Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date June 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.57 / 6.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 874,489.30 MMBtu 649,018.62 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 7,707.90 MMBtu 256.80 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 867,410.52 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (e.g., natural gas, fuel oil, propane/LPG, district chilled water, coal/coke, biomass) 229,886.95 MMBtu 1,261,487.06 MMBtu
Total 1,112,084.15 MMBtu 2,778,173 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year June 1, 2016 May 31, 2017
Baseline Year Sept. 1, 2004 Aug. 31, 2005

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):

FY2005 was adopted as the baseline year because it correlates to when Stanford began tracking its building energy consumption in this way. Performance year data are reported here from June 2016 through May 2017 to align with the data reported in the Clean & Renewable Energy credit.

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 14,988,776 Gross Square Feet 10,770,817 Gross Square Feet

Source-site ratio for grid-purchased electricity:

Total building energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Site energy 0.07 MMBtu / GSF 0.26 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.20 MMBtu / GSF 0.40 MMBtu / GSF

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

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 2,428 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,636 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,691,266 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
18,470,428 Gross Square Feet

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

Documentation (e.g. spreadsheet or utility records) to support the performance year energy consumption figures reported above:

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):

Offered by the Office of Sustainability, My Cardinal Green provides personalized recommendations of actions that individuals can perform to help them act more environmentally sustainable. Because each person has a unique lifestyle and role on campus, the program begins with an initial survey to generate suggested actions that are most relevant for them. Each suggested action includes details to help users complete the action and connect them to the plethora of programs and resources available to the Stanford community. Users receive points for each action that they successfully complete and, after earning a certain amount of points, can receive a reward for their efforts. Real-time metrics showcase the impact their involvement has, both at the individual and collective level. Users can view the calculated resource and subsequent cost savings of each suggested action in their list, and track the cumulative impact of My Cardinal Green participants on a personal dashboard where participants record their progress. The platform features flexible content and messaging, as well as actions and results metrics, that can be promoted to specific groups on campus. A recent Stanford Report article on the My Cardinal Green program is available here: http://news.stanford.edu/2017/05/05/stanford-launches-cardinal-green-rewards-program-students-faculty-staff/

Energy reduction actions have been popular to date. "Take a First Step” actions encourage those who are just embarking on their sustainability journey to get involved in small ways, like “unplug your appliances when you are leaving on nights and weekends," with the idea that small steps to get started might lead to greater results in the long run. From there, users are prompted to take a next step with actions such as "remove your personal printer from your room or office," or "install timers on office equipment in your building." In creating a personal experience that connects users to the broader community, the program helps to establish social norms that drive a shift in not only attitudes, but behaviors as well.

Additionally, the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign was created in 2013 to advance energy reduction programs operated by the department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM). For years, Stanford’s building managers have helped the university realize significant energy savings through the success of programs like the annual Winter Closure and the Cardinal Green Office Program. In partnership with Zone Management and Facilities Energy Management, these efforts were joined under the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign in order to call attention to the great work building leads are doing and to further engage the campus community in sustainability. Thus, the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign now helps promote Winter Closure both by working with building managers to curtail heating and cooling in buildings over the two-week holiday period and by promoting individual participation from students, staff and faculty to ensure that all appliances and electronics are unplugged during the building curtailment. In 2015 and 2016, additional programs were also introduced. For instance, in 2016, 60 buildings had their heating systems shut down through "Thanksgiving Closure," an energy curtailment over the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday. Additionally, the Space Heater Swap was introduced in 2015, which encourages community members to turn in electric space heaters to the Office of Sustainability in exchange for a Sustainable Stanford-branded fleece jacket. A total of 924 individuals pledged to turn off for break through this campaign, and 982 metric tons of CO2 were avoided through the combination of building shutdowns and individual actions.

Additionally, Stanford's Cardinal Green Labs program, which formally launched in summer 2015, works with lab occupants to reduce energy and improve sustainability performance in labs. It offers several resources to raise awareness about energy efficiency in labs and operates programs, such as rebates for energy efficient freezers and other lab equipment, shut-off timers for lab equipment, incentives for chilling up ultra-low temperature freezers, and support for transitioning to room temperature storage.

