By Stephanie Stuckey, Staff Reporter
When a new building is going to be constructed or plans for major renovations are being made, upgrading the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are always a priority, said Brad Moore, director of C & M Relations.
The HVAC systems have been upgraded during the recent renovations of the JS Building and the H Building at Main Campus, the Tom Wiley Hall on Montoya Campus, and the Advanced Technology Center, he said.
New energy-efficient HVAC systems have also been installed in the L Building, which is currently being renovated and due to open mid-August, he said.
According to Moore, Smith Brasher Hall (SB) will undergo a major renovation and also include new energy-efficient HVAC systems.
A geothermal well underneath the parking lot at SB will be used to heat and cool the building, Moore said.
SB will be the first building at CNM that will not use natural gas, he said.
CNM also recently received funding from the state to begin upgrades to the HVAC system in Max Salazar Hall (MS), he said.
Two new boilers and two new chillers will be installed as the first phase of the HVAC upgrades to MS, he said.
Main Campus requires the most energy of all the CNM campuses, using about 300 kilowatts per square foot, he said.
Currently, the oldest HVAC systems on Main Campus are in the MS Building and the W Building and they likely date back to the 1970s, he said.
The Rio Rancho Campus and the Westside Campus will undergo similar renovations to maintain the heating and cooling of certain buildings as well, Moore said.
The CNM Sustainability Task Team, which includes employees from the CNM Facilities Department and representatives from around the college, are the people responsible for deciding what the temperatures in the buildings at CNM are set at, he said.
The thermostat in CNM buildings are set between 68 and 70 degrees by the Facilities Department at CNM, he said.
Since the late 1990s, CNM has continuously strived to replace old, less efficient HVAC systems with more eco-friendly and energy efficient systems whenever opportunities arise through renovation projects, Moore said.
In 2008, CNM made a commitment to design all new buildings and all major renovation projects to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification which requires highly energy efficient mechanical systems, he said.
CNM has earned LEED certification on seven buildings since 2008, he said.
“CNM’s overarching sustainability goal is to reduce waste, water use, energy use, and carbon emissions while educating and informing the CNM community about sustainable practices,” he said.
CNM is preparing to seek a contractor that will help the college educate the CNM community about individual behaviors that can collectively contribute to energy savings and more eco-friendly practices, he said.