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Energy and Engineering

Pioneers in the Field

The Energy and Engineering (E&E) team has three primary functions:

  • Operate and maintain safe and reliable utility services for campus facilities.  
  • Drive the university towards intelligent and sustainable energy usage.
  • Promote awareness of engineering requirements and decision making based on facility life cycle costs.

E&E's mission supports AU's Climate Commitment and goal to become carbon neutral by the year 2020.

E&E is a highly diverse and technical group comprised of five distinct functional teams:

American University takes resource and energy conservation very serious. Within its Energy & Engineering group American University has a dedicated two-person energy team. The energy team orchestrates energy conservation measures, energy education, and energy outreach on a full-time basis. The energy team optimizes energy use on campus by implementing measures to stop and prevent energy waste, increase efficiency, and increase green power utilization.

To find out more about AU’s energy conservation visit Energy & Engineering’s News and Updates page.

Central Plant Operations is the largest unit under Energy and Engineering. Its licensed staff operates and maintains the campus' steam generation, heating, hot water, and chilled water utility systems ensuring that they remain safe, efficient, and reliable in accordance with all federal, state, and local regulations and compliance requirements.

The main steam plant, located in the Asbury building, has a capacity of 110,000 pounds of steam per hour.

Central Plant Operations generates about 88 million pounds of steam each heating season. Central Plant also operates more than 20 chillers (and their associated cooling towers) with the capacity to generating 5,000 tons of cooling.

The Central Plant team operates 24 hours a day, 365 day a year to support the campus community. After hours calls are directed to 2FIX (2349) hot line. Staff members make sure that any critical building, utility, or facility infrastructure concerns are investigated and are addressed as appropriate so that emergencies do not develop or escalate.

The three members of this unit are all licensed electricians familiar with National Fire Protection Agency and National Electric Code requirements. Together they help ensure all of our safety through the operation and maintenance of:

  • The campus Medium Voltage Electrical Distribution System (Campus Feeders, Transformers and Switchgear)
  • Emergency electrical service powered by more than 20 stand-by generators
  • AU's central fire alarm system, covering more than 40 buildings
  • AU's Fire Sprinkler and Suppression systems

AU Building Automation System Specification

AU Building Automation System Control Drawings

The building automation team is comprised of technicians skilled in HVAC, low voltage power, telecommunications systems, networking, and industrial software programming.

The building automation team operates, manages, and monitors more than 12,000 building automation data points that control temperatures and air flow throughout campus buildings.

Throughout the campus, data sets on energy using systems and equipment are collected and analyzed for performance. The building automation team is vital to Facilities Management's ability to provide constant monitoring and modifications of the University's energy using systems and equipment, which allows for quick diagnosis and response to customer heating, cooling, and ventilation needs.

American University staff stand in front of Batelle-Tompkins building with ENERGY STAR certification

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