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University Thin Clients Win Green Award

Queen Margaret University has won an award for its sustainable approach to IT, based on the roll out of a low power, thin-client desktop infrastructure

Queen Margaret University (QMU) last week won the Green Gown ICT award for its commitment to sustainable design standards in fitting out its new campus with low-power thin clients.

The Green Gown Awards recognise sustainability focused initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK. And QMU was also highly commended in the awards’ Sustainable Building and Construction category.

The Edinburgh-based organisation opened a new, Craighall Campus building in 2007, which gained the highest Building Research Establishments Environmental Method (BREEAM) score recorded by any other comparable university project in the UK at the time of its assessment.

In addition to its exemplary use of efficient space utilisation, energy consumption, building maintenance and ‘green’ transport planning, the university reduced the number of conventional PCs it deployed in the new campus building from 900 down to 50, while also installing over 1,200 Wyse V50 thin clients.

With an average output (including the flat screen) of 42 watts, Wyse Technology said the thin clients put out less heat than their users, who on average generate 356 BTU (British Thermal Units), which is around 75 watts.

Rosalyn Marshall, Queen Margaret University vice principal welcomed the award in a statement: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious award for sustainability,” she said, adding “thin client technology has helped us to deliver an open campus and it is also driving a major change in the way higher education is delivered”.

“As well as having an impressively low impact on the environment it means staff and students can log on anywhere, on or off campus, at any terminal, and access a full desktop with all personalised settings, files, software and electronic resources,” she added.

Like another recent thin-client roll out at Northumbria University, Marshall also said the new, centralised IT infrastructure had created major change in work practices across the university and supported distance learning.

David Angwin, Wyse Technology marketing manager added that, in addition to the thin clients only using a tenth of the power needed for PCs, the low operating temperatures of the thin clients allowed a natural ventilation system to be installed that could never have handled the heat generated by conventional PCs.