Buildings at the University of Adelaide are going to become more energy efficient and cost-effective thanks to the success of a recent project coordinated by senior Mechatronics lecturer Dr Lei Chen.
Dr Chen, who is part of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, initially received a $20,000 grant from the Ecoversity Green Project Fund to test an innovative approach to building management on the Schulz building, the tallest multi-use building on the North Terrace campus.
The success of the project later earned Dr Chen and his team a Highly Commended Award at the 2017 ACTS Green Gown Awards.
Working with a team of staff from the School of Mechanical Engineering, PhD and Masters students, as well as Mechanical Services Manager Bruce Lawson, Dr Chen was able to create an 11 per cent reduction in energy consumption for the Schulz building from the 2015 baseline, displacing 44 tonnes of CO2e per year and saving the University more than $20,000 in electricity costs annually.
The project now has a range of ongoing benefits for research and operations at the University of Adelaide and will provide valuable real-world experiences for Mechanical Engineering students.
Dr Chen’s technology will also be next applied to a number of other buildings on the North Terrace campus, as well as the new $246 million Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building.
The 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia are open to all Australasian tertiary education institutions including universities, TAFE, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Registered Training Organisations (RTO).