Welcome to Green Impact at the University of Sheffield

The Arts Tower Blackout


The Arts Tower is one of the most visible buildings in Sheffield, combining both academic and professional services departments. Often the lights are seen shining brightly throughout the night because students have 24/7 access. On Friday March 15th, it was plunged into darkness!

Before and after photo of the Arts Tower

Please note: the light still on in the 'After' photo is actually a vending machine on level 16!

The first ever Arts Tower Blackout took place in 2013 and we received amazing response from students and staff. This year, we yet again plunged the Arts Tower into complete darkness on 4 April 2014. Over the 2014 Blackout weekend our energy usage was reduced by 24% compared to the previous 6 weekends. This means that we saved approximately 1036kWh which is equivalent to roughly £110 over the course of the weekend. We produced an infographic summarising our findings and showing how much we could save if this happened every weekend. 

Here's how the event worked. 25 student and staff volunteers gave up their Friday night to take part and audit all levels of the Arts Tower. The volunteers went around to switch off all equipment that was (unnecessarily) still left on and made a notes of what it was. 

The Arts Tower Blackout is part of the University of Sheffield’s energy strategy. It focusses on behaviour change and shows that we can all make a massive difference by switching off any equipment that is not in use. The benefits will not only be financial but will have a huge impact on the environment by reducing our carbon emissions.If the Blackout happened every weekend, we would save £5720 equivalent to 24 tonnes of CO2 every year.In the near future, we'd like to expand the Blackout project further and involve more buildings on campus. If you think your building might be interested, please email: greenimpact@sheffield.ac.uk.

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