Responsibility and sustainability require all of us to work together

The Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University has long been committed to operating all its buildings as economically as possible. However, the events of this turbulent year require much more consistent austerity measures and, above all, the involvement of the entire faculty community. Get to know the main principles of sustainable faculty operation that will help cope with the energy crisis.

9 Nov 2022 Patrik Švec

Sustainability and responsibility. These are the most frequently mentioned topics concerning enormously rising energy prices. Taking them into account in the faculty's day-to-day operations should help cope with the current energy crisis and ensure maximum respect for the environment. „Our goal is to keep the faculty running, despite the extreme energy prices. But that requires the efforts of all of us. Efforts that will result in a faculty that does not waste money,“ said Faculty bursar Ivo Jurtík, adding that last year the faculty paid about CZK 7 million for energy; this year, it expects at least three times that amount.

The Faculty of Arts is by no means a newcomer to the principles of sustainable and responsible operation; on the contrary, it is one of the institutions that have been trying to follow them for a long time. A good example is the primary faculty campus, some of the buildings of which have recently been renovated with computer-controlled systems.

Ivo Jurtík calls on the faculty community to save money but is open to any suggestions that will help deepen the faculty's responsibility and sustainability. Photo: Tereza Netolická

Special sensors, for example, automatically control the window shading technology - in very brief terms, this means that the system automatically activates the blackout blinds in the event of intense sunlight. The purpose is to prevent unnecessary overheating of the faculty areas and thus reduce the use of air conditioning as much as possible. Conversely, the system will pull the blinds up when the radiation becomes less intense. This allows daylight to pass through freely, reducing the cost of artificial lighting.

Computer-controlled sensors also monitor the efficient use of artificial lighting. In selected corridors, they assess the intensity of daylight, and if the amount of daylight meets hygiene standards, they stop the lights from being switched on altogether. In addition, the luminaires, located in most faculty areas, can be considered energy-saving, as they are equipped with LED bulbs. They have the advantage of long life and only minimal electricity conversion into heat.

A responsible attitude on the part of students and staff is also crucial in saving electricity: they should take care to turn off lights when leaving the room, switch off computers and projectors and not charge mobile phones and laptops, for example.

Thermal savings at FF MU are also significantly helped by triple glazing. The picture shows the recent installation of such glass on the roof of the faculty library. Photo: Irina Matusevich

With the arrival of cold weather, most attention is naturally directed to heating. The Faculty of Arts has also been paying attention to this area for a long time, which means, among other things, that intelligent systems control the heating of buildings. In classrooms and lecture theatres, for example, they consider the timetables and similarly regulate the air exchange in them. However, triple-glazed windows are also a significant contributor to thermal savings - most recently, triple-glazed glass was installed on the roof of the faculty library.

Despite this, this year, the faculty had to reduce the temperature in offices or classrooms by approximately one degree Celsius following university policy. From the point of view of the room users, they must interfere as little as possible with the setting of the term heads of the radiators and that they adjust the ventilation to the outside temperature and weather conditions. When leaving the room, they should check that no windows have been left open.

The faculty also takes a cost-effective approach to water consumption: all toilets have pearl valves installed to reduce water flow. However, reducing water consumption largely depends on the students or staff themselves. For example, they can save significantly by not running the water at full flow unnecessarily long when washing their hands or by using two-stage flushing in the toilets. It is also essential to promptly report leaking toilets or dripping taps to Building Management.

Despite the many measures already taken, the Faculty of Arts is intensively looking at other ways to save energy. It is currently working on a project to install solar panels on the roof of the Faculty Library. The electricity generated in this way will be used to charge mobile phones and laptops or run printers.

If you have an exciting idea that will help the faculty to deepen its responsibility and sustainability, write to

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