Facilities Management

Facilities Management Building
411 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)

man standing in a greenhouse, pointing at a plant, with a group of students watching him

Recycling news and information.

The Detroit Free Press published an interesting article about recycling mistakes to read the article click the link below.



Oakland University is dedicated to being a campus of choice and sustainability is a core part of this initiative. A key element of sustainability is recycling — we are excited to roll out the OU RECYCLES campaign. OU uses single-stream recycling, which streamlines the collection process on campus. The recycling effort at OU ensures items that enter the waste stream will eventually be used to make other products for sale and reduce the need to use additional natural resources.

In order to promote and facilitate recycling practices on campus, Facilities Management has partnered with University Communications and Marketing to develop new easy-to-read signage and informational material, to be displayed around campus. Signage will show the types of recyclable materials that will be accepted. 

Additional Campus Sustainability Efforts:

Oakland University
From the
Oakland University Sustainability Task Force
Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

On Valentine’s Day
Love the Earth and your pocketbook

Americans spend about $16 billion on Valentine’s Day merchandise every year. This includes purchasing more than 140 million greeting cards and nearly 200 million roses.

What can you do to make a more sustainable OU? 
Try something different for Valentine’s Day!

  • Send an e-Valentine in lieu of paper and recycle the Valentine’s Day cards you receive.

  • Give organic or locally-grown flowers, a potted plant, a tree seedling or a perennial plant instead of the traditional bouquet
    of flowers.

For more information regarding sustainable practices visit the links below.






The Sustainability Task Force challenges every OU staff and faculty member to pick at least one sustainable Valentine's Day practice to try this season. If you do, we’d love to see it!  Send photos of your sustainable practice to fmhelp@oakland.edu    



Facilities Management Sustainability Practices (6-30-2011).ppt

Sustainability & LEED 

Written By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP 

A.      The United Nations defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” However, there is no one definition of sustainability. In general, sustainability is the term for all things that decrease our dependence on non-renewable energy and increases the idea of living within the means of our current environment without damaging it for the future generation.  In short, sustainability promotes sustaining human life on earth. Any sustainable endeavor should address the issues of ecological robustness, social equity and economic viability and I am glad to say that these issues have been addressed in the design and construction of HHB building, Engineering Center, and Oak View Hall.

 B.       As you might heard the term LEED, which is an abbreviation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most recognized rating system in the nation for design and construction of the sustainable and green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council, known as USGBC developed this rating system in the year 2000, it provides a framework for constructing built environments with an approach to sustainability.

 C.      LEED rating system uses five major categories to produce an overall rating of the buildings. Those categories are:  Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, supplementary category is Innovation and Design process. The highest rating possible is called Platinum level. USGBC has certified HHB for a “Platinum Level” building, Oak View Hall for a "Gold Level" building, and the Engineering Center for a "Gold Level".  A hallmark for Oakland University for its commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability for Human Health Building

Written By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP   

  Oakland University`s new Human Health building is consolidating the school of Nursing and the School of Health Science under one roof which, is approximately 172,000-square-foot sustainable facility and is located on the northwest corner of campus.


A.    As you know that the HHB building is now-a-days talk of the town mostly due to the fact, being the most visible building at our campus due to its location at the intersection of Walton Blvd. and Squirrel Road, its environmental stewardship and being a high-performance building. HHB has implemented various cutting-edge technologies to save energy, we are estimating energy consumption of 40,000 BTU/sq.ft/year including process and plug load, which is 45 to 55 % less energy consumption compared to a similar benchmark building and 35% below ASHRAE std. 90.1-2007 base line.  The entire campus community and all the students are excited about this building to be opened in fall of 2012.

B.      As you know that the University leadership and management always encourages environmental stewardship and sustainability at our campus. New Platinum Level Human Health Building and a new upcoming Gold Level Engineering Center building are the prime examples of their commitment toward sustainability at OU campus.

C.      As a matter of fact, it is worth to mention that the idea of HHB to be Platinum Level gained momentum after Dr. Russi’s announcement at the Ground Breaking ceremony that the new HHB building will be a Platinum level building, the first academic building in the State of Michigan, which really set the direction for the entire team to make it happen. Special thanks go to John Beaghan and Terry Stollsteimer for their leadership to build a world class facility that would showcase the University’s commitment to sustainability.

