Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 35.74
Liaison Amy Brunvand
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Utah
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Myron Willson
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

University of Utah’s High Performance Building Standard

In 2009, the State of Utah replaced their custom high performance building standard with LEED Silver for all state-owned major capital construction ($2.5 million+). Utah public colleges and universities are covered by the state standard but are allowed to set higher benchmarks for campus construction.
The Office of Sustainability initiated a review process with Facilities Management to examine whether the University of Utah should adopt a higher LEED standard such as GOLD or PLATINUM, or adopt additional energy performance standards given that the institution had recently become a signatory to ACUPPC. Students actively participated in the review process and conducted much of the research and analysis under the guidance of the director of the Office of Sustainability. Since the LEED process does not necessarily focus on energy reduction goals, it was felt that adopting an aggressive standard specifically for energy reduction similar to Architecture 2030 would be critical for the campus to achieve climate neutrality in building construction.
The results of that review and a campus “Energy Summit” led to the creation of the University of Utah’s own additional high performance standards that took effect in June 2010. In addition to meeting the minimum high performance building standards specified by the state’s Division of Facilities Construction and Management, the University’s high performance standards include additional mandatory LEED points and an Energy Star criterion:
“(1) LEED EA Credit 1 Optimize Energy Performance:
(a) For all Hospitals and Clinics: 5 points minimum
(b) For all other Building Types: 15 points minimum
(not including regional bonus credit point – if achieved)
(2) LEED EA Credit 5: Measurement and Verification: 3 Points
(3) For each type of building for which EPA offers a rating, design the project to meet EPA criteria for ENERGY STAR. To insure projects are eligible to receive certification complete all applications for “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” and achieve an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher using Portfolio Manager and verified by a professional engineer.”—quoted from University of Utah’s Facilities Management Design Standards, section 1.2.2, a.
The new energy-efficiency requirement essentially dictates all new construction and major renovation to achieve a 40% improvement over code-required energy performance, making the University of Utah’s standard one of the most aggressive standards in the nation for basic energy performance.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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