In May 2008 Albion College received grant money to purchase 9 Sedona Giant mountain bikes, later to be known as the "Brit Bike Library."
These bikes are available for students and faculty, free of charge, and are checked out at the Kellogg Center front desk using an Albion1Card. The goal of the bike project is to decrease student driving on and around campus. The bikes can be checked out for 24 hours at a time, and can be used for running errands around town or simply for a relaxing afternoon bike ride. Maps are available to suggest areas of interest and bike trails.
Calories to Kilowatts
In 2006-07, a team of eight Albion students developed "Calories to Kilowatts," an educational program on energy consumption and conservation for the campus community. Supported by a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the students designed and installed specially modified bicycles and rowing machines that converted exercisers' expended calories into electrical energy.
The participants received "energy credits" they could use later to power their personal electrical devices. In May 2007, the team traveled to Washington, D.C., to present the results of their project along with teams from the 41 other institutions that received grants that year.
Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program
"The Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program is intended to organize efforts of the turfgrass industry, state agencies, Michigan State University (MSU), and environmental advocacy groups to advance the environmental stewardship of the turfgrass industry and to recognize environmental achievements. The program was developed at MSU with support from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Department of Agriculture. Over the past seven years, the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program has provided the base funding to develop the program."
In October 2009, the Albion College made history by receiving certifications from the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP) and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). Albion College is the first higher education institution in Michigan to earn these state certifications.
Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
"The mission of Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) is to develop and implement a proactive environmental assurance program ensuring that Michigan farmers are engaging in cost-effective pollution prevention practices and working to comply with state and federal environmental regulations. It is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks."
Albion College has aggressively pursued energy conservation measures since the 1980s. The list below details improvements from the past three years.
- All academic, administrative, and residential buildings on the central plant system are controlled through the Siemens Building Automation System for maximum energy efficiency.
- Kresge Hall has a heat recovery system to maximize energy efficiency in a building which requires 100% makeup air.
- Whitehouse Hall, Seaton Hall, and Baldwin Hall have all recently been refitted with thermal pane windows to maximize energy efficiency.
- All residence halls are now fully equipped with energy-efficient washers and dryers.
- During academic break periods, buildings are closed, equipment shut down, and temperatures lowered to reduce energy consumption.
- Boilers in the central plant have been replaced with more efficient Cleaver Brooks boilers, complete with digital control and monitoring systems.
- A project has begun to install VFDs (variable frequency drives) on major pumps and air-handling units.
- All building transformers and switch gear have been certified as PCB-free.
Recent changes in campus lighting and electrical services conserve energy through increased efficiency.
- Upgrade of outdated lighting on campus to more environmentally friendly and economically efficient systems. Plan has a 2.5-year pay back that has a 867,728 KWh savings. This translates into a reduction of carbon emissions by 650.79 tons or 3,254 trees!
- The first stages of this plan include the Dow Center’s Lomas Fieldhouse, Kresge Gymnasium, Whitehouse Hall (student rooms, hallways, and common spaces), Robinson Hall (offices and common spaces), and all six fraternity houses (common areas). In the Dow Center, 150 lights were replaced by 100 fluorescent lights, using two-thirds the energy and emitting almost double the amount of light.
- Equipping of buildings with state-of-the-art light sensor equipment. These include: Kresge Hall, Palenske Hall, Putnam Hall, Norris Center, Olin Hall, Lomas Fieldhouse, and Facilities Operations.
- Use of active lighting in the science complex, Olin Hall, and Facilities Operations building. The sensors turn on lighting only when a room is occupied.
- Conversion of exterior lighting to HPS (high pressure sodium) for maximum energy efficiency.
- Ongoing replacement of all older fluorescent lighting with more energy efficient T-5 lamps.
- Daylight harvesting in Facilities Operations building. Interior lights turn off when the monitors in the room sense a certain amount of daylight, saving energy by utilizing natural light.
- Use of high-efficiency light fixtures, T-8 lights, in Facilities Operations building and Olin Hall. This reduces the number of bulbs and increases light.
- Use of LED lighting in the Dow Center main corridor, Ferguson Building elevator, and science complex atrium egress area. LED lighting incorporated in design of Facilities Operations building.
- These improvements translated into 20,613 KWh of energy savings, 15.5 tons of carbons emissions saved, and an offset of 77 trees.