Following the success of the Shapiro Campus Center’s lighting efficiency project, the University has dedicated $2.5 million to increase the number of buildings on campus that will receive LED lighting upgrades, according to a Nov. 15 email from Finance and Administration. This new initiative will contribute to the institution’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint and thereby reach a 15% reduction over 2015 by 2020, a goal set by the University as part of its 2016 climate action plan.

Over the summer, the University replaced the SCC’s lighting with LED lights. According to a Dec. 6 Marketwatch Article, the University worked with Energy Source, a division of Revolution Lighting Technologies, to implement the SCC lighting efficiency project. This renovation is expected to reduce the University’s annual lighting costs by 78%, according to the MarketWatch article. The article also quoted Energy Source CEO Tim Blanchard saying, “we are proud to work with Brandeis, providing comprehensive ... services and industry expertise to exceed their project goals.” 

In an email to the Justice, the University’s Manager of the Sustainability Programs Office Mary Fischer noted that, to date, the University has saved 50,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity with the SCC lighting project, which is the equivalent of “6 average U.S. homes’ electricity-use for one year.” 

Noting the success of the SCC program, the University recently allocated funding to do the same retrofitting in other buildings. The first three buildings that will be renovated after the SCC are the Hassenfeld Conference Center, the Goldfarb Library and the Usdan Student Center. These buildings were chosen based on what Fischer described as a “high-level lighting study done of nearly the entire campus a year ago.” The study identified target buildings based on cost of updates, current types of lighting and energy savings potential. 

According to a Nov. 15 InBrief email from the Office of Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the International Business School, Carl J. Shapiro Science Center and Village Residence Hall are also included in the list of potential target buildings. 

Fischer explained the process of the SCC’s lighting changes. All building-related decisions were based on the previously mentioned lighting study. Then, the University needed to find a firm — Energy Source — to help with logistics. After collaborating with the contractor to create detailed analysis and designs, building-specific recommendations were identified and drawn. Lastly, the revisions themselves were implemented. The planned renovations will follow this same process.

According to Fischer, the building that will be renovated the soonest is the Hassenfeld Conference Center. Currently, the University is working on finalizing recommendations. It is expected that the recommended renovations will be carried out over winter break, per Fischer’s email. Meanwhile, the University is still in the planning stages for both the Goldfarb Library and the Usdan Student Center’s renovations.