D.     Since the start of this project, Facilities Management worked with the Consultant to make this dream into a reality and shared valuable information about the cutting-edge technology systems and their associated mechanical components such as solar collectors, photovoltaic panels, geothermal wells, variable refrigerant flow fan coil units and heat pumps. In addition Facilities Management provided their valuable suggestions to make this building not only sustainable building but also high performance building with operational flexibility and maintainability on a long-term basis. Facilities Management also worked with construction contractors and played an active role to assure proper installation for some of the key components of the mechanical systems and played an active role during the commissioning process of HHB building.

 Let me share with you, some interesting facts about HHB building.

·         It is the first academic building in the State of Michigan, potentially achieving Platinum Level.                

·         It is the first academic building nation-wide has the largest variable refrigerant flow system coupled with a Geothermal Heat Pump System.

·         It is the first academic building nation-wide has the largest desiccant dehumidification system coupled with solar heating system to regenerate desiccant.

·         It is the first academic building nation-wide housed for a (OSHA) lab.          

  Few other interesting facts about sustainability related with the HHB:

 1. Renewable energy, power and thermal energy:

Renewable energy for power is being produced by installing a photovoltaic system of 3600 Sq. ft of SUNIVA PV panels providing 45 KW of power which is 3% of the buildings’ power. Renewable energy for thermal energy is being produced by installing 117 Solar Panel Plus vacuum tube solar thermal panels, each at 51 Sq.ft, total of 6, 060 sq. ft with (4) 25,000 gallons underground storage tanks, providing 504 MMBTU thermal energy for the entire year which is 40% of building’s heating hot water load. Solar thermal collectors on the roof provide most of the required heat for ventilation, entrance vestibules and lobbies, pool heating, domestic hot water, and for the sidewalk snow melting system.  In the summertime, the collectors are used as a heat source for the desiccant dehumidification system.  Four twenty five thousand gallon underground tanks allow any excess heat collected to be stored until needed. 

 2. Geothermal Heat Pump Systems:

·         The geothermal bore-field having 256 vertical Geo-wells, 320 feet deep, 25 feet apart, hidden underneath of parking lot P-1, using earth as a heat sink and source for the heat pumps to provide cooling and eating of the building. HHB has 44 heat pumps with 22 refrigeration circuits.

 ·         With ground temperatures significantly warmer than the outside environment in the winter and significantly cooler in the summer, mechanical heat pumps units very efficiently provide the primary heating and cooling for the building.  These heat pumps circulate refrigerant to/from fan coil units that provide the local heating or cooling.  During cool weather while interior spaces still require cooling, perimeter spaces are heated by simply circulating the refrigerant used to cool the interior.

 3. Variable refrigerant flow system:

    Providing simultaneously heating and cooling, high efficiency fan coil units with air filters to provide better environmental control and clean air in the offices and classrooms. HHB has 187 fan coil units, about four units are being served by a single heat pump, providing optimum control environment in each space.

4. Day time lighting and lighting controls:

   All the perimeter areas are pretty illuminated by natural light. This is accomplished by providing clearstory windows and atrium glass walls. We also provided occupancy sensors for lighting control and day light harvesting.

5. Dedicated fresh air systems with demand controls:

  Two 23,500 cfm DOAS unit, each unit with desiccant cooling coupled with solar array, and with a total heat recovery wheel of 3 Angstrom and CO2 demand control system, providing fresh air into the building.

 ·         During warm and humid weather, desiccant wheels are utilized to dry out the incoming ventilation air. The heat collected from the solar system is utilized to regenerate the desiccant.

 6. Cleanest indoor air in the offices and classrooms:

Each DOAS unit has pre and final air filter having MERV rating of 7 and 14; each fan coil unit has a filter of minimum 7 MERV rating

7. Low water flow plumbing fixtures:                                                                                                                                                    

1.6 gallons water closets and pint urinals in the restrooms with occupant sensors

8. Storm water harvesting for landscaping:

10,000 gallons below grade cistern collect storm water from roof of the entire building and utilize the storm water for lawn irrigation

9. Storm water management and healing garden:

Storm water run-off from parking lots and other areas is being controlled by natural wetland those also provided water filtration to control sediment

10. Preservation of natural wetlands:

Upgraded and rehabilitated natural wetland areas with native vegetation and walk-ways around the areas, improved living of animal habitats and green environment for the campus community

11. Native planting for trees:

Planted native trees and grass to cut down portable water usage

12. Recycling and recycle material usage:

95% of building construction material is diverted from landfills by recycling material plus recycle material was used in the construction

