UVM Greenhouses Recognized for Exemplary Lighting Efficiencies

The UVM Greenhouses are lighted after the sun set on a semi-cloudy evening.

The UVM Greenhouses have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2022 Integrated Lighting Campaign, for its use of Integrated Horticultural Controls in the main campus greenhouse facility!

Installed in 2015, the Argus Titan control system maintains optimum light levels, temperature, and humidity for the 8,000 square feet of controlled environment growth space at the UVM Greenhouses’ main campus facility. This system automates and monitors the HVAC and lighting, as well as the climate curtains, which create a thermal layer to reduce heating demand in the winter and provide shading to reduce cooling loads in the summer. The control system records and stores historical trend data, which is used to ensure each individual greenhouse module maintains ideal conditions for plant health and energy efficiency.

Inside one of the UVM Greenhouses with benches full of green plants and growing lights suspended overhead.

In addition, thanks to a 2020 grant from the UMV Core Facilities Upgrade Fund and generous incentives from the Burlington Electric Department, the UVM Greenhouses were able to purchase 18 cutting-edge, light-emitting diode (LED) grow light fixtures for its main campus facility. These new LED lights replaced outdated, low efficiency light fixtures, which has amounted to annual energy savings of over 22,000 kilowatt-hours. The estimated simple payback on these new lights is less than four years.

Every year the DOE campaign, part of the Better Buildings Initiative, recognizes participants who have demonstrated exemplary performance in building efficiency through advanced lighting sensors, controls, and integration of lighting with other building systems. You can learn more about the campaign here: https://integratedlightingcampaign.energy.gov/

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