Green lights: Oxford College installs new, better lighting

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

OXFORD -- Oxford College is implementing more "green" initiatives at its campus this month.

For the past couple of weeks, crews have been working at Oxford College to retrofit the majority of its buildings with high-efficiency lighting.

Lighting crews have installed super T8 lighting, a combination of highly efficient 28-watt lamps and electronic ballasts that results in brighter lighting using a lower energy output.

Crews also are converting incandescent lamps and fixtures to compact fluorescent ones and replacing incandescent exit signs with LED exit signs.

"The electric energy and natural gas saved through these updates will result in a rapid return on investment for the project," said Cathy Wooten, director of Communications at Oxford College. "These savings are important, but equally important to Oxford are the efficiencies achieved and the alignment with both its own sustainability goals and those of Emory University, which is committed to reducing energy use 25 percent per square foot by 2015 from 2005 levels."

In addition to the lighting project, new control strategies for the HVAC system are being implemented in the Williams Gymnasium, maximizing the direct-digital controls already in place and increasing the efficiency of the system, Wooten said.

This is just one of the many sustainability projects the college has implemented over the past few years. The college's Office of Sustainability Initiatives, which was formed in the fall of 2006, helps implement similar projects at each Emory campus.

Last year, Oxford College installed solar panels on Haygood dormitory. They produce currents that signal pumps on an adjacent water barrel that catches rain water to send water into the nearby Educational Garden Project, which was developed in 2008 to focus on locally-grown food.

Additionally, its newest residence hall, East Village, is a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, building. Such buildings feature the use of low-pollution lighting, low-flow plumbing, available natural daylight, landscape that requires little irrigation, recyclable building materials and other energy-efficient products.