Energy Furman University

At Furman, we know how important energy conservation is to global sustainability issues. That’s why we incorporate conservation measures into new buildings, update old buildings to be more efficient and even produce some of our own energy to put back into the grid. We don’t just change the way our physical campus uses energy, we also strive to change the way our community views energy consumption. Our energy conservation technologies serve as hands-on laboratories.

Geothermal heat pumps

Furman is replacing aging heat pumps in 10 of our North Village apartment buildings with new, highly efficient geothermal ground-source heat pumps, which will take advantage of the constant temperature of the earth to pre-heat or pre-cool air for ventilation. The project, paid for by a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy and matching funds from the university, will be completed in 2013.

Physical Activities Center

Since the late 1970s, the roof of this LEED Silver-certified building has been home to a large solar thermal system that generates hot water for the building. The roof also holds a 95 kW solar photovoltaic array, which quadruples the university’s capacity for renewable energy generation. And the green technology doesn’t stop outside the building. The class of 2010’s senior gift was the installation of ReRev technology, which harnesses energy created by the use of elliptical machines that would otherwise be lost to heat.

Energy dashboard

The dashboard allows Furman community members to view energy use in real-time through an easy-to-use website. We’ve made the data available to faculty and students for use in the classroom and in research, making it easier to build connections between the coursework and university operations. The dashboard was partially funded by a gift from The Duke Endowment. For more information on Furman's dashboard contact the Shi Center.

Townes Science Center

Townes Science Center incorporates an array of renewable energy components, including a solar/aquatic waste water treatment system, two hybrid solar concentrators, day lighting, energy recovery wheels, and a sophisticated chilled-beam cooling system for thermal efficiency. These high performance facilities are more than just classrooms, they provide learning and research opportunities for students.


Our cottage serves as a demonstration site for sustainable living choices. The site displays five types of photovoltaic panels: monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels, solar thin film, bifacial panels, and a dual-axis pole-mounted solar tracker.

Existing buildings

True to its commitment to sustainable choices, Furman plans to recommission all of the existing buildings on campus to make sure they’re using only as much energy as necessary. Engineers and outside testing companies will evaluate and test the buildings’ heating and air conditioning systems to make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible. Each building is also equipped with a Building Automation System, which adjusts the climate and lighting of each building according to when the building is being used. These systems will be tested and repaired as well.

Facilities Services

Facilities Services monitors and tracks Furman's energy usage, and identifies ways for our campus to become more energy efficient. The department accomplishes this by monitoring equipment like Furman's heating and air conditioning systems. 

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