St Hilda’s College shines the way
St Hilda’s College encompasses buildings constructed from 1790 to the present day. The estate features a central main site in Oxford and several off-site student accommodation blocks in East Oxford.
The heating system of the accommodation blocks primarily relied on gas, utilising wet radiator heating systems, though certain offices were equipped with electric heating. Additionally, various offices and server rooms are equipped with air-cooling units.
The College had a large number of single glazed windows throughout; it was recommended that double glazing be implemented to improve the insulation in the building, reduce energy used for heating, and maintain the indoor temperature for longer.
Loft insulation became a strategic focus in St Hilda’s planning for its buildings, with a priority on those most heavily used, or where noticeable heat loss was causing discomfort.
Furthermore, there were uninsulated sections of pipework that needed upgrading. Insulating all pipework, valves, pumps, and flanges can result in a heat loss reduction of up to 90% in the boiler room, with payback often achieved within just 1-2 years.
LEDs lighting upgrades
The Workplace Energy Efficiency Assessment also revealed that approximately 50% of lighting was not LED, so replacing these was made a priority in St Hilda’s College buildings. LEDs are very energy efficient, reducing electricity use by up to 90% compared to other lighting.
EcoSync radiator valves
EcoSync technology was slated to be deployed in 100 rooms at St Hilda’s. Utilising innovative technology, EcoSync achieves a remarkable up to 40% reduction in energy consumption and carbon footprint by preventing the heating of unoccupied rooms.
- Lighting upgrades save around 10-15% on electricity use
- System and fabric upgrades save around 15% on gas use
- Realistic payback periods 2-5 years
As St Hilda’s College moves towards best practice in energy management, numerous opportunities arise to engage students, staff, and site visitors in energy-related matters. Potential activities include sharing information on energy consumption and recent improvements, encouraging user input into policies and procedures, and providing opportunities to actively participate in reducing energy usage.
The option of PV panels (and other renewable technologies) is also being considered.