Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.58
Liaison Dennis Carlberg
Submission Date April 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Boston University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.06 / 5.00 Dennis Carlberg
Associate Vice President for University Sustainability
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 409,834,505 Gallons 434,925,867 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 409,834,505 Gallons 434,925,867 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 11,406 11,185
Number of residential employees 162 181
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 25,866 24,623
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,999 8,439
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 882 1,605

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 14,843,003 Square Feet 13,426,870 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 0.02 Acres 0.02 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:
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Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
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Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
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A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

Completed in June of 2012, the Medical Student Residence at 815 Albany Street uses landscape features that are designed to require as little water as possible and the residence uses 100% rainwater harvesting for irrigation, resulting in an 11% reduction in water used for irrigation.

The New Balance Field uses a rainwater storage tank; in addition to rainwater, the tank captures and reuses the water that is released onto the field by the six water cannons used to wet the playing surface before and during field hockey games.

At the Center for Student Services located 100 Bay State Road, water passing through the compost disposal system in the commercial kitchen is recycled throughout the day.


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

Percent of building space with water metering: 100%.
Boston University has building-level metering across campus, including sewer abatement meters on cooling towers and irrigation.


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

The Medical Student Residences has reduced water use in the building by 40% through the installation of features such as low-flow kitchen and lavatory faucets, and showerheads. The Student Center at 100 Bay State features similar low-flow plumbing and kitchen fixtures.

Located in many places on campus, the EcoPower hydro turbine in faucets and toilets is powered by the motion of the water running through it; this motion creates an electrical current, which is then stored in rechargeable cells that power the Smart Sensor Systems. Dual-flush toilets can also be found in around 25 locations on campus and throughout all 47 floors at 33 Harry Agganis Way (Student Village 2).

Waterless urinals are in use at 670 Albany Street.


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

The University has replaced inefficient washers and dryers with Energy Star rated equipment and continues to further upgrade with each contract.

Dishwashers at the Center for Student Services have a built-in heat recovery system which use exhaust heat to preheat rinse water, significantly reducing water and energy usage. In addition, these dishwashers only use about 60 gallons of water compared to the 300 gallons per hour used by a conventional dishwasher.


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

Drought tolerant plants are selected where appropriate in areas on campus. The Medical Student Residence at 815 Albany Street, for example, uses drought-tolerant landscaping to reduce potable water consumption for irrigation.


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

The University has a decentralized irrigation program with over 140 irrigation systems (approximately 50% incorporate drip irrigation) installed across the Charles River Campus. All these irrigation systems incorporate localized rain sensors to reduce water waste.


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

BU has seven Certified Green Restaurants on campus. As part of the certification, certain requirements are met that include low-flow pre-rinse spray valves in dish rooms, low-flow nozzles on prep and hand sinks, as well as Energy Star rated dish machines. A new dining room, Marciano Commons, was built in a LEED Gold building and employs state of the art energy savings infrastructure such as a heat recovery system for both HVAC and water heating.

In 2008, Dining Services eliminated the use of trays in all residential dining halls. By doing so, we reduced our water use by an estimated 35,000 gallons per week, as well as reduced food waste by 30%.


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

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.