UofL gets OK to shrink its carbon footprint


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A massive project to shrink the carbon footprint of the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus received final clearance from university trustees today.

    UofL and Siemens Building Technologies Inc. are set to begin work next month on a $21.7 million, 13 ½-year performance contract to make the campus more energy efficient. The project is expected to reduce the university’s electricity use by more than 20 percent and its natural gas and coal use by nearly 40 percent each.

    The total energy savings will reduce UofL’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 55.5 million pounds, an amount equal to removing 4,600 cars from the road for a year, project officials said.

    “We’ll be making campus greener and saving money as we go,” said UofL President James Ramsey.

    Workers will update heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, cut back water consumption and install more energy-efficient lighting and controls in 69 buildings totaling about 4.5 million square feet. UofL will pay for the improvements with money it saves in reduced energy costs.

    The project is expected to generate savings for the university of $6,400 a day or more than $31 million over the life of the contract.

    UofL and Siemens announced last year they were teaming up on the project. The work is being driven by the findings of a detailed energy audit Siemens began on Belknap Campus last fall.

    A similar energy audit of the university’s Health Sciences and Shelby campuses scheduled to begin later this year could raise UofL’s total savings to more than $50 million, officials said.

    Siemens, an international company that specializes in energy and environmental solutions, building controls, fire safety and security systems, is based in Buffalo Grove, Ill.