UT Southwestern Medical Center
At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Rachel Finan helped UTSW identify water saving opportunities.
Rachel Finan worked with UT Southwestern (UTSW) to quantify its water use, benchmark the usage both externally and internally and identify cost savings opportunities through water efficiency initiatives.
Finan’s results highlighted numerous opportunities, specifically among biomedical research labs, thermal energy plants and through innovative methods of water reuse. One such measure entails the implementation of an air handling unit condensate recovery system. The condensate could be piped into the chilled water return line. At the plant, a relief valve allows over-pressurization to supply the excess water to the cooling towers. Other recommendations included the installation of closed loop cooling systems for biomedical research experiments, transferring cooling towers to city water from well water thereby tripling the cycles, utilizing well water for sprinkler system and capturing rain water to utilize for car washing (which would meet 100% of washing needs).
Finan's condensate recovery system has a payback of less than two years, and if implemented throughout multiple buildings, could provide cumulative annual savings of up to 30 million gallons of water, 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity and more than $300,000 in collective water, sewer and electricity charges. Finan's other suggestions could provide a total annual savings of over 6.62 million gallons of water. UTSW is committed to taking a leadership role in in water-reduction initiatives for North Texas. The University anticipates implementing several of Finan’s recommendations and will use the information garnered to help create a long range plan for water use reduction. The Energy Management/Sustainability team plans to utilize the benchmarking data Finan compiled as a baseline from which to improve upon the university’s future water consumption.