Finally, in 2015, the Cardinal Green Office Resource Library (https://sustainable.stanford.edu/cardinal-green-office-resource-library) was launched through the Cardinal Green Office Program to better enable occupants to perform sustainability measures on their own and to assist building managers in promoting sustainability in their spaces. The resource library contains email templates, flyers, how-to guides, and other materials for building managers to use to disseminate sustainability tips to their occupants. The resource library is now utilized via the My Cardinal Green Action network, which now also houses all the recommendations that historically had been made through the Cardinal Green Office Program. Moreover, the Office of Sustainability has continued its work to improve work station energy management by conducting studies to better understand the savings associated with both new technologies in this field as well as the models that are currently installed in many buildings at Stanford. Pilots have shown positive feedback and quick payback periods for some of these new technologies, which will be rolled out at a building- and department-level in the coming years as well as at the individual level through the My Cardinal Green individual engagement platform.

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

Stanford regulates building temperatures with an Energy Management & Control System (EMCS). The EMCS allows Stanford to adjust temperatures based on occupancy via building scheduling through the system. Operational hours for each building are actively managed, and each week Stanford adjusts the HVAC operating schedule in up to 60 buildings to best align with specific hours of use. Stanford also utilizes a SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) system that provides real-time information and diagnostics of the campus power network, available at http://scadaweb/hv/.

Occupancy sensors for lighting have been installed as retrofit projects in most classroom buildings as well as the public spaces and bathrooms of most student housing on campus. Occupancy sensors and timers for lighting have been installed in buildings across campus as part of the Cardinal Green Office Program. Stanford's Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings also explicitly mention occupancy sensors as a preferred design strategy to increase efficiency, and thus these sensors are now standard practice for new construction projects. An excellent example of sensors can be found in the Y2E2 building, which includes both sensors for occupancy and photocell technology for daylight control.

Since the 1980s, Stanford has employed energy metering on all of its facilities to understand how and where energy is being used. In 2012, Stanford launched a project called Utilities, Metering, Billing, Reporting, and Sustainability (UMBRS), which is an initiative to bring the data from all of Stanford's energy and water meters into a central database to be used in applications such as department billing, energy use monitoring, and sustainability reporting, among others. UMBRS integrates several metering systems to provide a unified data repository and access point for real-time and historic energy and water meter data. Software systems that comprise UMBRS offer analytical tools to optimize efficiency in the campus infrastructure and operations, and allow for automatic notifications of metering issues to operations staff. For instance, the UMBRS project allowed the Office of Sustainability to launch energy and water dashboards in 2014 that are publicly available through the Sustainable Stanford website at http://sustainable.stanford.edu/buildings. In 2015, maintenance of the database was adopted by Stanford's Office of Sustainability via a Business Systems unit with 3 FTEs, which supports the system to ensure that it meets the needs of personnel throughout the Department of Sustainability & Energy Management.

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

As LED lights have emerged as an efficient lighting solution, Facilities Energy Management has partnered with Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and other groups across campus to implement lighting retrofit projects in various indoor locations. The new LED systems last longer and consume less energy than the original lighting, reducing both energy costs and labor demands for the campus.

The Stanford Community Recreation Association obtained new LED light fixtures at minimal cost thanks to a generous rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The project retrofitted fluorescent troffers in the administrative office, community room, and fitness center with LED light panels. The new panels give a modern look to the spaces and should maintain their brightness for 50,000 hours of use.

Lokey Lab piloted three brands of linear LED lamps as sustainable alternatives to the 4-foot fluorescent tubes commonly found in rectangular ceiling fixtures. The best product was chosen based on both facility and occupant feedback and will be installed throughout the campus over the next five years.

Jordan Hall retrofitted overhead fluorescent lights with LED lamps throughout the 90,000-square-foot building. The new technology offers better lighting quality, no UV radiation, and nonhazardous tube disposal.

Looking ahead, Cantor Arts Center is piloting LED spotlights in one of its small galleries. If successful, the museum plans to retrofit all 1,000 of its track lighting bulbs with the LED technology. In total, the projects will save an estimated $50,000 in annual energy costs and 425,500 kWh/year.

