Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.81
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Colorado State University
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

Campuses in general and laboratory buildings in particular are notorious for using large quantities of water. Colorado State University recognized that very dramatically when a water metering project was initiated approximately 15 years ago. Before that time, water was delivered through master meters from the City of Fort Collins utility, but downstream of those meters only some of the buildings were submetered. In the early 2000s, the university implemented a program to install water submeters on nearly all of the campus buildings. The subsequent data accumulated from those meters helped to focus conservation efforts. For example the university learned that while the Chemistry Building represented less than 2% of the building square footage on campus, it used over 12% of the water. By focusing attention on the dramatic water use in the lab buildings, the metering project allowed the university staff to begin implementing focused water conservation efforts including autoclaves and process cooling

So have all these efforts been a success? In the past decade, the Chemistry building that used the most water of any building on campus has reduced water use by 37% from 32 million gallons of water/year to 20 million gallons/year. In addition, the water use on Main Campus has dropped 24%. During that same period buildings space increased by 22% and enrollment increased by 12%. The metric of gallons / sf /10,000 students has been reduced to 65% of the value it was 10 years ago.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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