Proof that knowledge saves power is being demonstrated at the University of the Arts London. The University was the first Higher Education Institution to receive Low Energy Company (LEC) status earlier this year and is one of the tools deployed to match utility consumption to demand.
The University of the Arts London is Europe’s largest specialist arts and design university, with close to 19,000 students from more than 100 countries. Established in 2004, University of the Arts London draws together six colleges with international reputations in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. Formed of six Colleges (including Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Arts) the university has a large and diverse estate spread across London with, unsurprisingly, significant energy demands.
Challenges & Solutions
The Energy Managers Association (EMA) and the Energy & Utility Skills Group have developed standards for the delivery of energy awareness training for industry, through the LEC initiative. The EMA was set up by Lord Redesdale in 2012 with the aim of being the voice of the energy management profession. The EMA not only represents energy management professionals, but aims to put energy management at the heart of British business, aiming to establish energy management training as the norm in the UK workforce through the LEC scheme. The EMA believes that it will be advantageous and desirable for companies to seek LEC status for two reasons. Firstly, it will be essential to control costs through staff training as the projected increase in energy prices begins to bite. Secondly, the investment in achieving LEC status will dovetail with the organizations’ Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.
To develop the training course, the University’s FM team worked with Gaia Active, an award winning team of sustainability specialists. “We are proud to have supported the FM Department of the University of the Arts London in achieving its Low Energy Company status” states Chris Allen, CEO of Gaia, “UAL FM was the first Higher Education establishment to undertake this programme with the majority of its facilities management staff successfully completing the EMA stage one approved course in Energy Management.”
Chris worked with the University to develop the stage one course as an online training module, tailoring the course to ensure its relevance to University staff, with content directly linked to the day to day roles of those undertaking it. The developed module ensured that those completing it understood what is meant by energy and carbon emissions and why monitoring energy consumption is important, as well as fully understanding the link between energy consumption and the usage of equipment. The module also ensured that participants understood the purpose and role of energy reporting and how to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. University has become the first Higher Education Institute to put FM staff through EMA approved training courses.
Lessons & Results
The University aims to significantly reduce energy consumption, not only to satisfy a strategic ambition to be a recognised and sustainable HEI, but also to manage its multi million pound utility budget. As Ian Lane, Head of Sustainability, goes on to explain “The University has recommitted itself to sustainability in the last two years. For example, the University will soon deliver its first and most sustainable building by achieving BREEAM ‘outstanding’. We also have a dedicated Energy Performance Contract for installation for energy conservation measures.
Across the university carbon emissions are down 19% compared to the previous year. The University’s Sustainability & Project Board wanted to send a statement to our students, staff, researchers, funders and supporters that it could support sustainability through its day-to-day operations and not only it what it teaches and researches.”