Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Madeline Schuh
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.45 / 6.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 996091 MMBtu 1054469 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 1665286 MMBtu 1504528 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (e.g., natural gas, fuel oil, propane/LPG, district chilled water, coal/coke, biomass) 27954 MMBtu 27954 MMBtu
Total 2689331 MMBtu 2586951 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014

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):

2014 was adopted as baseline energy consumption year with the issuance of Penn's new "Climate Action Plan 2.0" in the fall of 2014.


Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 15864661 Gross Square Feet 15493215 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 0.17 MMBtu / GSF 0.17 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.32 MMBtu / GSF 0.33 MMBtu / GSF

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline:
2.16

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 4023 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1761 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 3622403 Square Feet
Healthcare space 221225 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
23551917 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
19.74 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):

Penn's Office of Sustainability, in partnership with numerous Penn community members, runs a number of behavior change programs with the goal of shifting attitudes and practices in regard to energy efficiency. Programs throughout the year include: "30x30 Challenge", "ReThink", "Power Down", "ULT Freezer Rebate", "Green Living", "Green Office", "Creating Canopy", and many others.

One example with large impact is the the "Power Down Challenge". Every year, the Power Down Challenge empowers members of the Penn community to reduce their energy consumption and deepen their understanding of energy issues. Throughout the month of February, Penn and its partners join together for educational events and programs about energy consumption, reduction, and innovation. The Power Down Challenge in 2017 encouraged members of the Penn community to "signal a change" in their energy consumption habits. The 2017 campaign culminated in a collaborative, campus-wide Energy Reduction Challenge on February 22nd, 2017.

During the 2016 Power Down Challenge, Penn saved 220,640 kWh in 24 hours in the first ever single-day Energy Reduction Challenge at Penn. In 2017, Penn saved even more, reducing consumption by 11.4%, or 282,350 kWh in the 24-hour period - equivalent to 198 metric tons of CO2 emissions, taking 42 cars off the road, or planting 5,143 trees.

https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/participate/penn-community/power-down-challenge See more at: https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/participate/penn-community/power-down-challenge


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

Buildings are managed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from Penn's Operations Control Center using a central Building Management System (BMS) system, allowing operators to detect faults or irregularities in building energy use compared with historical building performance. The system also is used to program setbacks to specific building systems (such as air handling units) to be initiated during times of peak energy use or unoccupied periods.

The SCADA BMS system has approximately 201,500 data points across campus buildings. Newer buildings have a greater number of data points as technology has developed and made installation and monitoring of points easier. In the past few years, Penn has worked to install building level sub-meters to campus buildings and tie their energy use into the SCADA system. This tie-in will help Penn's operations and engineering team better understand building level energy use and address issues quickly.

Over the course of 2013 to 2016, comprehensive lighting upgrades were completed in 45 buildings on campus, installing state of the art lighting systems with occupancy and vacancy sensors.

AirCuity demand ventilation systems are standard for all laboratory and vivarium buildings at Penn, in addition to numerous public and assembly spaces across campus.


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

The Penn standard for all exterior pedestrian and security lighting, including on Penn’s primary public walkways and at city streets, is LED fixtures. Facilities and Real Estate Services installs LED technology in most buildings and exterior areas across campus as replacement lights where appropriate. Many lighting projects have been completed using rebates through the local utility company (PECO Energy), which are submitted routinely by facilities staff.

This year, continuing Penn’s “Move-In GREEN” program for the seventh year, over 600 LED bulbs were distributed free to incoming freshmen to use in supplemental lighting (such as desk lamps) that they brought with them from their homes.


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

The only geothermal system in place within the University of Pennsylvania System is located at the Morris Arboretum, which is not included in the boundary of the University, as defined by the STARS report.

The Morris Arboretum Horticulture Center, a 20,840-square foot facility that provides work space for the Arboretum’s horticulture, public programs, and facility staff, is heated and cooled using a ground source heat pump, using only about 1/4 the energy of a typical boiler/air conditioning system. Over 30 heat exchange wells are drilled under parking facilities and nearby open fields to supply the thermal source for the system. The “green” elements of the Horticulture Center provide unique opportunities to educate the public about the importance of protecting our natural resources. See http://www.morrisarboretum.org/hort_center.shtml


A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution, e.g. combined heat and power (CHP):
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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 Penn "Century Bond" program was developed to accelerate the building renovation programs. After a rigorous analysis of Penn buildings and building systems, $200M worth of funds raised through bond sales are being applied towards projects in which energy conservation and deferred maintenance converge - typically deep-energy retrofits and lighting upgrades. Energy savings from the projects are used by the school to pay back the bond interest. The funding for the projects are internally structured, to enable the use of the funds multiple times throughout the 100 year term of the bond. In the first phase, 45 buildings received new high-efficiency lighting, and 10 large buildings are being renovated. More information at: https://www.pennconnects.upenn.edu/find_a_project/alphabetical/century_bond_alpha/century_bond_projects_overview.php

To optimize Penn's chilled water/air conditioning systems, Penn's chiller plants refrigerate the system cooling water stored in the 10+ miles of underground piping, at night when energy costs are low to provide daytime cooling capacity, reducing Penn's overall energy use and its burden on the regional electrical grid and saving money. In addition, Penn operates an ice storage tank, which freezes at night, to further reduce daytime cooling costs. In 2017, the chilled water plant capacity was expanded by 10,000 tons with the addition of two new steam-driven chillers and associated cooling towers. For more information, see: https://penncurrent.upenn.edu/2013-08-08/latest-news/keeping-penns-campus-cool and https://www.pennconnects.upenn.edu/find_a_project/alphabetical/chiller_plant_alpha/MOD_7_chiller_plant_expansion_overview.php

Penn participates in a number of energy reduction and sustainability focuses programs. The "Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) Freezer Efficiency Program" was established in 2015 to reduce the number of old and under-utilized freezers and incentivize the purchase of highly efficient ULT freezers, thereby reducing energy use and saving money. To date, this program has helped replace or eliminate 76 freezers on campus. This program is funded by the Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services and jointly administered by the Sustainability Office and Penn Purchasing. The ULT Freezer Efficiency Program includes incentives for both recycling existing freezers and purchasing new freezers.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The questions regarding energy consumed from all other sources (excluding transportation fuels) is based on an engineering calculation and is not an exact accounting of energy use.

The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2014 "Climate Action Plan 2.0". This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY17 year and compares them to the FY14 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate Action Plan. 2.0". The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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.