The power use on the main electrical circuit of the Teaching Studio is monitored via the Live Building system, to demonstrate power use in a typical computer lab.
The Teaching Studio has 38 computer stations, each of which uses between 50 and 100 watts of power while active, along with an LCD (liquid-crystal display) monitor on each station. Another 38 monitors are hooked into a video distribution system. Each monitor uses an average of 35 watts of power when active. While in standby mode, the computers still consume a fair amount of power even though theyâ€™re not active and the monitors are not turned on (see graph).
The IL Centre was one of the first buildings on campus to switch entirely to LCD monitors from CRT (cathode ray tube). When the building was designed, in 2001, LCDs were not in common usage. The decision was made then, despite the cost, to use LCDs instead of CRTs. LCDs give off far less heat and use far less energy; CRTs take more energy to manufacture and twice as much to operate. LCDs have a life span of 11 years â€” three times the life span of CRT monitors â€” and they are easier to dispose of since there is no lead in the screen to leach into landfills.
The cost savings to Queenâ€™s from the switch to LCD monitors, given 140 monitors in the IL Centre, is approximately $1,500 per year. These savings were enough to offset the increased cost of purchasing replacements in the future. If costs like shipping are included in the calculation (LCD monitors are less than a quarter the weight of CRTs), savings increase dramatically.