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Capital Improvements

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) awarded Eastern a Silver Rating after the university submitted its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report to the organization. STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Eastern is the only public institution in Connecticut to be rated.

On Oct. 4, 2012, in the Science Building, Eastern President Elsa Núñez joined representatives from UTC Power, the Connecticut Energy Finance Investment Authority (CEFIA) and other guests to formally dedicate the University's new fuel cell power plant. Speakers included Joe Triompo, vice president and general manager of UTC Power; Connecticut Colleges and Universities Board of Regent Chairman Lewis Robinson; Rick Ross, CEFIA senior manager of clean energy deployment; and Eastern alumna State Rep. Susan Johnson '77.

Eastern uses 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building while maximizing the use of the heat output available from the plant.

The J. Eugene Smith Library Lighting Control System Upgrade was one of seven Connecticut energy efficiency projects acknowledged on April 9 in the first annual Power of Change Award program sponsored by the Common Sense Fund, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. Eastern earned First Honors in the Power of Change Fast Track Award category, which recognized the agencies that "got out front" by aiming for higher levels of efficiency.

In fall 2011, Eastern received a state grant funded by Governor Dannel Malloy's Lead by Example state building energy efficiency program to install Encelium, an energy conservation system, in the J. Eugene Smith Library. Work on the project began in February 2012. Workers attached sensors to all of the lights in the building and also regulated the heating, ventilation and cooling system as well. Each floor of the four-story building was divided into multiple zones, which were wired in a way that the zone can be separately controlled for lighting. The Encelium system is not just a standard motion detection stem; it also can compensate for the amount of outside daylight in the room.

Williams LeahyWilliam Leahy, executive director of operations for Eastern's Institute for Sustainable Energy, was a member of the 15-member regional committee of energy and conservation experts who judged the Power of Change awards.