To achieve carbon neutrality, Kenyon is taking steps towards reducing and optimizing energy consumption, increasing renewable electricity usage and improving building efficiency through renovations and new constructions.
All new construction undertaken by Graham Gund Architects, including the new art facilities and North Campus residence halls, are LEED certified. This will ensure that energy efficiency remains a top priority in the building process. Find out more about the certification.
2015 saw the first deployment of a solar panel array at Kenyon. The 19kW system located on the Kenyon Farm is expected to generate upwards of 85 percent of the energy used by the Farm. Site evaluation and installation involved the first ever solar power independent study where students got hands-on looks at all aspects of residential solar power.
In 2016, another solar panel array was installed on The Village Inn. The new panels power the three apartments above the Village Inn and are projected to offset 80 percent of the power used by the residents. Eric Holdener, assistant professor of physics, and students in his “Solar Power Systems: Science, Policy and Practicum” class facilitated this undertaking along with Jerry Kelly ’96.
With plans to install another array on the new Village Market in 2017, the "Solar Power Systems" course in the Department of Physics is hard at work.
Electric Vehicle charging stations are currently being installed at the Kenyon Inn with more to follow under the remodeled bookstore. The College has a single Global Electric Motorcar (GEM) for use by maintenance staff, with plans to expand the electric fleet by two vehicles per year. Operation costs for the small truck average a mere $0.10 per day, a significant reduction from the $10 per day required for more traditional vehicles.
Kenyon's vision for this project is to reduce waste and improve facilities. We are on target to achieve the set goals as we are seeing reductions in energy consumption and many spaces have received improved lighting/space temperature controls up-grades. Find out more about the project.
Kenyon's Library and Information Services (LBIS) is exploring many different ways to reduce the environmental impact of the school's technology infrastructure. Recently, printers in computer labs across campus were converted to double-sided printing in order to conserve paper. LBIS has begun to purchase energy-efficient equipment for all future installations and upgrades. Staff also are conducting workshops and tutorials for students and faculty about how to conserve energy in electronics and technology.
In an effort to improve water efficiency, EPA-approved water fixtures are being installed in all new construction projects and retrofitted in older buildings. The initiative includes low-flow shower nozzles and sinks, low-consumption water closets, dual-flush toilets, and waterless urinals. It is expected that the water-saving devices will become universal within a year
Part of Kenyon's commitment to carbon neutrality involves caring for and monitoring trees and flower beds on campus. The College's tree-care plan, which includes a database monitoring 730 trees, has earned Kenyon the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Campus USA recognition for the fourth year in a row.
As of May 2017, electricity in the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC) has been reduced by 19 percent, or $138,900, gas has been reduced by 47 percent, or $61,00, and water has been reduced by 32 percent, or $68,00. The total savings comes in at $268,000, which has been achieved by fixing valve and water leaks, a chiller economizer operation and other controls strategies.