Stanford has also upgraded its outdoor light fixtures to LEDs. In summer 2016, more than 2,000 of the familiar lantern-style fixtures were upgraded with new energy-efficient lamps, frosted glass lenses, and spiffy new “hats.” Thanks to a custom LED retrofit kit developed for Stanford, the upgraded post-top fixtures will maintain the residential character of the campus at night with a warm white glow that has better light distribution and color rendering, all while using half as much electricity as before and paying back in electricity and maintenance cost savings well before the end of their 20 year lifetimes.

Finally, LED task lights have also been successfully piloted and deployed in new campus buildings and in some retrofit projects. One example is the LED task lighting in Y2E2 provided to each occupant. The building primarily utilizes natural light, but desks are outfitted with a 6-watt LED fixture that provides task lighting. The same LED task lights were also installed in Sweet Hall during a recent major renovation and are installed throughout the Knight Management Center.

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


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

Between 1987 and 2015, Stanford obtained the vast majority of its electricity from an onsite cogeneration facility that used natural gas as its fuel source. However, cogeneration requires a reliance on fossil fuels that comprised a significant majority of Stanford’s greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, Stanford launched a new energy system that came online in 2015 called Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI). Through SESI, the vast majority of campus building heating needs are now met by hot water generated at Stanford’s Central Energy Facility, which uses heat recovery chillers to recover the waste heat from the chilled water that Stanford uses to cool its buildings to create hot water for building heating. Due to the significant heat recovery and lower line losses of hot water compared to steam, the new energy system is approximately 70% more efficient than the previous combined heat and power process provided by cogeneration, so the significant drop in overall building energy consumption reflected in this credit is expected.

The launch of the new Central Energy Facility and the overarching Stanford Energy System Innovations project are the primary contributors to reduced building energy consumption on Stanford’s campus between the baseline year and the performance year. In 2004-2005 (baseline year), Stanford purchased electricity, steam, and chilled water from Cardinal Cogen. Emissions for each of these utilities are recorded in the respective fields (chilled water is represented in the energy from all other sources field). At that time, Stanford had only a small amount of renewable electricity in the form of small rooftop solar installations at a couple locations.

Now, in 2016-17, Stanford owns its own Central Energy Facility and procures electricity to produce hot water and chilled water for building heating and cooling respectively. For this new system, Stanford only reports on the electricity it procures directly from the grid; the hot water and chilled water produced from that electricity are not separated out. Thus, the district steam/hot water category has fallen to zero because none of that is sourced from offsite. Additionally, the energy from all other sources category now captures natural gas that is burned onsite at Stanford’s process steam plant and for a very small amount of supplemental building heating at our Central Energy Facility.

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):

Whole Building Energy Retrofit Program

The Whole Building Energy Retrofit Program (WBERP) seeks to reduce energy consumption in Stanford’s most energy-intensive buildings. This $30 million capital program began in 2004 to address the 12 campus buildings consuming the most energy and now includes the top 27, which represent 60% of total campus energy use. Retrofits have been completed in 15 buildings thus far and have saved more than $4.5 million per year in energy costs. The program has also yielded over $2 million in financial incentives via Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) rebates. Construction is underway on retrofits at the Mechanical Engineering Lab and Varian, and energy studies were completed for the Physics/Astrophysics Building and Lorry Lokey (Chem/Bio).
Stanford is also systematically reviewing the HVAC systems of 90 of its largest buildings, then adjusting or repairing the systems to ensure they work as designed. Technicians who conduct the reviews also recommend ways to further improve energy performance through ERP projects. The recommissioning of all 90 buildings was completed by the end of 2010 and all buildings are on a three-year renewal cycle.

Plug Load Reduction Programs

In summer 2014, Stanford conducted a Plug Load Equipment Inventory to collect data on 55 types of electricity-consuming equipment in 220 buildings across Stanford's campus. Stanford then expanded the inventory in summer 2015 to include various types of student residences, additional lab buildings, and off-campus leased spaces. The inventory resulted in a database of 204,000 pieces of electronic equipment, including relevant attributes of each type of equipment that influence its energy consumption (such as an Energy Star rating). Stanford analyzed this data and ultimately generated 33 potential plug load reduction program options that fall into 5 categories: energy efficiency measures for existing equipment (either efficiency upgrades or installation of efficiency devices such as appliance timers or smart strips), space heating, sustainability in information technology, green labs, and procurement policies. Stanford has launched initiatives in each of these program categories to effectively address plug loads in the coming years. If all 33 viable program options are implemented, Stanford could save a total of $2.3 million annually. See http://sustainable.stanford.edu/plug-load-inventory

The results of this study were also published in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Efficiency to contribute to general knowledge about plug and process loads in buildings throughout academia. The published journal article is available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12053-016-9503-2?wt_mc=Internal.Event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst.

