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October's spotlight is on energy; Constitution Hall exhibits many energy efficiency measures

LED lights in Constitution Hall

The month of October is dedicated to putting a spotlight on energy. It's the month where we observe Energy Awareness Month, Weatherization Month, Energy Efficiency Day (October 2), ENERGY STAR Day (October 27), Weatherization Day (October 30), and Careers in Energy Week (October 14 to 19).

October's dwindling daylight hours and the cooler temperatures remind us that winter temperatures are on the way and the time is right to make energy efficiency improvements.

Governor Whitmer recently announced the state's renewed emphasis on leading by example when it comes to sustainability. Implementing more sustainable practices and reducing energy usage where possible are a "win-win for the environment and taxpayers," she said.

At Constitution Hall in Lansing, where EGLE is headquartered, energy efficiency has been the focus for a while. Since 2015, the building has been ENERGY STAR certified. The designation is earned annually and means the building uses, on average, 35% less energy than similar buildings nationwide.

Just last month, new energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting was installed in the restrooms, atrium, catwalk, and first floor. The Michigan Department of Management and Budget (DTMB) will continue to retrofit the building with LED lighting on all floors in both towers. Some of the LEDs in Constitution Hall are Cree SmartCast fixtures that automatically adjust illumination based on the amount of natural light in a space.

In Constitution Hall, DTMB has also:

  • Commissioned heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls to regulate heating and cooling in the building.
  • Fine-tuned the rooftop air handler units to optimize fresh air changes.
  • Installed self-luminous exit signs. This type of technology allows signs to illuminate without using electric power.
  • Installed occupancy sensors in various locations throughout the building.
  • Installed variable frequency drives (VFDs) on equipment. VFDs maintain the optimal speed required for an application to enhance production and save energy.
  • Installed low-flush receptacles in some of the restrooms. These can save approximately 0.4 liters of water per flush.

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