Union Green Team

Arkansas Union Goes Green and Saves Green!

UAF partnered with Energy Systems Group (ESG) in 2008 to begin the Razors Edge project which addressed deferred maintenance items in 73 buildings across campus. The ESPC project in the Arkansas Union focused on implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) throughout the entire building, including work on 11 existing air handlers, 1 new air handler, and several hundred dual duct, constant volume, and VAV terminal units. The following lists several examples of ECMs that were successfully implemented into the Arkansas Union:

Water System Upgrades

  • New low-flow valves on kitchen sinks, lavatory sinks, urinals and toilets.

Lighting Upgrades

  • Replacement of incandescent bulbs with new fluorescent lamps and fixtures, and implementation of occupancy sensors where applicable.

Building Automation System (BAS) Upgrades

  • New AHU and exhaust hoods for catering kitchen, new outside air equipment on existing AHUs, new dual-duct terminal units, and optimization of AHU programming.

Other Upgrades

  • Steam trap replacement and conversion of building water to a variable flow system.

As a result of the joint efforts of the University of Arkansas and Energy systems Group, the Arkansas Union has exceed its contract savings amount of $257,348 in both of the first 2 years of this project! In fiscal year 2012 the guarantee was exceeded by around 53%, and in fiscal year 2013 the guarantee was again exceeded by almost 8%! The Year 1 and Year 2 savings are broken out by utility below:


Energy Cost (Dollars) - Savings

Utility Type

FY12 Savings

FY13 Savings

Total Savings


$   83,706

$   55,519

$ 139,225


$ 106,262

$   71,454

$ 177,716

Chilled Water

$ 200,681

$ 146,747

$ 347,428


$     3,588

$     3,588

$     7,176


$ 394,237

$ 277,308

$ 671,545


The EPA introduced new guidelines in 2009 which require agencies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions every year, and the most common way to express these avoided GHG emissions is in metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MTCDE). The Arkansas Union was not only able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 2,450 MTCDE in FY2012, but managed to reduce emissions by another 1,552 MTCDE in FY2013. This results in a total greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 4,002 MTCDE since the beginning of the M&V process! To express these savings in more visual terms, 4,002 MTCDE is equivalent to any of the following:

  • Generating enough energy to power 200 single-family homes for a year, removing 834 passenger vehicles from the road each year, or planting 3,280 acres of U.S. forests!

These savings results are an amazing achievement and directly reflect the Union’s commitment to reducing their energy consumption.  On-going equipment maintenance, optimization of air handler schedules and building room temperatures, and encouraging staff to continue to reduce their individual energy usage will all contribute to even more savings and another successful year in 2014!