Buildings Almost as Smart as the Students Inside

Oklahoma State University understands energy efficiency. Since 2010, upgrades to lighting, roofs, windows and HVAC technologies have improved learning environments and saved millions. Updates to the chilled water plant will help meet the cooling needs of the ever-growing campus, and their latest research facility even saves money with integrated energy and air flow management technologies.

OSU’s approach to economic, environmental and operational efficiency builds upon the system’s reputation for industry-leading education and research. As Chief Facilities Officer Rick Krysiak explains, it all started with the right approach and finding the right energy savings company (ESCO) to help meet OSU’s mission.

Any company can change a lightbulb 

It’s a simple, yet important distinction. When embarking on your facility improvement effort, remember that every ESCO has the talent to change a lightbulb, but do they know the best way to do it at your facility? Have they done the research to understand your culture, workflows and most importantly, your people? Find a partner that is a “force-multiplier” to your team.

Open the door and get out of the way 

Once you find the right partner, get out of their way. OSU has many on-site facility coordinators and our ESCO has an individual relationship with each of them. Direct communication, like that, helps everyone meet OSU’s short- and long-term needs. Remember that transparency in the measurement and verification phases will help win over your internal and external stakeholders.

Efficiency isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon

Energy and operational efficiency isn’t about single pieces of new equipment. Our research and lab facilities, for example, feature integrated air and energy management technologies that are almost as intelligent as the student researchers inside. Our air flow management systems ventilate areas based on occupancy and air quality levels, instead of constant air exchanges that waste energy. Integrated technologies are key.The job is never done. Our team is continually looking for new ways to meet the university’s commitment to students, staff and Oklahoma residents.

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