Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.35
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date March 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

American University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 4.00 Amit Paul
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 108,689,071 Gallons 124,148,668 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 108,689,071 Gallons 124,148,668 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 3,993 3,200
Number of residential employees 16 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 12,110 10,000
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,814 2,500
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 3,860,748 Square Feet 3,328,064 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 33.32 Acres 29.81 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year May 1, 2014 April 30, 2015
Baseline Year May 1, 2005 April 30, 2006

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

Water use baseline was established as FY06 due to the availability of water data.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

The School of International Service (LEED Gold designed) collects approximately 66,000 gallons of rain water for use in fire suppression and toilets. The building also uses low-flow water faucet fixtures, dual flush toilets, waterless urinals, low-flow showers, and low-flow kitchen sinks.

A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

Several campus buildings have building-level water metering including: Clark, Roper, Gray, McCabe, Katzen, Nebraska Hall, and the School of International Service.

A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

The university typically retrofits plumbing fixtures and fittings during total building renovations. During renovations all fixture retrofits are specified to be low-flow. In the event that an individual fixture needs to be replaced prior to a renovation, the retrofit is always low-flow.

A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:

The university specifies ENERGY STAR washers when replacing student laundry appliances.

A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

The university uses xersicaping to reduce consumption of water for irrigation. We routinely select native and adaptive species for landscaping on campus. The School of International Service was designed to use no artificial irrigation after the plant establishment phase. With this in mind, plants were mainly chosen with low water requirements. Plants chosen for green roofs are also drought tolerant. Drought tolerant plants are also fire resistant. The majority of AU's plants in the campus arboretum are also "fire-smart."

A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

The university has a weather station near the soccer field that sends daily reports to a central irrigation system, Maxicom, including rainfall, evapotranspiration rate (ET), temperature, wind, and other data. The Maxicom system adjusts the amount of water for irrigation based on this data. If there is something suspicious with the irrigation - (ex. excessive water flow in a certain zone) the system alerts a grounds operator who is dispatched to the field to correct the issue (repair/replace flow heads, pipes, etc). The campus is divided into 600 irrigation zones. Data is collected for each zone and the irrigation zones are tailored to this data.

Additionally, rain cans are used to measure rain. Using these rain cans, irrigation can be completely turned off when there is sufficient rain fall. The system also takes plant types in the zones into consideration since plants have different water requirements. Additionally, visual observation by the grounds keeping crew helps identify problems and trigger corrective actions.

The School of International Service is landscaped to entirely eliminate the need for irrigation.

A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

2005 baseline year data = fiscal year 2006; 2005 baseline year population data = Academic year 2004-2005.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.