Jan. 13, 2004

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Contact: Andrea Albright, University Relations, (785) 864-8860.

North entrance access limited at KU as energy efficiency improved at union

LAWRENCE -- Traffic on Jayhawk Boulevard at the north entrance to the University of Kansas may be limited through Jan. 16 as crews work to improve energy efficiency in the Kansas Union.

Heavy-equipment crews will be operating a crane that could block parts or all of Jayhawk Boulevard until Friday, Jan. 16. However, Facilities Operations Director Doug Riat said the work was proceeding ahead of schedule and might be completed before Friday.

The crews are replacing cooling towers on the north and south ends of the Kansas Union as part of a campuswide plan to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating expenses.

Chevron Energy Solutions, an engineering-based energy services company specializing in energy performance contracting and turnkey energy efficiency projects, is coordinating the effort.

A 2002 audit of energy usage covered more than 5.9 million gross square feet in all buildings, including the steam heating system and power plants. Auditors also evaluated the design of new facilities and pending renovation projects to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part of the design.

This approach was made possible by the 2000 Kansas Legislature when it approved "performance contracting," a financial concept for energy conservation improvements for all state agencies. Through performance contracting, energy efficiency improvements can be funded through the energy savings they produce.

The energy audit followed on the heels of a successful energy conservation effort led by Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger in 2000-01.

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