Oxford, Ohio 45056
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Oldest halls get newest heating/cooling via geothermal wells
This summer, for a Miami Makeover, part of Miami’s long-range housing and dining master plan, upgrades in security and utility efficiencies were made in several of Miami’s 41 residence halls and apartment buildings.
The most significant work happened in Elliott and Stoddard, which house students in the Scholar Leader program. In their first decades, students heated and cooked in their rooms with firewood they’d collected. Now, they can enter their rooms by tapping new electronic ID cards to the key plate, set room-specific temperatures with recovered heat* and use Wi-Fi inside and out (this was accomplished two years ago).
This summer’s upgrades included:
Specific processes enabling efficiency include:
2. *Restroom exhaust heat recovery - (the warm air from the bathroom exhaust is captured and used when heating)
3. Low-flow plumbing fixtures
4. Free cooling in heating mode, free heating in cooling mode on fan coil systems - (if students want to heat their rooms when most others are cooling then that heating is 'free' because the system is rejecting the heat from cooling mode. The opposite also works.)
5. Insulation in exterior walls (there was none before.)
6. Insulation in the attic (there was none before)
7. High-efficiency natural gas water heaters
8. Double-pane energy efficient windows replaced single pane windows
9. The wood floors in Elliott and both halls’ living rooms were refinished, instead of being replaced
It’s too soon to tell how much energy will be saved, especially since for the first time, residents will now have air conditioning. But, Stoddard and Elliott are being closely monitored. Building envelope and insulation upgrades will work in concert with electrical, lighting and various control upgrades to enhance occupant comfort and energy performance. The geothermal heat pump system feeds into a new energy conservation technology that transfers heat from the sunny and warm rooms to the shady and cool ones.
Miami University houses about 7,100 undergraduate students. These buildings range in age from Elliott Hall, built in 1829, to the Heritage Commons apartments completed in 2005. The majority of the residence halls at Miami are more than 40 years old.
Miami’s long-range housing and dining master plan was developed through consultation with outside agencies, extensive planning and discussion among physical facilities, housing dining, recreation and business services (HDRBS) and academic, administrative and residential life committees over the last two years.
Surveys were emailed to a random sample of students and parents. These communications followed an internal study begun in 2006 focusing on improving the residential experience for students and forecasting the university’s long-range housing and dining needs in regard to meeting national standards and continuing to attract students.