In 2017, when the heat pipes at the Thompson School of Applied Science began failing, UNH’s manager of campus energy, Adam Kohler ’03, wanted more than a quick fix — he wanted to know what system would be the most effective from a cost, efficiency and sustainability perspective.
Enter the Sustainability Institute, which tapped incoming sustainability fellow Renata Hegyi to conduct the background research for a public utilities commission proposal and a contractor RFP.
The result? In October, UNH completed its new northwest heating plant, featuring the university’s first biomass boiler, which delivers heat and hot water to five campus buildings sustainably, using locally grown and processed woodchips.
“Renata’s work with the energy office shows the power of experiential learning,” says Jennifer Andrews, project director at the Sustainability Institute. “She had a meaningful summer experience, and we used her work to make decisions for campus infrastructure. Talk about affecting change.”