Project Analysis and Results

The focus of our project is government level greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the county and city related services such as transportation, buildings, waste treatment, and waste management, but does not include schools and community usage. Because our primary method of data collection is through interviews, we were able to get initial feedback on the type of projects that have occurred in each department. Based on the types of projects, we collected relevant quantitative information through our interviews with contacts and supplemented it with past data from the Durham Sustainability Office. When current project data was not available, we used the most up to date data from Durham Sustainability Office for analysis.

 

Our reporting structure follows a similar layout to the ICLEI greenhouse plan to provide consistent information transfer. For each section, we analyzed the results from the qualitative and quantitative information we collected from city and county departments. Depending on the type of data, we looked at the trend of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through time and common metrics used to measure energy intensity. Combining information from the interviews and the collected data, we analyzed the effectiveness of projects and recommended further actions for the departments to take.

Buildings Upgrade Project

Durham County Buildings The imperfect data set or unavailable data made it difficult to compare performances between fiscal years. Therefore, our analysis heavily relies on Energy Use Intensity (EUI), which is calculated by BTU per square footage. Further analysis was not possible due to the lack of specific information on buildings such as each building …

Transportation Projects

Based on currently collected data, we have up to date information on County Fleet Vehicles from fiscal year (FY) 2011 to 2013, DATA Bus data from FY 2011 to 2012, and Light Duty Vehicle data from FY 2012. Due to the difference in the number of vehicles and how accurately their usage was tracked, slightly …

Traffic Signal Project

In order to ensure the safety on road, the traffic signals and streetlights play an important role in transportation. The traffic signals should light up all day and streetlights need to provide enough light at night, thus, they consume substantial energy.   The traffic signal and streetlight project conducted in Durham was intended to save …

Water Management Project

Water treatment facilities are large users of electricity and thus are also large emitters. All equipment in water supply systems like pumps and motors operate throughout the day and every single day. Typically, 35% of the energy in municipal energy budgets in the US is allotted to water and wastewater (discussed in the next section) …

Waste Water Project

City Wastewater Facilities Like the water management plants, wastewater facilities are also large consumers of energy and thereby large emitters. Opportunities exist at various levels in the treatment process to reduce emissions. The contact person for the City’s wastewater facilities was the same engineer as for the water treatment facilities and he provided an overview …

Landfill Methane Project

In general, the benefits of converting waste into methane production include having reduced GHG emissions, supplying electricity for the city, saving financial costs and building public image of the city. Moreover, having regular monitoring and experienced landfill professionals on site also contributes to the safety benefit because methane is prone to flaring.   The call …