Energy and Sustainability :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Energy and Sustainability

Policy Number: 306

Categorized: Administrative Policies

Responsible Office: Facilities

Subject: Policy to reduce environmental impact and promote energy conservation

Related Policies:


Additional Information: Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Effective Date: 04/23/2019

Last Reviewed Date: 04/23/2019

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to students, faculty, staff and long-term visitors and long term contractors at all College locations.

2.0 Policy Statement

Minimizing NOVA’s energy consumption and other conservation goals is the responsibility of students, faculty, staff, and long term contractors. The College encourages actions that will achieve energy reduction.

3.0 Definitions

Community Areas: Areas where individuals congregate when not engaged in Commonwealth of Virginia/NOVA work or where meetings are held. Examples: Kitchenettes, break rooms, conference rooms.

Individual Areas: Offices (including cubicle areas occupied by more than one individual) where Commonwealth of Virginia/NOVA work is performed. Compare to Community areas.

Sustainability: NOVA has adopted the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

4.0 Procedures

4.1 Responsibilities

Director of Facilities: Responsible for maintenance and operations of College facilities, vehicle fleet, capital projects, non-capital projects, energy usage, and sustainability.

Director of Sustainability: Responsible for the Sustainability Strategy for the College, implementation of projects to reduce the College carbon footprint, and education of students, staff, and faculty regarding environmental sustainability and associated practices.

Housekeeping Services: Responsible for transportation of internal recyclable materials and waste to appropriate external dumpsters, operating the Annandale compactors, and participating in sustainable best practices for cleaning, waste handling and housekeeping-related energy and water usage reduction.

Faculty and Staff: Responsible for day-to-day compliance with this policy and to ensure that students are aware of College sustainability and energy best practices goals and methodologies.

4.2 Procurement and Contracts

The College incorporates environmentally sustainable ("green") procedures and practices into service contracts and construction contracts where feasible, incorporating elements such as green cleaning, energy conservation & efficiency, potable water use reduction, native and non-invasive plant species, stormwater management, efficient transportation.

4.3 Managed Print Services

The College has identified and endorses the following best practices:

  1. Minimize the use of individual printers and maximize the use of networked multi-function devices (printers, copiers, scanners).
  2. Minimize the use of color printing, and maximize the use of 2-sided printing.

4.4 Energy Conservation

The College has identified and endorses the following best practices:

  1. Shut off equipment, lights, and fans when not in use or when occupant leaves the space.
  2. Enable power management features on all printers, copiers, computers, peripheral equipment, and power down on evenings and weekends.
  3. Use artificial lighting only when natural light is insufficient.
  4. Keep windows closed in conditioned spaces.
  5. Report to the Facility Manager situations which waste heat or energy (ex: Missing weather- stripping).
  6. Operate blinds and shades to help insulate the buildings.
  7. Use public transportation or carpool.
  8. Plan activities to eliminate or combine trips and minimize vehicle use.

4.5 Temperature Settings

NOVA Standards
Indoor temperature settings in College facilities during normal business hours will be:

  1. Heated to a target temperature of 70° F during the winter.
  2. Cooled to a target temperature of 74° F in centrally air conditioned spaced during the summer.
  3. Settings and adjustments will vary for spaces that have special operational requirements such as for animals and lab experiments.

User Controlled Temperature
Some thermostats are adjustable. Adjustable thermostats may be set to allow occupants to adjust the space temperature within 2° of the standard.

Building Space Scheduling
During unoccupied times, building heating and air conditioning equipment may be set back by Facilities to save energy with the space temperature allowed to drift to be cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Exact temperatures will vary per building.

4.6 Prohibited Items

Supplemental Heating Equipment
The use of supplemental heaters represents a human safety risk and property risk to the College related to fire and electrical capacity issues. Therefore, supplemental heaters are prohibited except as follows. If there is a desire for a supplemental heater due to the building not meeting the temperature standards, then contact Facilities Planning and Support Services (FPSS) to investigate. If FPSS determines that the temperature standards cannot be met, with FPSS review and approval of the proposed heater, the user can use a supplemental heater.

Supplemental Cooling Equipment
The use of supplemental air-conditioning units is prohibited due to safety considerations. If there are areas that do not meet the temperature standards, contact Facilities Planning and Support Services to investigate and resolve.

Cooking Equipment & Refrigerators
Small microwaves (less than 900 watts) and small refrigerators (Two cubic foot size) are discouraged in individual areas. Long term, the College plans to install more kitchenettes (includes sinks, refrigerators, and microwaves) through building renovation projects and targeted non-capital projects to improve convenience and energy efficiency. Also, installing more kitchenettes will support the long-term goals of eliminating microwaves and refrigerators in individual spaces.

Other cooking and cooling equipment including, but not limited to: Large microwaves, large refrigerators, convection ovens, hot plates, and freezers are prohibited from being in individual areas in buildings due to fire, safety, electrical capacity and energy conservation goals.

Other Plug Loads
Non work-related energy and/or water consuming devices are prohibited on State property. Examples include but are not limited to: Lighted terrariums and aquariums. Quartz lamps are prohibited for safety reasons.

4.7. Waivers

Waivers may be issued for documented medical reasons in accord with procedures for requesting such accommodations. See Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities Policy.

5.0 Authority