Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.76
Liaison Levi Rogers
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Skidmore College
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.63 / 6.00 Levi Rogers
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 63190 MMBtu 70380 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 17375 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (excluding transportation fuels) 112578 MMBtu 168747 MMBtu
Total 193143 MMBtu 239127 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year June 1, 2014 May 31, 2015
Baseline Year June 1, 1999 May 31, 2000

A brief description of when and why the building energy consumption baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

Skidmore's 2015-2025 Campus Sustainability Plan uses the year 2000 as its baseline for tracking progress toward the institution's sustainability goals. Some of the College's earliest sustainability efforts began in the early 2000's, including several major energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. Using 2000 as our baseline year ensures that we account for our earliest efforts to reduce institutional GHG emissions.


Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 1778601 Gross Square Feet 139964 Gross Square Feet

Source-site ratio for grid-purchased electricity:
3.14

Total building energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Site energy 0.11 MMBtu / GSF 1.71 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.18 MMBtu / GSF 2.78 MMBtu / GSF

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline:
93.37

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 6833 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 747 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 41567 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
1868717 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
13.64 Btu / GSF / Degree-Day (°F)

Documentation (e.g. spreadsheet or utility records) to support the performance year energy consumption figures reported above:
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A brief description of the institution's initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices in regard to energy efficiency (e.g. outreach and education efforts):

Skidmore Unplugged is an annual three-week energy conservation competition designed to promote energy-conscious behavior through education and action. The program encourages students living on campus to achieve the greatest reduction in electricity usage and teaches our broader campus community about the environmental and societal implications of energy consumption. Skidmore's Sustainability Representatives (S-Reps) develop education campaigns and programming to engage the community in conversations about energy use, its impact on people and the environment, and equip members with knowledge, tools, and skills to reduce their energy consumption.


A brief description of energy use standards and controls employed by the institution (e.g. building temperature standards, occupancy and vacancy sensors):

Controls Systems: Skidmore's building control system allows the College to program temperature set-backs in campus buildings. The temperature ranges are defined the College's Campus Building Temperature Initiative.

Campus Building Temperature Initiative: Skidmore's Campus Building Temperature Initiative is designed to save energy during the heating and cooling seasons by raising temperature set points a few degrees during the cooling season and lowering the set points a few degrees during the heating season. The program includes policies for daytime temperatures, night and weekend temperatures, and vacation temperatures for both academic and residential spaces.

Occupancy Sensors: In the spirit of energy conservation and carbon emission reductions, Facilities Services installed occupancy sensors in appropriate offices, classrooms, and restrooms across campus. Occupancy sensors control about 90% of campus lighting.

Cold Water Wash: Skidmore's washing machines use only cold water to reduce energy demands.


A brief description of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and other energy-efficient lighting strategies employed by the institution:

The College continues to employ energy-efficient lighting across campus. Skidmore converted all street and walkway lighting (about 550 light posts) from high intensity discharge bulbs to induction lighting. This transition saves about 18% in electricity consumption within our outdoor lighting system. The College also transitioned from T12 to T8 lighting in many buildings, and we continue to test LED lighting in many buildings across campus.

Daylighting: The Arthur Zankel Music Center and the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall were designed to take advantage of daylight. Large window facades to allow light to fill the buildings and reduce electricity consumption.


A brief description of passive solar heating, geothermal systems, and related strategies employed by the institution:

Geothermal: About 40% of the campus is heated and cooled with geothermal energy. The Arthur Zankel Music Center, Filene Music Building, Saisselin Art Center, Northwoods and Sussman Village Apartments, Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, Wiecking Hall, Tang Teaching Museum, and Dance Center utilize geothermal heating and cooling systems. These systems provide 100% of the cooling needs and about 70% of the heating needs of most buildings and about 95% of the heating needs of the dining hall.

In 2012, Skidmore College won the Best Campus Sustainability Case Study Award from AASHE for our innovative district geothermal system. A district field is one that supplies heating and cooling energy to multiple buildings, unlike stand-alone systems that provide energy to a single building. Two district geothermal systems are operational, and a third district system was built to support an additional 10% of campus square footage. The College has 23 stand-alone systems supporting the buildings in the Northwoods and Sussman Apartment Villages and the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.

The Arts Quad district system is an 84-bore geothermal field designed to heat and cool Zankel Music Theatre, Filene Hall, Saisselin Art Building, and the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater (178,300 square feet). Skidmore’s district design reduced the number of geothermal bores and total field loop size by 25% when compared to a stand-alone system. The buildings in the Arts Quad can also communicate to distribute surplus energy between buildings rather than pulling energy from the bore field.

In 2014, Skidmore installed its second district field under Wiecking Green. This 64-bore field supplies heating and cooling energy to Wiecking Hall, the Tang Teaching Museum, and our Dance Center. In 2016, the College completed the construction of our third district field. This 240-bore system is designed to support the heating and cooling needs of the Tisch Learning Center, Bolton Hall, Palamountain Hall, the Dana Science Center, and Skidmore's new Center for Integrated Sciences.

The Murray-Aikins Dining Hall and all 22 campus apartment buildings (over 200 residences) are heated and cooled with stand-alone geothermal systems.

Heat Recovery Wheel: Skidmore included a heat recovery wheel (or thermal wheel) in the Arthur Zankel Music Center's air systems to recover and transfer heat energy. The large, rotating wheel captures heat energy from the building's air exhaust system and transfers it to the air intake system. This initial conditioning step improves the efficiency of the building's geothermal heating and cooling system.

Passive Solar: The Arthur Zankel Music Center and the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall were designed with large window facades to capture and retain solar heat energy.


A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution, e.g. combined heat and power (CHP):

The College has studied co-generation but has not yet employed the technology.


A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace energy-consuming appliances, equipment and systems with high efficiency alternatives (e.g. building re-commissioning or retrofit programs):

When possible, Skidmore chooses ultra high-efficiency lighting, heating, cooling, systems when completing major building renovations or replacing equipment.

Skidmore replaced it's inefficient centralized heating loop with far more efficient decentralized heating systems, saving 25-30% of our natural gas load.

Any major remodeling project or new construction is designed as close to LEED standards as is feasible.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.