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In an environment where organizations are forced to “do more with less,” universities require innovative approaches for creation of an optimal student learning environment. Efficient management of energy use in classrooms, research facilities, offices, and campus residential facilities—as well as overall campus security—are key elements in creating an atmosphere where students, faculty, and staff can thrive.
Forward-thinking universities focused on reducing energy costs and optimizing campus security are turning to integrated university infrastructure solutions from Schneider Electric in order to address their financial and operational challenges.
Reduce CapEx and boost operational efficiency
Global trends point to energy costs as one of the largest line items in university budgets worldwide. By implementing infrastructures that integrate building, security, and energy management, universities can slash their capital expenses.
Aarhus University in Denmark, for example, runs all of their applications on a single network. They are able to improve productivity and operational efficiency because components are co-utilized by both security and building management systems. If facility managers need to add new technology, the open, standards-based platform makes upgrades affordable.
Ensure people and assets are safe
Despite the slow global economy, enrollment in universities and colleges continues to rise. Statistics show a correlation between growing crime on college campuses and increased enrollment. Therefore, keeping students, faculty, and visitors secure is a top priority.
The Georgia Institute of Technology provides its students and facilities with a campus-wide security system that integrates access control with video surveillance, intrusion detection, and centralized database management. Each department manager has complete control of his/her facilities, and personal ID cards are used for access control, security, and retail point-of-sales. As an added benefit, the university saves on capital costs by operating the system on their existing campus LAN network.
Integrate key domains of the university campus
The benefits of an integrated infrastructure include energy cost savings and improved protection of people and assets. By integrating the key domains of an enterprise—Power management, IT room management, Process & Machine management, Building management, and Security management – a university can maximize energy efficiency and campus security.
An integrated infrastructure aggregates data from multiple systems, enabling university leaders and facility directors to see, measure, and manage energy use across the entire campus. Elements of an effective integrated infrastructure include:
Create a campus-wide ecosystem
Like a city, college campuses have office buildings, student housing, restaurants, and sports centers among other facilities. Every building has different energy and security needs. In some facilities, temperatures can be controlled on a room-by-room basis. In other facilities, climate control is managed from a centralized location.
The seamless integration of all building systems, services, and applications lays the groundwork for an efficient campus. By functioning as a true ecosystem, systems can communicate with each other.
Improve student performance and enhance sustainability
Research studies indicate that pupils’ performance increased up to 30% with comfortable, healthy indoor climates*. Students with the most natural light in the classroom performed better too. Figures show academic improvements, including 20% in mathematics and 26% in reading comprehension.
University students and recent graduates comprise a portion of the population that is more concerned about the environment than previous generations. As a result, universities are developing sustainability strategies to reduce environmental impacts, conserve natural resources, and promote environmental stewardship among campus and community stakeholders.
* Study by the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).