CPCC will receive ‘Energy Efficiency Leader Award’ from Trane

last modified Nov 02, 2011 05:19 PM

System improvements by College expected to reduce energy use by 20 percent

Charlotte, N.C. – High-efficiency energy improvements at Central Piedmont Community College are expected to reduce energy use by at least 20 percent annually while improving the educational and working environment for students, employees and visitors.

The $3.6-million project, completed in September, was launched during a period of significant budget cuts to address an aging infrastructure, reduce energy consumption and support the College’s long-term goal of sustainability. The improvements reflect the college’s strong commitment to sustainability and sustainability education.

In recognition of the college’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability, CPCC will receive the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” from Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. The North American headquarters and corporate center as well as two business sectors of Ingersoll Rand are in Charlotte.

Details of the upcoming award presentation:

  • CPCC will be recognized at the award presentation on Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. in Tate Hall – Overcash Building, on the Central Campus, at 1206 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte.
  • Bill Harris, vice president of education markets for Trane, will present the award to Dr. Tony Zeiss, CPCC president.


The upgrades represent a milestone in transforming the college’s facilities into high-performance buildings that tie to the school’s educational mission. High-performance buildings take a whole-building approach to performance while creating spaces that are reliable, safe, healthy, comfortable and efficient. They meet specific standards for energy and water consumption, system reliability and uptime, environmental compliance, occupant comfort, and other factors. All standards are set to deliver established outcomes that help building owners and occupants achieve their business mission.

Customized Solutions Identified
In the spring of 2009, CPCC committed to being one of the first North Carolina community colleges to respond to the state mandate to achieve energy savings of 20 percent as compared to their 2006 baseline. The CPCC finance and facilities groups collaborated on an energy audit to identify energy conservation measures that could increase energy efficiency.

The College then used the results to develop a comprehensive plan to improve energy efficiency in the Central Campus utility plant and five other campus buildings totaling 364,315 square feet. These buildings include: the Advanced Technology Building, the Central High School building, the Giles Building, the Learning Resource Center and the Terrell Building.

Improvements included energy efficient lighting and water upgrades. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system upgrades included the expansion of the campus building automation system, the installation of direct digital controls, as well as the addition of variable frequency drives for more energy and operational efficiency.

Tertiary hot water and chilled water pumping systems, which pump only to necessary levels when needed, were added to the central utility plant to make the Central Campus buildings more efficient. The team also outlined a delayed capital master plan to extend chilled water and hot water lines across the campus to connect the new systems to the older original campus buildings.

CPCC captured significant cost savings by leveraging construction activities on the improvements. Initially, trenching was designed to handle two, small chilled water lines. Through project coordination, the work was expanded to a full utility trench and now includes two, large chilled water lines, two hot water lines, as well as the fiber-optic cable network. The anticipated savings on future construction costs are expected to be nearly $1.2 million. Additionally, lighting improvements completed as part of the project are generating rebates from the local utility.


About Central Piedmont Community College
Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering nearly 300 degree, diploma and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County, with six campuses located throughout the county and multiple online programs. Part of the Charlotte landscape for almost 50 years, CPCC now serves 70,000 students annually. In 2002, the National Alliance of Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies.