The Student Union is a leader on the University of New Mexico campus when it comes to sustainability and the implementation of new green technologies throughout the building. There are multiple technologies the Student Union is currently using to serve as an example for the UNM and greater communities:
- Hands-free washing faucets: The faucets operate by an adaptive infrared sensor. They operate 70% more efficiently than conventional faucets. The Student Union Building has seen a 75% reduction in water usage with the 30 units that have been installed.
- Occupancy sensors: Sensors have been installed in meeting and restrooms throughout the building. The sensors are also operated by an infrared sensor that are programmed with a time delay that ensures, once the room is evacuated, the sensor will time out and turn the lights off. All restrooms in the Student Union Building (total-6) have these occupancy sensors. Additionally, the lights throughout the building were replaced with CFL (Compact Florescense Lights) that use only 25% of the electricity used by incandescent lights and last up to 10 times as long.
- Water-filling stations: MOST POPULAR AMONG THE STUDENTS!!! The stations cut the need to purchase bottled water and reduce landfill waste. The average size water bottle filled is 16.9 oz. During the slowest hour of the day, each filling station averages about 11 fills per/hour and at the peak, each station averages about 35 fills/hour. This calculates to: the slowest part of the day, roughly 1.45 gallons of water is filled and consumed while in the peak times, nearly 4.62 gallons are filled!
Many departments across campus along with other universities have visited and inquired the Student Union of the new green technologies. The Student Union is always open to be a test site for other energy efficient initiatives.