Campus signs $42.7 million conservation contract

By Patrick J. Callahan

UMass Amherst has signed a 10-year, $42.7 million contract with Johnson Controls, Inc., of Milwaukee, for a major energy and water conservation project that is estimated to save the campus 25 percent of its utility costs. Work will include lighting upgrades, chiller replacements, water conservation measures, and repairs to more than 4,000 feet of steam lines on the Amherst campus. These and many other energy and water conservation measures will be installed by JCI over the next two years.

Working with the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM), UMass has secured a 10-year master lease for the project and will borrow the funds. The agreement represents the largest DCAM project of its kind with any state agency. The project also represents a major step in reducing energy and water consumption on the Amherst campus while effectively managing financial and natural resources during a time of soaring energy costs, according to Joyce Hatch, vice chancellor for administration and finance.

DCAM will act as the construction agent for UMass and will provide project management and engineering services throughout the implementation process. The 10-year agreement provides for Johnson Controls to perform major capital improvements to the campus infrastructure, which will result in significant energy and water savings to the campus. Energy costs for fiscal year 2005 are estimated at $19.2 million prior to the agreement.