Powering Progress: An Exploration into Campus Building Energy Efficiency - Kingswood Oxford

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June 04, 2024

Powering Progress: An Exploration into Campus Building Energy Efficiency

Ryan Sadowskiys ’25 dedicated efforts in an independent study project aim to revolutionize campus energy efficiency with the potential to be a catalyst for positive change. Focusing his research on the Roberts Center, which houses the Roberts Theater, classrooms, and administrative offices, Sadowsky took a deep dive into current energy consumption patterns and proposed innovative solutions for a sustainable future. His passionate work on this topic and suggestions for designing and implementing ways that the school can be more energy efficient have opened up conversations on where KO could be in five years and even ten years regarding energy consumption and improvements that need to be made. 


Sadowsky’s endeavor was supported by his faculty advisor, Michael Bane, the technical director at KO, who himself is always trying to move the dial toward a more sustainable and efficient campus. Through detailed documentation and research, Sadowsky crafted a comprehensive plan to enhance energy efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize environmental impact. Beginning with an analysis of Robert Center’s energy consumption, he identified areas for improvement and implemented strategies to streamline efficiency. This involved calculations of energy usage, including wattage documentation and daily runtime estimates for each floor of the Robert Center. Building upon this baseline, Sadowsky proposed short- and long-term solutions to drive energy savings. These included initiatives like replacing outdated lighting fixtures with modern, energy-efficient LED units, implementing infrared motion detection for room occupancy, and integrating building automation controls for HVAC, lighting, and security systems.


Drawing inspiration from innovative practices at institutions like Connecticut College, where Bane and Sadowsky visited, Sadowsky explored advanced technologies such as natural gas fuel cells. These systems, capable of supplying a significant portion of campus electricity while reducing operating costs, offer KO the opportunity to generate clean energy and even sell surplus power back to the grid. Moreover, the heat generated by these fuel cells can be harnessed for heating and hot water, enhancing sustainability efforts while bolstering resilience against power disruptions.


Sadowsky also collaborated closely with the Director of Facilities, Luis Baez, who leads ongoing efforts to enhance campus infrastructure and sustainability practices. Baez, another advocate for continuous improvement, is excited to partner with Sadowski to explore available automation and efficiency enhancement options.


Sadowsky’ s commitment to advancing sustainability at KO is a keen example of how impactful student-driven initiatives can be. His thorough and practical assessment has real potential to pave the way for a more environmentally efficient and cost-effective campus and an overall sustainable future.

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KO and a Cup of Joe – Thursday Mornings throughout the Summer

Join us for a brief information session to learn about the academic and co-curricular offerings at Kingswood Oxford School during the summer: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Roberts Building’s lower lobby. For more information, contact our Admissions Office at (860) 727-5000. What a Difference a Day Makes!