audits are being conducted on the buildings’ energy consumption.
The college has engaged a service company to carry out these audits in order to assist in developing a system intended to reduce the overall school consumption of resources.
These audits will focus mainly on devices within the school, systems and the consumption of gas, power and water.
With the construction of the Arts and Allied Health building, the Puyallup campus is considered environmentally friendly, and with the new initiative, the college officials expect to not only reduce the costs of power but also continue to become a more green campus.
In support of this effort, the college officials have asked a representative from the energy service company to conduct measurements on campus and install monitoring devices on selected equipment. These devices include mechanical equipment and lighting systems.
Taylor notes that students and faculty may have seen these individuals carrying out these on-site visits and states that the “odd-looking devices” that have been installed on fixtures and other equipment are required for the monitoring of energy usage.
The information that is being gathered throughout the process of these investigations will then be transformed into data that can be used for applications for funding, Tayor said.
College administrators will in the future identify specific projects that will be submitted to the Department of Commerce Grant Program. The college also is attached to two current providers, that of Tacoma Power and Puget Sound Energy. They are the current providers of the college and offer incentive programs that can be used in the application for grant requests.
“Information gained will help not only develop grant application materials but will also help us developed some long term strategies for managing operating costs,” Taylor said. “The purpose of these efforts is to develop better and more efficient means by which we can manage costs, conserve resources and create a more sustainable environment.”
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