There is no cheaper, cleaner power than energy you don’t have to produce. That’s why energy conservation is an important strategy to reduce SU's greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of energy conservation projects at Seattle University since 2009:
The Admissions & Alumni building's rooftop solar panels generate 3% of the building's electrical needs. The Student Center has solar panels mounted on a pole, the south wall and roof. Mechanical Engineering seniors designed the system, Facilities installed it and Seattle City Light funded this 5,500 kWh demonstration project.
Our Emissions from electricity are zero because Seattle City Light is 100% carbon neutral. In 2005, Seattle City Light became the first electric utility in the country to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions. It has maintained that carbon neutral status every year since: http://www.seattle.gov/light/enviro/carbonneutral.htm.
Seattle City Light uses hydroelectric resources for the majority of the power it provides, which is one reason its greenhouse gas emissions are so low. Seattle City Light's carbon emissions are further reduced by its aggressive energy efficiency and conservation programs, which help customers save energy and money. Renewable energy projects have been added to the Utility's resource mix, including wind, landfill methane, and wood biomass energy. Each year Seattle City Light's Environmental Division completes an inventory of the remaining greenhouse gas emissions. Seattle City Light purchases offsets for these emissions.
All new buildings at Seattle University are designed to achieve LEED Gold standards. There are currently 4 LEED Gold buildings on Campus. They each feature native, drought-tolerant plants; high efficiency energy systems and water fixtures; Forest Stewardship Council certified wood products; and building products made locally of recycled materials and with low VOC content.
Solar panels, green roof, and a rainwater cistern mark our first LEED-Gold building, built in 2009.
Renovating a warehouse, Energy Star rated office equipment, GreenGuard Certified furniture, and reused furniture are the hallmarks of this LEED Gold building (2010).
A rain garden, a chilled beam that cools the computer lab, and a raised floor suppling warm air near occupants’ feet are the highlights of the LEED Gold library addition (2011).
Windows with a view, parking for 50 bikes, and 30% more outdoor air ventilation are the green features of our fourth LEED-Gold building (2012).