By Nathan Owens
The Razorback Reporter
Kimpel Hall’s energy consumption spiked last weekend because of the massive dehumidifiers that have run non-stop since a major water leak last month, according to a University of Arkansas weekly energy report.
A globe valve on a chiller pipe stopped working at 1 p.m. Sept. 28, gushing an estimated 1,500 gallons of water into the building. Most of the damage hit the first and fourth floors.
The maintenance crew began placing humidifiers with fans on all the floors of Kimpel Hall Oct. 3 and kept the machines running 24/7 over the weekend.
This semester the offices of Sustainability and Facilities Management placed energy feedback charts in a few buildings for a campus energy awareness program titled “Every Kilowatt Counts.”
The graphs show electricity consumption data in kilowatt-hours for last year as well as a 15 percent reduction target and data from this semester. The buildings participating in the program are Kimpel Hall, the Walton College of Business, J.B. Hunt and the School of Law.
Participating buildings have decreased their energy consumption compared to last year’s data – except Kimpel.
From Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 Kimpel’s electricity usage increased from 18,185 kwh to 21,842 kwh. Compared with the same time period last year, Kimpel Hall had an increase of 4,187 kwh.
“Hopefully, this will appear as a temporary ‘blip’ on the Kimpel energy chart, and energy use will be at or below 2013 levels next week,” Halsell wrote in an email.
Students and faculty were asked to turn off all computers and unnecessary electronics and put away or take home any materials before leaving Kimpel for the weekend of Oct. 11-12. Contractors will place fans and dehumidifiers in areas needed on the fourth and first floors. Doors will be open so that air can circulate. The building will be closed and guarded over the weekend, UA officials said.