Early this year, student association ConcepT posed a question to Herman Kuiper, building manager of the Horst: Can we self-manage our ventilation in the basement outside business hours? A win-win situation emerged after discussions with energy coordinator Henk Hobbelink, resulting in energy savings and happy faces.
Lars Paternotte, Civil Engineering student and chairman of ConcepT, says: "The board of our drinks committee came to me with the question whether it would be possible to manage our ventilation itself, for example by means of a button. In fact, the machine used to be on between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., but then on weekends it was not. There was room for change, we thought."
Herman: "This question came to me during the period when energy prices were rising. So I contacted Henk and asked him about the possibilities." Henk elaborates: "Herman has been the connecting factor in this, putting me in touch with ConcepT and providing consultation. Together we thought about the best solution."
Henk continues: "I didn't think a button was a good idea, but had been thinking of another alternative for some time: the Outlook calendar. This provides clarity and flexibility. By linking the rooms to the calendar, ConcepT can now tell the service desk every Friday when they will be using the rooms in the coming week. The system then ensures that the ventilation is on only at those times."
"This ensures that ConcepT is in charge of the ventilation. If the plans change they can always adjust the schedule, so there is a lot of flexibility," Herman adds enthusiastically.
And Henk is enthusiastic as well. "Everyone benefits. Herman has spare time to focus on other things, the study association can operate flexibly and a nice energy saving is realized. The system has been operational for a few weeks now. My calculations show that the UT will save approximately 5000 euros on an annual basis. In this way, this beautiful collaboration also makes money."
That is why Henk also addresses an appeal to other (study) associations within the UT: "We can implement this system for every association that uses their rooms outside business hours. Together, we can create more flexibility outside business hours and save energy: win-win! Report to the service desk together with your team leader and find a suitable connection with us, then we will work it out together," he concludes.
Sustainability is an important priority area of Shaping2030, the University of Twente’s strategic plan. In addition to finding sustainable solutions for societal issues, the UT wants to set a good example of what it means to be a sustainable organisation. To reach this goal, the ambitions of Shaping2030 need to be put into practice. Many members of the UT community are hard at work translating the sustainability objectives into our work on campus – transforming the way we work, teach, learn, travel, build and more. In this series, we invite them to talk about what motivates them, what the role of sustainability is in their day-to-day work, and what they would like to achieve at our university.
Want to find out more about sustainability at UT? Please go to utwente.nl/sustainability.
Written by Stef Meilink