Delta Force OHill

Last Thursday, several Facilities Managers engineers and representatives met with a small group of OHill building residents, including the UVa executive chef, the retail operations manager, the manager of OHill Dining Hall, and myself. This gathering was the first in a series that the engineers - operating under the tag line Delta Force - are organizing at different buildings around Grounds in order to get building residents talking and thinking about ways to reduce the building's overall environmental impact. Delta Force has focused a good amount of attention on OHill as a whole over the past few months, with most of the work centered around making internal and back of the house energy and water conservation-geared changes. These include the installation of controls to reduce the air flow levels on the cooking hoods, replacing the outdoor lamps with LED bulbs, and modifying the AC system so that temperatures in the admin offices (Business Operations and Dining Admin) can be adjusted - say, during the weekends when admin offices are closed but the dining facilities are open - without affecting the dining areas.

Thursday's meeting was intended to bring people up to speed on these efforts thus far, but also to bestow building residents with a small sense of personal responsibility to help make changes that will continue to reduce the building's utility footprint. Lead engineering and project manager Libba Williams suggested that we consider taking actions like making sure our computers and printers were fully turned off at night (not just in sleep or hibernate mode) and even linking up to a centralized printer where possible. I keep both my printer and laptop hooked up to a power strip that I turn off at the end of every work day, and lately I have taken to unplugging my printer from the power cord except for the brief intervals in which I need to print a page or two of something (double-sided, of course!).

Bravo to the great savings that the Delta Force team has already accomplished; I'm excited to see the ripple effect as more buildings undergo their own energy/water audits and implement similar measures.

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