PM Department Realizes Energy Savings, Promotes Campus Sustainability
By Gail Riese
This past year, Facilities Management's Preventive Maintenance Department partnered with Camfil Farr, the largest filter manufacturer in the world, and reduced a significant amount of waste, realized significant cost savings for the University, conserved electrical energy, and improved the air quality for campus customers – all by utilizing a new style of air filter.
"The new filters allow better air flow, require less energy, and last three to four times longer than previous filters,&" said Lee Smith, Preventive Maintenance Manager. "In the past, the University consumed between 25,000 and 30,000 filters per year. In fiscal year 2013, we installed only 4,549 filters," said Smith.
The longer-life filters not only require less energy but have also allowed the maintenance staff more time to devote to preventive and predictive care. This has improved equipment performance. For example, according to Smith, now that staff members are spending less time changing filters, they are able to align more pulleys, grease more bearings, and repair more equipment.
In addition to energy savings, this project has reduced the number of dirty filters sent to landfills - 15,000 to 25,000 less than previous years. In years past, a roll-off dumpster was filled at least once per week. Similarly, Facilities Management previously maintained an inventory of approximately 1000 filters. Filters were delivered weekly and stored in trailers that were pulled all over campus each night. Now, filters are ordered only as needed, can be easily stored in the Preventive Maintenance shop, and can be transported to campus locations in the bed of a standard truck.
"To date, I believe this is one of the best projects Preventive Maintenance has undertaken to achieve the greatest campus energy savings and to promote campus sustainability," stated Smith.
Camfil Farr presented Facilities Management's Preventive Maintenance Department with an award for achieving a 5-star rating, meeting all ECI (energy cost index) air filtration standards. Auburn is the first major university in the southeast to receive this designation and is the highest rated in Alabama, according to Greg Herman, Branch Manager for Camfil's Birmingham office.
Last Updated: Apr 07, 2014