Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Melissa Maigler
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.14 / 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 894,120.30 MMBtu 649,018.62 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 23,100.10 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) 195,571.84 MMBtu 1,261,487.06 MMBtu
Total 1,112,792.24 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 Jan. 1, 2018 Dec. 31, 2018
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 15,476,723 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 2,410 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 171 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,524,006 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
18,587,157 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
23.20 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. 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. Related to energy consumption, one action specifically categorized for students is, "Remove your personal printer from your room," whereas an action categorized for staff is, "Contact IT to connect all individuals to a networked printer." A 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/

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. Since 2013, additional programs have also been introduced under the Cardinal Green Buildings campaign umbrella. For instance, the university now also conducts a heating curtailment over the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday called "Thanksgiving Closure." 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.

Stanford's Cardinal Green Labs program offers a number of resources and incentives to encourage occupants to reduce energy in labs, including rebates for energy efficient equipment, free shut-off timers for lab equipment, incentives for chilling up ultra-low temperature freezers, and support for transitioning to room temperature storage.

In 2015, the 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. For details on the library, visit: https://sustainable.stanford.edu/cardinal-green-office-resource-library

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 relevant 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/

A pioneering initiative focused on maximizing the efficiency of building operations through central controls systems, Stanford’s Integrated Controls and Analytics (iCAP) program, launched in 2017. As part of iCAP, the university implemented over 35 building control integration and upgrade projects. Wallenberg Hall, one of the larger iCAP projects completed in 2018, was jointly funded by the ERP program and Buildings and Grounds Management (BGM), and is reducing energy usage by nearly 40% in its first year. Over 100 additional campus buildings are on the list for iCAP projects over the next ten years. Stanford’s Facilities Energy Management (FEM) team works closely with partners to distill additional benefits from control systems data, using new software analytics tools like fault detection and diagnostics, predictive maintenance, and performance optimization.

To ensure efficiencies from Stanford’s Central Energy Facility are realized while keeping utility rates low, the energy system must function effectively to ensure the plant's heat recovery chillers (HRCs) receive optimal return water after it has been distributed and utilized for heating or cooling purposes by the campus. Otherwise, the HRCs consume more electricity and are at risk for premature failure. Through the Return Temperature Optimization (RTO) Program, engineers from FEM, Zone Management, and Energy Operations work together to identify opportunities to optimize campus heating and cooling usage by implementing building mechanical improvements and controls programming changes. Since the program inception in 2014, the RTO program has completed work in over 40 campus buildings and on average has improved return temperatures by 8°F.

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. 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 the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2) building, which includes both sensors for occupancy and photocell technology for daylight control.

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

LEDs are systematically installed in all campus buildings in conjunction with the lighting maintenance schedule. Recent examples of LED upgrades include the Stanford Community Recreation Association, Lokey Lab, and Jordan Hall. The Arrillaga Gym and Weight Room underwent a significant LED retrofit in 2018, installing over 65 overhead court lights, which save 55,000 kWh per year and improve light levels and usability in the space.

Stanford has also upgraded its outdoor light fixtures to LEDs. In 2018, exterior light fixtures (near doorways, on exterior stairways, and under arcades or covered patios, for instance), were retrofitted with LEDs. Nearly 1,500 LED lights were installed in the first phase of this project, which is expected to save over 200,000 kWh per year.

More than 2,000 of Stanford's "lantern-style" outdoor light fixtures were upgraded in summer 2016 with new energy-efficient lamps and frosted glass lenses. 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 the prior bulbs.

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 the Y2E2 building 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). Read more about SESI in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit.

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):

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. Completed retrofits have delivered annual energy cost savings of $4.7 million (a payback of less than four years), and local utility rebates of $2.2 million. On average, buildings that have participated in the WBERP program see 24% reductions in energy usage, with some buildings realizing savings of up to 50%.

For instance, in 2017, the School of Medicine started investing in upgrading the control system in its Fairchild building to a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system that allows HVAC control to the zone level. The School of Medicine retrofit half the spaces in 2017 and the remainder in 2018, with support from the Whole Building Energy Retrofit Program. The new control system allowed for improvements in HVAC scheduling, supply air temperature setpoints, and adjustments in minimum air change rates in rooms that no longer house chemical fume hoods. The overall energy savings are estimated to be over $100,000 per year.

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 WBERP projects. The recommissioning of all 90 buildings was completed by the end of 2010 and all buildings are on a three-year renewal cycle.

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
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, provides rebates for purchasing efficient servers, and provides resources on 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/
Stanford’s Facilities Energy Management team continues to work collaboratively with Environmental Health & Safety, building occupants, and operations staff to further improve airflow management in large laboratory buildings. These facilities are typically the largest energy consumers on campus due to the amount of ventilation required for occupant safety. Studies conducted in 2014 identified innovative strategies to reduce HVAC-related energy needs in lab buildings, which WBERP projects are including in their retrofits. In one research building, a combination of schedules and sensors reduces the frequency of air changes in a laboratory during unoccupied hours. At the Chem-Bio Lokey Building, lab airflow experts performed tests to confirm that hood airflow could be reduced when sashes are closed, while still meeting all health and safety standards.

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 biosafety cabinets and custom rebates for other equipment. Rebate amounts are based on the energy cost savings accrued over a five-year period. 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
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. Persistence studies have since shown that about 50% of these timers remain functional for 2 years or more.

Reduced electrical consumption within individual workstations and shared office areas was also identified as a low-hanging fruit of Stanford’s plug load equipment inventory. 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; a white paper on work station energy management based on Stanford's various pilot programs can be found here: http://sustainable.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Work%20Station%20Energy%20Management%20Summary.pdf
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
After discovering through the plug load equipment inventory that there are over 1,000 space heaters on Stanford's campus, Stanford launched the "space heater swap" program to allow campus community members to turn in their space heaters in exchange for fleece jackets with the Sustainable Stanford logo. The program is now available year-round through My Cardinal Green and is very popular during the fall Cardinal Green Buildings energy conservation campaign.

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.