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Go Green Or Go Home: Columbia Eco Challenge

Eo challengeColumbia University recently began the “Energy Challenge 2013,” a Go Green initiative running from April 1st to April 26th. For this month, select undergraduate residence halls*, will compete to save the most energy. After the competition is over, students are able to resume their normal, energy-wasting activities, such as running the shower for over 20 minutes (because apparently hot water is nonexistent), leaving the lights on when they fall asleep studying in their room (Butler was full), or having to flush the toilet multiple times on a Sunday morning/Saturday night (no judgment, lightweights).

Bwog reached out to Columbia Housing to see what other information they may have. The following is from Joyce Jackson, the Executive Director of Housing at Columbia University.

What is the purpose of Energy Challenge Building Captains, and how were they chosen?

Energy Challenge Building Captains will be on hand throughout the course of the competition to encourage participation among residents, raise awareness about the Challenge and support student efforts in participating residence halls.

Building Captains, the RAs of Energy.

The Housing website states that there will be “weekly metrics on energy usage.” How is the energy usage of the buildings being taken?

Facilities will provide the Office of Environmental Stewardship with weekly electricity usage data derived from building meter readings, which will in turn be posted to the Lucid Building Dashboard, sponsored by CCN, every Monday by 5 p.m. for the duration of the competition.

The energy readings for Sunday night will be interesting. #GameofThrones
#Soexcited #WheresmygirlAryaStark?

Also, is it being compared to a base reading, thus the building with the largest percentage decrease wins?

Facilities provided baseline measurements of electricity usage within each participating residence based on electricity usage metrics from March 25 – 31. The building that achieves the greatest percentage reduction in electricity usage by the end of the competition on April 26, as compared with that building’s baseline electricity usage metrics, will be deemed the winner.

Do all the eligible housing options have the same capacity for energy conservation? For example, is the system used to heat water in Broadway the same as the system used in John Jay?

While electricity usage data provided during the Challenge will reflect each building’s actual kilowatt hours output, the winning building will have achieved the greatest percentage electricity reduction as compared with its baseline energy data. Thus participating residences have an equal opportunity for behavioral changes in electricity usage to impact their success in the competition, regardless of nuances in building infrastructure or energy capacity.  Building systems usage (i.e. heat, hot water) is accounted for in the baseline measurements and only in the case of extreme weather would the data need to be reviewed.

This sounds like every one of my FroSci free response answers.

And will the party for the winning dorm be catered by Dining Services (Amigos)?

Dining Services will cater the party awarded to the winning residence.

The bounty of the dining hall without swiping? #justservenutella #correctionhazellenutspread

*see not Claremont, Harmony, Wien, Nussbaum, or any Brownstones. (Where even is Harmony?)

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2 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This really is just a way for Columbia to save money on electricity but paint it as a competition to “go green”

  • Barnard RA says:

    @Barnard RA Can Barnard compete in this?

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