Skip to main content

Buildings

In addition to LEED certification, Villanova looks for other ways to improve our building stocks energy and water efficiency, as well as their contribution to building occupants’ health. These measures include lighting retrofits, building commissioning, low VOC paints, recycled and locally sourced furniture and carpeting, water efficient fixtures, and more.

Energy Savings Project Fund

To help Villanova reach its carbon neutral goal, the Energy Savings Project Fund was set up to support energy efficiency projects on campus that are not traditionally budgeted. The money for this account comes from the savings of previously funded projects, as well as the payback we get from the Demand Response program. Traditionally, this fund has been used for funding lighting retrofits and HVAC upgrades, such as variable frequency drives (VFD) and exhaust systems. Since 2012, Villanova has saved over $220,000 in electricity costs due to energy efficiency projects. Examples of recent projects include:

  • New efficient lighting in the Career Center, Law School garage, and Donahue dining hall
  • Variable Frequency Drives in Mendel Hall, St. Thomas Church, West Campus and St. Augustine Center for the Liberal Arts
  • LED lighting and lighting controls for the Stadium for easy scheduling and managing of the lights
  • LED retrofits in the Jake Nevin Gym, Natatorium, and outside basketball courts near Driscoll Hall

If you have an idea for an energy saving project on campus contact Liesel @ liesel.schwarz@villanova.edu

Back to Top


Renewable Energy


Villanova University is furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability through a new multi-year renewable electric energy agreement with ENGIE Resources, LLC.Roughly half of all the power that Villanova purchases through ENGIE will be sourced regionally from the Holtwood Hydroelectric Power Plant in Lancaster, PA. The Renwable power purchased by Villanova through ENGIE Resources, LLC will serve the University’s Main Campus, West Campus and South Campus, as well as The Inn at Villanova University.

Back to Top

Efficiency Projects

Energy

Villanova strives to be as energy efficient as possible, with efforts including LEED building design, lighting retrofits, and retrocomissioning. Additionally, Villanova is exploring non-technical means of increasing energy efficiency through scheduling and behavioral change. To learn more about how you can positively impact your building's energy use, click on the housing tab

Villanova is continuously implementing more energy efficient lighting, employing the use of LEDs, motion sensors, and day lighting sensors. Through the Energy Savings Project Fund, Villanova has been able to capture the energy savings realized from lighting retrofits and other energy conscious improvements. Some examples of recent lighting retrofits include the installation of LED lights at the stadium, saving over 200,000 kW annually, and throughout the main floor of Falvey.

Water

Villanova works to reduce our water consumption by using water efficient fixtures that use on average 20% less water. To specific examples of where these have been used, check out the LEED Certified Buildings Page.

We also minimize our need for irrigation through the use of Integrative Plant Management. To learn more check out the grounds tab.

Stormwater is managed through over 25 stormwater control measures found around campus. To learn more check out the stormwater tab.

Back to Top

Demand Response

The Demand Response program helps keep the power grid from overloading on hot summer days when power is most needed. This program is extremely important in keeping area electric prices down. Without programs like this, electric suppliers would have to build additional power generator plants to meet the few peak energy demand days. By reducing the demand on the system, electricity generating companies are able to avoid that added expense, saving them money, which they are able to pass along to the customers. What's more, a new power plant would mean more pollution affecting the most valuable among us, children, and the elderly.

Villanova is doing its part to help mitigate this outcome by participating in the Demand Response program. Our participation also helps reach our goal of carbon neutrality. To help the University reach carbon neutrality and reduce the frequency of shut down days, you can help by:

• Turning off appliances, such as your computer, fan, and space heater when they are not in use.
• Making sure the lights are turned off when you leave a room.
• Unplugging chargers when they are not being used.
• Getting rid of unnecessary appliances, such as personal refrigerators, microwaves or coffee makers. If you have a communal refrigerator or microwave use that instead. And for coffee, if you want to use your favorite blend bring in a coffee press, they don’t use any energy, just add hot water.

For more ideas on how you can help check out the housing tab.

Formal Policy

Back to Top

Best Practices

 

Retro-Commissioning

Like humans, as buildings get older they need a check up to make sure all the parts are working correctly. Retro-commissioning is the process of re-evaluating all of the buildings systems, assessing how are they performing, and looking for ways to improve operations. In many cases, retro-commissioning can result in large efficiency and cost savings, averaging a 16% cost savings (reference). For Villanova’s older building stock, this is the best way to see noticeable improvements in energy usage and occupant comfort.

Low VOC Paint

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to have short- and long-term adverse health affects. They are frequently found in paints and cleaning products. For the health of our students, faculty, and staff, we primarily use low VOC paints across campus.

Green Cleaning

Villanova utilizes environmentally friendly cleaning solutions to campus. For a number of years, we have used Green Seal certified cleaning products. These products have fewer toxic chemicals, increased biodegradability, and reduced or recyclable packaging. Products such as Green Seal not only create a safe and clean environment for students, but also for our custodial staff.
 

Villanova uses BLUE, or ionized water, cleaning, as a way to not only save money, but also to bring an even safer, more sustainable cleaning solution to campus. Ionized water cleans surfaces by electrically charging water so that it is chemically attracted to dirt. We are able to use ionized water to clean floors, windows and working surfaces. With this system we eliminate toxic chemicals, as well as countless shipments of cleaning products because the ionization process happens  right on campus! If you have a hard time believing you can clean and sanitize surfaces  with water check out this video by Bill Nye the Science Guy.

 

In an effort to increase safety in the midst of Coronavirus, Villanova has also implemented TruShot cleaning products. TruShot keeps crews moving with a patented spray-and-wipe cleaning system that provides optimized dilution delivery. TruShot is effective on Noroviruses and SARS associated Coronavirus. 

Back to Top

VUSustainability

Villanova University, as a community of learned and learning scholars, respecting the sacredness of all creation, accepts its responsibility to the integrity of Earth and its biodiversity, to the heritage of future generations, and to the security of nations. By utilizing the Augustinian values of Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas, meaning love thy neighbor, promote community unity, and live life in moderation through our curriculum, work environment, and operations, Villanova’s approach to sustainability exemplifies an emphasis on social justice and community service.

For questions regarding campus sustainability email Liesel Schwarz