13. Low VOC furnishing:

Water-based paint and oil was used and low voc carpets and furnishing were provided

14. Outdoor LED lighting:

LED lighting for roadways and parking, no lighting pollution into sky, time clock and photocell with override switches were provided

15. Electric vehicle charging stations:

Two dual electric charging stations for (4) electric and hybrid vehicles

16. Measurement and verification:

 The building energy consumption will be provided by utility meters and sub-meters. These meters will be tie-in with campus automatic energy tracking and reporting system

17. Enhanced Commissioning:

The building was provided enhanced commissioning including commissioning of the fume hoods

18. Innovation in Design Process:

Overall the design and construction team demonstrated creativity, innovation skills and team effort to make this building as an example for sustainability commitment and high-performance building that could be used as a learning tool

So many people contributed to this amazing project and I would like to say “Thank you” to all of them.

Sustainability for Engineering Center

Written By: Siraj Khan, Director of Engineering

                 MSME, CEFP, PE, CEM, LEED AP 

Oakland University`s Engineering Center, a 134,200 square foot, five story building for the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS), opened in September of 2014 with a construction cost of $53 Million and a total project cost of $75 Million. The goals of the project were; to consolidate all the engineering classes in one building, to increase enrollment in the SECS, classrooms and labs to be compatible with cutting edge technology of today and the future, to support research activities for the industries in the area, to provide a collaborative and connective educational and social environment, and to stimulate education in the area of power, energy and sustainability. Oakland University’s Engineering Center was constructed to be an educational and research tool and to stand as a beacon of ingenuity for the campus, for Oakland County, and beyond.

The Engineering Center employs a Trigeneration system, chilled beams, heat pumps, dedicated outside air systems, and a photovoltaic system to cut the annual energy cost by 30% to 40% below the ASHRAE Standard of 90.1-2010. Two 200 kW gas-fired micro-turbine generators provide 40% to 100% of the building's instantaneous power needs and 100% of net annual power consumption. Recovered energy from a 550 F turbine generator exhaust provides the majority of the building's heating, and domestic water heating needs, as well as providing high-temperature heating hot water during spring, summer, and fall to operate existing absorption water chillers that provide cooling in other campus buildings via our High Temperature Hot Water (HTHW) loop.

Trigeneration of power, heating and cooling from one energy source is complemented by the use of 400 chilled beams, extended season free cooling, two 275 Ton high efficiency magnetic bearing water cooled chiller, and one 70 Ton central heat pumps, which allow the building to replace most of the typical air-based heating cooling loads with less energy-intensive, water-based systems. A Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) of 60,000 CFM feeds chilled beams and fan-coil units with 100% outside air that is efficiently produced with dual energy recovery wheels, including a 3 Angstrom total energy wheel recovering heat and water vapor from the non-hazardous exhaust air stream that is bypassed when not needed, and a desiccant wheel to lower the supply air dew point to accommodate all room latent cooling needs. Hazardous exhaust for labs employs a variable volume exhaust system with redundant, high-induction fans. Low-flow plumbing fixtures minimize the use of domestic water.

One 22-kW photovoltaic array on the penthouse roof supplements the turbine generator capacity. Other features include solar shading devices, day lighting, addressable digital lighting controls, LED fixtures comprising 70% of lighting, electrical sub-metering, energy dashboard for display, and electric vehicle charging stations.

The Engineering Center building was designed and constructed as a sustainable building. Currently we are in the process of submitting project information to USGBC Council for obtaining the certification of “LEED Gold” building.

June 25, 2015

Sustainability for Proposed Projects

Sustainability for Campus Proposed Projects:

Written By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP   

1.   We are currently in the processes of replacing an existing vintage boiler in the central heating plant with a combined heat and power gas turbine of 4.6 MW that will produce electric power and thermal energy as well as reduce electric power demand during peak hours, that will result in savings for energy and utility bills.

2.   A proposal was presented to the University leadership to install 100 meter Wind Turbine of 2.1 MW, to provide clean power of 10 to 15% of campus load. However economical viability is not very attractive and this project is currently on hold.

3.   A feasibility study was completed and presented to the University leadership to install a Biomass Boiler of 40MMBTU to cut down gas utility bills however this project is currently not in consideration due to the fact that the gas prices fallen off sharply and economical viability is questionable now.

4.   Recommissioning of campus buildings and a new energy performance contract is already in progress. 


Sustainability Initiatives At Campus:

Facilities Management office is playing an active and a responsible role to implement best practices of sustainability on various construction projects and maintenance services that the department manages.

