Harvard’s Green Revolving Fund in Action

green revolving fund Harvard University
Amanda Gassé for Zondits, April 21, 2015. Image credit: tpsdave

Harvard University is a founding member of the Million Dollar Green Challenge, which encourages colleges and universities to invest in a self-managed revolving fund to finance campus energy efficiency improvements. The Green Revolving Fund (GRF) at Harvard is a $12 million dollar reserve that has backed nearly 200 projects that have generated over $4 million in energy savings annually.

Recently, Harvard allocated $300,000 from the GRF to finance an efficiency upgrade in the Northwest Lab Building. The air handling system runs constantly to refill the labs with fresh air every hour. The Senior facilities manager Tom Tribble recognized that in order to reduce the air flow into the lab the valves in the air vents needed to be smaller, but replacing all the valves in the building would be too costly for the department. Instead, Tribble developed an innovative mechanism by crafting and inserting small metal disks and cutting holes in a daisy pattern to trick the ventilation system and reduce air flow. The disks were made on campus and installed for a fraction of the cost of replacing all the valves throughout the building. The money saved on energy consumption will be deposited into the GRF to fund future efficiency projects on campus.

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Amid Calls to Divest, Schools Explore Green Revolving Funds

WGBH News, April 15, 2015

While only 22 U.S. colleges and universities have actually agreed to sell their shares in oil and coal companies, more than 50 have committed themselves to efficiency projects on campus through a special financing method called green revolving funds, including Harvard University.

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