Sustainable IT Program

The Sustainable IT program is a joint effort between the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management and Information Technology Services and includes targeted efforts to address sustainability issues for both IT equipment and the facilities that house these systems, as well as provide resources for individuals looking to efficiently manage technology. The ultimate goals are to increase the efficiency of Stanford's IT infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by computing and IT-related activities. The Sustainable IT program specifically facilitates server relocation and virtualization, purchasing of IT products, and work station and printer energy management. A case study on a successful server virtualization project at Stanford's Arrillaga Alumni Center can be seen here: http://sustainability-year-in-review.com/2016/snapshots/alumni-center-completes-server-virtualization-to-save-energy-and-costs/

ERP Express—Laboratory Equipment

Stanford’s Cardinal Green Labs program offers rebates to labs for upgrading laboratory equipment to energy efficient models. The program offers “express” rebates for ultra-low temperature freezers and custom rebates for other equipment. Rebate amounts are based on the energy cost savings accrued over a five-year period. Finally, the program also provides free timers for select lab equipment that will automatically shut equipment off at night. More information is available here: https://sustainable.stanford.edu/cardinal-green/cardinal-green-labs/energy-programs.

ERP Express—Office Equipment

As a result of the plug load equipment inventory in summer 2014, Stanford launched the Timer Direct Install program in fall 2015. Pilots conducted throughout 2015 showed that installing timers on large coffee makers, water coolers, hot water dispensers, and cable boxes would pay back in under one year. Through the ERP Express rebate program, Stanford was able to fund the purchase of programmable timers up front and utilize intern support to install them on the selected equipment campus-wide in conjunction with the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign. By the end of 2016, more than 150 timers were installed on this equipment in most major buildings across campus.

Reduced electrical consumption within individual workstations and shared office areas was also identified as a low-hanging fruit as a result of Stanford’s plug load equipment inventory. About 400 “smart” power strips have been deployed on Stanford’s campus since 2009, which were eligible for rebates through ERP Express for Office Equipment. Studies of the savings and persistence of these existing smart power strips and pilots of emerging technologies were conducted throughout 2016 and will continue in 2017. Preliminary data shows that the payback period for some of the newer technologies may be as low as two years. Over time, these newer models will be phased into ERP Express for Office Equipment, allowing them to be heavily subsidized for campus departments due to their quick payback. A how-to guide with more information on the existing options in the ERP Express for Office Equipment program is available here: http://sustainable.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/How_To_Obtain_ERP_Express_Funding_SmartStrips_Timers_10.15.pdf.

Space Heater Swap

In Winter 2015, Stanford launched its first space heater swap initiative in conjunction with the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign. When individuals went online to pledge to "turn off for break," they were also given the opportunity to volunteer to turn in their space heater for a Sustainable Stanford branded fleece. In 2016, of the nearly 1,000 pledges collected, 50 individuals volunteered to turn in their space heaters, which were collected in January 2017.

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

The figures used in this credit represent all the electricity purchased by Stanford in the performance year, 16,762,966 kWh of which went towards Stanford's Central Energy Facility for chilled water generation for Stanford Hospital & Clinics (SHC), which were deducted from the totals used in this credit since Stanford does not have operational control over SHC. Through the heat recovery technology employed at the plant, Stanford is able to meet 93% of its building heating needs through the creation of hot water from the waste heat from the chilled water system. The remaining 7% of building heating comes from natural gas, which fuels backup hot water generators that run when the demand for building heating is so high that the need cannot be met with the hot water produced through heat recovery.

The figure used for district steam/hot water in this credit captures only the hot water production that is generated through the backup hot water generators, since the majority of hot water generated using Stanford's heat recovery chillers is essentially a byproduct of chilled water production and is thus captured in the "purchased electricity" credit field. This figure also captures natural gas used at Stanford's Process Steam Plant.

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.