Facilities Management is constantly examining their work activities to continually improve sustainable practices with a sense of economic viability.

Every day these practices are being utilized during design, construction, operation and maintenance of the buildings and campus infrastructure . These practices save energy, reduces potable water consumption, improve occupant comfort and environment, reduces carbon footprint that resulted into a better Sustainable environment and a Greener campus.

Some of the best practices are focused upon:

1. Energy savings and energy efficiency:  Recently completed projects are; recommissioning of Pawley hall and Recreation and Athletic building, ODH mechanical improvements, HHS Lab ventilation improvements, chiller plant optimization, and sections of primary HTHW loop piping installation 

2. Water savings: implementing low flow plumbing fixtures in housing buildings, using well water for lawn irrigation in the lower play fields, and rain harvesting in the Human Health Building and the Engineering Center

3. Indoor environmental quality: Replacement of filters is a part of routine maintenance to provide clean air for occupant spaces. Upgrading building controls for better comfort of the building occupant.

4. Storm water management: controlling run-off, controlling sediment, water retention, cleaning catch basins

5. LED Lighting: roadway, parking lots, and inside the buildings

6. Landscaping: using native plants and trees; longer grass mowing, irrigation systems with rain sensors using well water

7. Cleaning: using green label products

8. Recycling: Paper and other recyclable waste 

Lastly Facilities Management in collaboration with OU leadership constantly increasing sustainability effort at campus by behavior changes of the people and taking steps to enhance green culture on our campus.


Green Buildings and Sustainable Design

The Fall 2013 semester saw the opening of Oakland University's first green building project, the geothermal/solar thermal Human Health Science Building.  The HHB is Oakland's first geothermal heat pump installation, and it will include an innovativedesiccant cooling system powered by one of the largest solar thermal energy system in the U.S.  The project will be using a newer form of technology, VariableRefrigerant Flow heat pumps.  These heat pumps use variable speed compressors and serve multiple refrigerant zones per unit.  OU was awarded a $2.75M U.S. Department of Energy grant to help fund this innovative green building concept.

University Energy Usage & Cost

Take a look at the historical usage and cost of the west campus utilities over the past decade. About $380 is spent each year per Full Year Equivalent Student (FY2010 data). This equates about 4% of a full time student's tuition. (based on 15 credit hours for two semesters)  more info...

Heating & Cooling Policy

Oakland University heating and cooling policy. Non-OU personal electric heaters are not allowed on campus. They cover up HVAC issues, create fire hazards, and consume SIGNIFICANT amounts of electricity.  However, an innovative, controlled heater will be provided in cases where your HVAC cannot provide the proper heating.  Call the work control center at 2381 to report a problem or request a heater, or submit an on-line request



Stormwater is the rainfall or snowmelt that flows over our yards, streets, parking lots, and buildings and either enters the storm drain system or runs directly into a lake or stream.


Storm drains are the openings you see along curbs and in streets and parking lots. They carry away rainwater and snowmelt and transport it through the system to nearby lakes and streams. Water and other debris that enter storm drains do not go to a treatment facility.


A sanitary sewer takes household water and waste from toilets, sinks and showers, and transports it to a wastewater treatment facility. There, the water is treated and then discharged back to a lake or stream.


As stormwater flows over our lawns and driveways, it picks up fertilizers, oil, chemicals, grass clippings, litter, pet waste, and anything else in its path. The storm drain system then transports these pollutants, now in the water, to local lakes and streams. Anything that goes into a storm drain eventually ends up in a lake or stream.

In Michigan, communities are coming together to address stormwater management on a watershed basis. In the Clinton River watershed, seven subwatershed planning groups have formed: Upper Clinton, Clinton Main, Stony/Paint, North Branch, Red Run, Clinton River East, and Lake St. Clair Direct Drainage.

Stormwater pollution has become the predominant source of water quality and habitat impairments in the Clinton River and its tributaries. Under Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), part of the Clean Water Act, more than 40 local and county governments and numerous other public entities across the watershed must meet federal and state standards for reducing stormwater pollution leaving their jurisdiction.

Each group has charted a course to fulfill the requirements of their stormwater permits by working together on a subwatershed basis, sharing data and information and creating joint planning documents.

Oakland University is located inside the Clinton Main subwatershed.

Additional information regarding Oakland University's Stormwater Management program can be found at the Office of Environmental Health and Safety website.