Canaday Hall, one of Harvard’s 17 freshman dormitories, is scheduled for a facilities upgrade this week that will replace just under 200 light bulbs with more energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the building.
The new bulbs will be placed in Canaday’s common spaces, including the bathrooms, laundry and common rooms, and the Harvard College Women’s Center in the Canaday basement.
According to a flyer handed out at a study break in Canaday on Friday, the transition to LED lighting will save 8,395 kilowatts of power every year. This will save more than $1,000 and eliminate 5,758 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually.
The initiative was led by the Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program through Green ’18, a group of students in the freshman class who focus on campus sustainability issues. Green ’18 collaborated with the Office of Physical Resources and Planning, the Freshman Dean’s Office, Yard Operations, and the Faculty of Arts and Science Green Program.
Clifford F. W. Goertemiller ’17, who is a student intern with REP, said that Canaday was selected for upgrades because students felt that it needed energy reduction measures more than any other freshman dormitories.
“Most of the other dorms have actually managed to decrease their energy use over the past several years…but Canaday’s energy use has gone up about five percent,” he said.
The students of Green ’18 call the project a “weatherization,” which describes the facilities upgrades as an effort to reduce energy consumption in the building.
In order to assess how many bulbs were eligible for replacement, students from Green ’18 had to manually count and evaluate prospective lighting fixtures in Canaday.
According to Goertemiller, a University employee will change the bulbs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The students received a grant from the Office of Physical Resources and Planning that covered all of the costs for the upgrades.
Green ’18 settled on the light bulb project after accounting for a number of factors, including cost, pragmatics, and environmental efficiency.
“The real winner here for us was the light bulbs just because there is so much energy that can be reduced, and then there are a lot of incentive programs right now to save money on buying the lightbulbs,” said Kelsey Grab, the residential coordinator for the FAS Green Program.
Rachel O. Gilchrist ’18, a freshman in Canaday and a member of Green ’18, emphasized the importance of student autonomy in deciding to move forward with the facilities upgrade.
She turned to the issue of shower timers to illustrate that point.
“We can’t add the ones that, you know, you get twenty minutes then it cuts the water off, because then people don’t get to make that choice anymore,” Gilchrist said. “We have to make changes that preserve people’s choice.”
—Staff writer Kristina D. Lorch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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