Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.78
Liaison Amber Saxton
Submission Date Sept. 9, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Mason University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.59 / 5.00 Tyler Orton
Projects Innovation Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 140,561,000 Gallons 133,082,000 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 140,561,000 Gallons 133,082,000 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,023 3,840
Number of residential employees 103 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 26,850 21,950
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,348.40 2,997.40
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 8,309,768 Square feet 5,015,746 Square feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 255 Acres 255 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

The 2005 water baseline was adopted based on its relation to the energy performance contracts completed by Siemens. The baseline is before the energy contracts were implemented.

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
0 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year: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

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

Water recovery and reuse systems are limited due to concerns of local governing
authorities in certain locations and situations. George Mason University's Child Development Center Garden has an irrigation system from Water Management, Inc. The irrigation system utilizes rainwater to water the garden.

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

Many of George Mason University's buildings have potable water and wastewater meters.

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

Since 2005, Mason has initiated two energy savings performance contracts where heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment were upgraded along with lighting and water fixtures. Mason also follows Virginia state policy which states that all new buildings should be built to LEED Silver or equivalent. George Mason University's Design Information Manual also prioritizes water saving infrastructure when constructing new buildings.

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

In 2013, Mason incorporated Environmental Standards into its Design Information Manual. This document provides guidance on Mason's environmental goals, priorities, and minimum requirements for teams building or renovating on Mason's campuses. Within it, a stated minimum requirement is that water use in new buildings and existing building renovations shall be 30% below the Energy Policy Act of 1992 standards. Therefore, all new construction and existing building renovations shall have water efficient fixtures and products installed, such as low-flow faucets, showerheads, toilets, and appliances.

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

George Mason University uses a majority of native plants, which are appropriate to the regional climate and therefore need less maintenance and watering. Mason has also started installing rain gardens with the dual purpose of reducing irrigation needs and reducing storm water runoff.

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

On George Mason University's (Mason) Fairfax campus there are sensor technologies in place where if the sensors detect rainfall, it will override the irrigation schedule. On Mason's Prince William campus, the irrigation system takes into consideration weather data and adjusts its irrigation practices accordingly.

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

In addition to the ongoing efforts to preserve the natural landscape, Mason strives to reduce impervious areas as much as possible and create more vegetated regions. Mason has a green roof, an acre of pervious pavement, three rain gardens, several vegetated swales, and several dry and wet retention ponds.

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Data is for FY13

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.