Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
OP-5: Building Energy Efficiency

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.82 / 6.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Electricity use, performance year (report kilowatt-hours):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity 279,895,674 Kilowatt-hours 955,004.04 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site, non-combustion facilities/devices (e.g., renewable energy systems) 0 Kilowatt-hours 0 MMBtu

Stationary fuels and thermal energy, performance year (report MMBtu):
Stationary fuels used on-site to generate electricity and/or thermal energy 27,954 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 1,609,751 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, performance year:
2,592,709.04 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
16,164,770 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 1,202,870 Square Feet
Healthcare space 61,612 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 398,471 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
19,092,205 Gross Square Feet

Degree days, performance year:
Degree days
Heating degree days 4,272 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,519 Degree-Days (°F)

Total degree days, performance year:
5,791 Degree-Days (°F)

Start and end dates of the performance year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Performance period July 1, 2019 June 30, 2020

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

Electricity use, baseline year (report kWh):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity 324,209,311 Kilowatt-hours 1,106,202.17 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site, non-combustion facilities/devices (e.g., renewable energy systems) 0 Kilowatt-hours 0 MMBtu

Stationary fuels and thermal energy, baseline year (report MMBtu):
Stationary fuels used on-site to generate electricity and/or thermal energy 27,954 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 1,403,269 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, baseline year:
2,537,425.17 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, baseline year:
15,089,426 Gross Square Feet

Start and end dates of the baseline year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Baseline period July 1, 2008 June 30, 2009

A brief description of when and why the energy consumption baseline was adopted:

Source-site ratio for imported electricity:

Total energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Site energy Source energy
Performance year 0.16 MMBtu / GSF 0.28 MMBtu / GSF
Baseline year 0.17 MMBtu / GSF 0.31 MMBtu / GSF

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

Documentation 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:

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: "ReThink Your Footprint," "Power Down," the "ULT Freezer Rebate," "Green Living Certification," "Green Office Certification," the "Green Labs" program, the "Penn Labs Freezer Challenge," and many others.

One initiative with a large impact is the the "Power Down" campaign. Every year, Power Down empowers members of the Penn community to reduce their energy consumption and deepen their understanding of energy issues. Penn Sustainability and campus partners join together for educational events and programs about energy consumption, reduction, and innovation.

A brief description of energy use standards and controls employed by the institution:

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.

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.

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:

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace energy-consuming appliances, equipment, and systems with high efficiency alternatives:

The Penn "Century Bond" program was developed to accelerate building renovation programs. After a rigorous analysis of Penn buildings and building systems, $197M 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://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/record-setting-century-bond

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.

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 215 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.

Website URL where information about the institution’s energy conservation and efficiency program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." 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 Center 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.