Spotlight Projects

  • Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory Clean Room

    Oct 31, 2016

    Everitt Clean RoomConstruction of a new “clean room” at the Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory was the highlight of the first nine months of work on the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project, the largest of its kind on campus to date. EPC's are negotiated with a provider who guarantees the energy savings produced by the project will be sufficient to cover its full cost.

    The $41M College of Engineering venture is 40% complete 10 months into its two-year construction schedule. Work on the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, Loomis Laboratory, the Engineering Sciences Building, and the Superconductivity Center is also included in the project, whose emphasis is improving infrastructure and addressing deferred maintenance.

    One of the more visible parts of the project was the clean room, a laboratory maintained free of contaminants, such as dust or bacteria. The new space replaced another in Everitt Laboratory that closed last fall because of renovations to that building.

    Clean room construction began in January and had to be finished by the time classes started in August. The new clean room houses the Electrical and Computer Engineering 444 Fabrication Lab class and is used to teach undergraduates how to make semiconductor devices.

  • Updates at Levis Center continue with help of Construction Services

    Jun 29, 2016

    Updates at Levis Center continue with help of construction services

    It’s out with the old and in with the new as the renovation of the Levis Faculty Center moves on. The continued upgrading of the dated 1970s-built Levis Faculty Center into modern office and meeting space is one of F&S’ current projects.Levis Before

    The Illinois Program for Research (IPRH) in the Humanities moved to the fourth floor of Levis last summer after Capital Programs managed the $1.1 million remodeling of that area. This spring, Construction Services coordinated smaller-scale, third-floor renovations, converting bar space and a commercial kitchen into meeting rooms and updating the larger main area. The new space will be available for general campus use.

    “The Levis Center used to be an event space for everyone on campus,  so I’m sure all those people who were using it are glad to have it back,” said Nancy Castro, associate director of IPRH, whose office used Levis meeting space in the past.

    Levis AfterThe renovation included the removal of a commercial kitchen and a bar; and the installation of new ceilings, lighting, carpeting, doors, furniture, IT data/power outlets, and audio/visual equipment as well as an updated HVAC system.

    “I feel really good about our work, and everyone is thrilled,” said Construction Project Coordinator Rick Gallivan, who collaborated with 25 F&S shops and/or departments in completing the project under budget and on time.

    Next up for Levis is remodeling the second floor, which will begin in the fall, again under the coordination of Construction Services.

    “Levis has a unique design and layout,” Gallivan said. “There are a lot of two-story areas on each floor, and there are lots of windows. It’s an attractive building, it was just dated.”

  • Energy Conservation Program Fosters Friendly Competition Across Campus

    Apr 19, 2016

    “Shut the window – we’re not heating the outside. Put a sweater on if you’re cold. Turn off the lights. Do you think I’m made of money?” Sound familiar? Families work together to reduce their utility bills. Given the current state budget impasse and reduced funding for colleges, it is also vitally important for our university family to work on conserving energy and reducing the amount of money spent on utilities.

    ecip-color-logoThe Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP) encourages and incentivizes energy conservation through personal behavior changes and through structural modifications of facilities. Individual building energy consumption is tracked through the Energy Billing System (EBS). Energy conservation is then measured as the percentage difference of energy usage between the current fiscal year and the previous fiscal year after adjusting for heating degree days.

    At the end of each fiscal year, the ECIP selects eight winning facilities that post the largest reduction in energy usage in two categories (Occupant Action and Energy Advancement) and then rewards those facilities with money to be used for facility upgrades. Past winners have installed bike racks, new water fountains, and renovated doors and windows. The Occupant Action category reflects building occupant behavioral changes (turning off lights and computers when not in use, closing windows, scheduling, and reporting heating/cooling problems to Facilities & Services). With 56,000 people on the Urbana campus, there’s a lot of opportunity to conserve energy on a daily basis. Small steps can add up to significant results!

    The Energy Advancement category primarily reflects campus projects such as retrocommissioning work, a controls upgrade project, and/or lighting upgrades that aid in lowering energy usage. Work completed by the Retrocommissioning team in conjunction with the Lincoln Hall renovation allowed the university to avoid over $250,000 in utility costs per year in this building alone, a roughly 50% reduction in utility costs.

    Midway through FY16, Ceramics Kiln House is leading in the Energy Advancement category with an impressive 34% drop in energy usage from FY15. How? Retrocommissioning installed occupancy sensors to automatically turn on/off lights and air handling/air conditioning units. Controls were added to fume hoods allowing them to be turned off when not in operation. The department took the lead in implementing improved lab procedures and moved chemicals from fume hoods to chemical storage cabinets that require a lower exhaust rate.

    Talbot Laboratory, Transportation Building, Davenport Hall (2015 ECIP winner), Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, Rehabilitation Education Center, Institute Gov.  & Public Affairs Building, Architecture Building, and the Speech and Hearing Clinic are all showing significant energy reductions for the first 6 months of FY16.  These buildings are the current leaders in the FY16 ECIP competition.

    Conserving energy is everyone’s responsibility. Talk to your facilities liaison about energy conservation projects for your facility. Turn off lights and close windows in empty rooms. Power down computers when you leave.  Shut the sash or turn off fume hood exhaust fans when possible. These actions don’t take much time but will have a big impact on our utility cost bottom line. Remember, it’s never too late to make a difference.  Energy conservation tips we can all use.