Indian River State College: Campus Infrastructure Improvement Partnership to Reduce Water Use and Carbon Footprint

Suzanne Seldes
Member Spotlight

Indian River State College (IRSC) and Honeywell have launched a comprehensive infrastructure improvement project designed to increase energy efficiency across all five of IRSC’s campuses through a series of building upgrades. The improvements implemented through an Energy Savings Performance Contract are projected to reduce energy usage, water consumption, and operational costs by at least $850,000 annually, or $9.8 million over 10 years, and will enhance the educational environment for students, visitors, and staff through new lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) controls.

When the project is complete, the current college infrastructure will use 6.6 million fewer gallons of water a year, equivalent to 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It will also reduce the college’s carbon footprint by 4,185 metric tons, equivalent to removing 883 cars from Florida roads.

“This project gives us the opportunity to both advance our sustainability ambitions and create a better learning environment for our community of students and staff, while also being good stewards of the public funding we receive,” said Sean Donahue, IRSC Dean of Facilities and Sustainability. “2020 was a challenging year for educational institutions, and like our peers, we have been working to reduce spending and conserve funds.”

In addition to making important progress toward its sustainability and financial goals, the project aims to increase student and staff comfort through a variety of building improvements. Upgrades include new, long-lasting indoor LED lighting; LED pedestrian and parking lot lighting; improvements to building HVAC systems, such as scheduled temperature adjustments during times of day when buildings are not in use; water conservation improvements; and installation of more efficient pumps and motors. The performance-based project was designed to provide rapid energy savings and return on investment.

Discussions between Honeywell and the college began in late 2019. Construction began in December 2020 and should be completed later this year. Future phases could be implemented that would increase conservation and cost savings.

“This project is a win-win for the college and the community,” said Jose Simon, Vice President and General Manager of Projects for Honeywell Building Technologies. “Indian River State College is able to reduce operational costs, advance its sustainability efforts, and create a more comfortable learning environment—all without upfront costs. We are proud to work with the college to help them achieve their goals.”

Honeywell has completed approximately 6,000 guaranteed efficiency projects around the world, and combined, this work is expected to decrease customers’ energy and operating costs by an estimated $6 billion.

Suzanne Seldes is Director, Marketing, Media, and Brand Strategy, at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Opinions expressed in Member Spotlight are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.