Facilities Launches Building Occupancy Training Program

January 3, 2012

Yale Facilities is developing a building occupancy training program for users of various Yale buildings, including the Residential Colleges, to inform new or current occupants how to occupy their buildings sustainably.

The program was launched in the spring of 2010 by Ginger Chapman, Director of Sustainability Initiatives for Yale Facilities and Joanna Julian FES ‘12, Research Assistant for Building Occupancy. The goal is to optimize building performance by educating users and residents on how to utilize building features to reduce environmental impact. The self-guided interactive PowerPoint presentation is customized based on the features of different buildings. Typically the training program is disseminated to staff members by their supervisors. They receive a link to the program so they can access it at their convenience. Alternatively, some departments might elect to go through the program in a group setting focusing on specific areas in each session. For the Residential Colleges the training could become part of freshman orientation.

The presentation includes topics such as energy, water, waste management, procurement (food & dining for the Residential Colleges), travel and transportation, and shared areas with embedded links to learn more about each area.  Also included is a section about the facility’s particular sustainable attributes. In some cases the operational impacts of those attributes will be reviewed, e.g. chilled beams and the operational differences one encounters with this energy saving technology, or the use of reclaimed water to flush toilets and the resulting unusual color of the toilet water).

The presentation for office occupancy was piloted at 221 Whitney Avenue last spring and the Amistad Building at the School of Medicine was the pilot location for the laboratory occupancy training in the fall of 2011. Training programs for the Yale Health Center, Rosenkranz Hall, Sterling Hall of Medicine, Residential Colleges and the Yale Art Gallery are currently being developed expanding the program to teaching, clinical, exhibition and residential occupancies.