Vanderbilt University Makes Great Strides in Sustainability

Case Studies

by Lochinvar Marketing Dept. | 12/22/2011

Over the past five years, Vanderbilt University has made great strides in sustainability as part of its SustainVU efforts. Led by the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office, SustainVU encompasses a wide variety of environmental management and sustainability initiatives that improve Vanderbilt’s impact on the community and the environment. From the numerous LEED certified facilities on campus to highly successful recycling programs for computers, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and many other materials, Vanderbilt continues to demonstrate its commitment to environmental stewardship.

One example of these ongoing efforts to achieve environmental efficiency on campus was the recent overhaul of the water heating system at Vanderbilt’s Student Recreation Center. When the need arose for a replacement system, Vanderbilt’s Plant Operations team worked with Ferguson in Nashville to find an efficient solution. Having had extensive experience with high-efficiency Lochinvar equipment, the Ferguson representatives invited Chris Dickerson of Lochinvar to check out the existing equipment and provide a recommendation for a retro-fit system.

A Smart Solution
After inspecting the equipment and the size of the mechanical room, Dickerson recommended replacing the 2.4 million Btu/hr water heater and its 1000-gallon storage tank with four 500,000 Btu/hr ARMOR® Water Heaters (AWN501PM) and five Lock-Temp® Round Jacketed Storage Tanks (RJA200). The need for five 200-gallon storage tanks was dictated by the space constraints of the entrance to the mechanical room since these units were the largest that would fit through the doorway.

The Vanderbilt and Ferguson teams had great confidence in the Lochinvar ARMOR, which offers thermal efficiency up to 98%, and they agreed that this was the ideal replacement system for the Recreation Center.

Intelligent Installation
The installation was handled by Nashville Machine Company. When it came time to remove the old equipment, the large water heater had to be cut into pieces in order to get it out of the mechanical room.
To ensure a seamless installation of the new ARMOR water heaters and storage tanks, Dickerson provided a piping detail for the Nashville Machine Company to follow. Despite the complex piping arrangement, the expertise of the installation team and the flexibility of ARMOR’s venting options allowed for a smooth, successful installation.

A+ Efficiency
Since installing the Lochinvar ARMOR Water Heaters and Lock-Temp Storage Tanks at the Student Recreation Center, Vanderbilt University has seen an average savings of 26% on monthly gas bills due to the significant increase in efficiency.

“We’re continuously working towards improving sustainability on campus, and projects like this one help us to greatly reduce our impact on the environment,” stated Samuel Hirt, director of campus recreation at Vanderbilt University. “The Lochinvar equipment has been operating perfectly since day one, and the energy savings are incredible.”