In response to rising energy costs along with Florida A&M’s need for energy efficiency, the university is partnering with Siemens Industry to complete a “going green” project.
The idea came after many long meetings and a competitive negotiation process among staff members of the Construction and Facilities Management Unit.
Siemens was found to be the best qualified firm that responded to FAMU’s appeal for a guaranteed energy saving contractor.
The contract with Siemens provides funding for improvements to FAMU’s facilities. Funds for the project come from savings from the energy efficiencies gained through the project’s implementation. These savings will fund the total cost of the project.
Joseph Bakker, Interim Associate Vice President for Construction and Facilities Management said most of the work will be done by Siemens.
“The project requires putting together the engineering, technical skills, and the associated materials and equipment and then performing the work. FAMU will inspect the work,” said Bakker.
The company hopes this project will help students realize and maintain adopting energy savings and conservation habits throughout the campus.
Some students are thrilled the university is taking part in this type of project.
“It’s always good to know that the school I attend is energy friendly. I think it’s great that FAMU was given the opportunity to set the trend for many other HBCU’s and universities to follow,” said Sade’ Watkins, 21, a second year business administration student from Jacksonville.
Work proposed for the project includes, replacing existing lights and lighting structures in all buildings with more energy efficient ones resulting in reduced power consumption and also restoring and repairing faulty steam traps to reduce energy losses.
The project will also include insulating steam-carrying pipes to reduce energy losses.
While students are pleased with the plan, they are wondering what took so long.
“I agree with the idea of making our campus eco-friendly, but it is long overdue,” said Nefertiti Mills, 21, a fourth year pre-political science education student from New York.
Bakker said the project is beneficial for the campus and there are no harmful effects.
When asked what happens if the goals for the plan are not met, Bakker said “Energy savings agreed to between FAMU and Siemens are not realized, Siemens must pay FAMU for the shortfall in savings.”