Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.06
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.48 / 4.00 Jesse Warren
Sustainability Program Manager
Facilities Management - Energy & Utilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 444,147,421 Gallons 520,185,736 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 443,225,121 Gallons 520,185,736 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 6,698 6,216
Number of residential employees 200 159
Number of in-patient hospital beds 577 570
Full-time equivalent enrollment 22,030 20,297
Full-time equivalent of employees 13,864.20 13,289
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 16,440,251 Square feet 15,574,997 Square feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 766 Acres 752 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2014 Dec. 31, 2014
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2009 Dec. 31, 2009

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
922,300 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

UVa has several cisterns that collect water for use at both times of draught and for landscaping establishment and gardening purposes. These are described in detail in OP-27. Since those cisterns are not metered, the rainwater collected and subsequently reused is not included in the totals above.

Starting in 2013, the University installed its first condensate recovery system. This system captures air handler condensate (the liquid product of dehumidification) and sends it to our chiller plants for use in the cooling towers. In 2014, two additional systems were installed. Since those systems were added mid year, they only recovered 922,300 gallons in 2014. in 2015, the recovery will be over 1 million gallons a year.

A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

All UVa buildings are metered to record utility usage. There are thousands of utility meters on Grounds, most of which are owned by the University.

A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

EPA Water Sense fixtures are required for all new projects and in-kind replacements. LEED certification of new construction, major renovations and large interior fit outs is required. These projects are often use ultra-low consumption to maximize their LEED rating.

A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:

No potable water is permitted for cooling of laboratory or research equipment. Process chilled water loops are installed in spaces where specialized equipment requires cooling. In experiments, researchers are not permitted to use water to pull a vacuum.

A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

Irrigation is not standard practice at UVA and nearly all landscapes are designed using xeriscaping techniques with specification of drought tolerant plants.

A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

Although use of irrigation is limited, all potable-water irrigation systems are equipped with rain sensors that prevent irrigation in periods of wet weather. Rain sensors are installed on the Lawn, at the Special Collections Library, Darden School of Business, School of Law, South Lawn Complex and the Fontaine Research Park.

A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:

Water Use Reduction

- Converted all air handling systems using “once-through”, i.e. domestic water, cooling to chilled water use

- Converted most domestic water process cooling applications to use chilled water

- Installed low flow shower heads and toilets in most housing facilities.

- Installed water and energy conserving laundry equipment at some housing facilities

- Captured cooling coil condensate at some air handling units to use for landscaping purposes

Water Recovery

- Installed underground water collection systems (cisterns).

- Capturing condensate from air handling units (air conditioning). Water captured from condensate is used to water grounds. UVA is currently working to expand this effort.

- Added a collection sump to collect water from condensation drains. In an effort to save approximately 1 million gallons of water annually, UVA has installed a collection sump in the Chemistry building that collects condensate from the air handlers which is then used as make up water in the central chilled water plant cooling towers.

Elimination of Water as a Cooling Source

- Conducted a comprehensive survey of our facilities.

- Identified air handling units (air conditioning) and water coolers that use domestic water as a source of cooling. UVa replaced those and prohibited their future use.

- Identified research and clinical equipment that used domestic water for cooling. UVa installed process chilled water service to those units. This is water that is 100% re-circulated.

Effective Measuring

- Added water meters to buildings on grounds. This helps us to target our efforts and identify specific problems to make sure water is used efficiently.

- Conducted an ultrasonic survey of the underground water distribution system. By surveying the water distribution system, E&U was able to identify and repair all leaks and update piping to ensure more efficient distribution of water.

- Revised UVa Building Design Guidelines to include low-flow fixtures and plumbing systems.

- Implemented LEED water conservation standards in all new buildings.

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.