After an examination of Boucke Building at the Pennsylvania State University, our group produced this final overall analysis:

Windows at the Boucke Building are very thin and a massive source of heat loss. They fit poorly into their frames and have no coatings to make them more efficient. Depending on the proposed lifespan of the building, it may or may not be worthwhile to upgrade all of the over 500 windows. Perhaps the better decision would be apply soft coatings and caulk the frames.

The age of Boucke Building makes upgrading its walls not practical. Also, we noticed no significant cracks or fissures in the walls. However, there are at least six entrances to the building. Those entrances are not very well fitted or sealed. There is at least 1/4" gap in the door frame. Refitting these doors could help to reduce the heat loss through those apertures.

There are sections of piping in Boucke Building that are not insulated. Adding external insulation would go far towards lowering hot water needs when applied to the dozens of faucets in the building.

By our approximation, this is by far the fastest, most easy way to lower Boucke's energy needs. Deactivating the computers during the hours when the labs are closed would save thousands of dollars every year in electricity. Additionally, a script could be implemented that would turn the computers off automatically at a certain time each night.

The reliance of fluorescent lighting goes far in reducing the energy costs of lighting Boucke Building. Even with fluorescents, the energy costs are staggering. Simply turning off the lights after leaving a classroom would go a long way to drastically reducing energy costs.


Our survey of Boucke Building leads us to conclude that it is in many ways energy-inefficient. The poor windows and doors allow tremendous amounts of heat loss. Replacing or resealing these cracks could significantly reduce the heating requirement. The computer labs could easily save a great deal of money by simply turning the computers off when not in use. The extra few seconds to start up is a small price to pay for thousands of dollars in savings every year. Lighting by itself is very efficient; it falls on users of the building to help by turning off lighting.

And in these suggestions a recurring theme appears: individual contribution. Closing windows on winter days, reporting leaking faucets, and turning off lights and computers each goes a long way to saving a great deal of money and energy every year. We must be vigilant and attentive to bring about a significant change. To conclude this analysis, we offer these wise words:


"Energy and persistence alter all things."
- Benjamin Franklin


Laura Henderson, Tanya Kar, Dan Oechsner
Spring 2006