Higher Ed Facilities

Schneider Electric, UNT Partner to Support Campus Modernization

Schneider Electric recently announced that it will continue its partnership with the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, via a new modernization project that will support sustainable research growth at the university’s health research labs. The $10 million project is the third within the last 10 years between the two organizations.

According to a press release, the partnership will offer about $424,900 annually in avoided costs over an estimated 20 years. Schneider will help the university repurpose spaces to make small aesthetic changes to a small footprint, including moving a cooling tower. It will also expand on the Schneider Electric Building Automation Systems (BAS) already installed in campus facilities, including the addition of a campus-wide EcoStruxure for Building Operation platform.

“Because the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is an institution that supports significant research projects, it was important that Schneider Electric make these upgrades without interruptions to ongoing research on campus,” said Program Director Greg Knudson of Schneider Electric. “Over our multi-year partnership, we have come to understand the university’s needs and ambitions, so we are well positioned to help them creatively modernize their facilities and repurpose space within their existing footprint to best position them for future success.”

The Health Science Center’s small footprint complicated necessary upgrades to a large mechanical system. The system was crucial in supporting ongoing research initiatives, but it would also take up a large amount of physical space needed for labs, classrooms, and other clinical space. Schneider redesigned the system to relocate a large cooling tower from the campus’ green space to the roof of an existing building. Opening this existing space allowed for the addition of labs and academic space and also improved the campus’ aesthetic.

“Research is an important part of the HSC community—driving, funding and recruiting for the university, as well as making it an ideal location to host ongoing training for medical students,” said Randall Christopher, Energy Manager at HSC. “The upgrades will provide a reliable energy infrastructure to help continue that legacy with reduced risks related to disruption. Beyond that, the reality of our research facilities previously meant a large, noisy cooling tower in the middle of our campus green space. Our partnership with the Schneider Electric team has improved our infrastructure and our campus aesthetics by relocating the cooling tower.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].