Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
OP-5: Building Energy Efficiency

Status Score Responsible Party
-- Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

Stationary fuels and thermal energy, performance year (report MMBtu):
Stationary fuels used on-site to generate electricity and/or thermal energy 2,177,693 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 0 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, performance year:
2,177,693 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
16,147,947 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 3,043,388 Square Feet
Healthcare space 3,269,907 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 1,193,870 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
29,968,407 Gross Square Feet

Degree days, performance year:
Degree days
Heating degree days 3,121 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,886 Degree-Days (°F)

Total degree days, performance year:
5,007 Degree-Days (°F)

Start and end dates of the performance year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Performance period Jan. 1, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015

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

Electricity use, baseline year (report kWh):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity --- 0 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site, non-combustion facilities/devices (e.g., renewable energy systems) --- 0 MMBtu

Stationary fuels and thermal energy, baseline year (report MMBtu):
Stationary fuels used on-site to generate electricity and/or thermal energy 2,055,615.30 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 0 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, baseline year:
2,055,615.30 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, baseline year:
13,186,242 Gross Square Feet

Start and end dates of the baseline year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Baseline period Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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 0.13 MMBtu / GSF 0.13 MMBtu / GSF
Baseline year 0.16 MMBtu / GSF 0.16 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:

Vanderbilt has an educational program specific to energy conservation at VU termed the ThinkOne energy conservation program. This program encourages energy conservation through behavioral change and was developed in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and the Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement based on peer-reviewed academic research from other areas of behavioral change, such as recycling and weight loss literature. This program seeks to reduce energy consumption at Vanderbilt by 10% through behavioral change alone.

The Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) has also published several green living guides to provide guidance to residential students, including for Sustainable Events and Sustainable Holidays, that provide tips for reducing environmental impacts.

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

Occupancy sensors are installed in many campus locations to decrease energy use in unoccupied spaces. Temperature standards are also in place in many campus buildings to reduce unnecessary energy use on heating/cooling.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to set their thermostats to 68 degrees F in the winter and 75 degrees F in the summer. During the summer and winter breaks, when most students and many staff are off campus, temperatures are centrally controlled by Plant Operations in order to keep energy usage down.
When spaces are unoccupied, automatic setbacks are implemented to reduce energy use. For example, automatic setbacks are in place at night for office spaces and classrooms that are not in use during that time.

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

Many buildings on campus have recently undergone lighting retrofits that include LED lighting including: Hobbs Library of Human Development, Jesup Psychology, Home Economics, Kirkland Hall, Student Life Center, and Neely Auditorium. LED lights are also used in elevator cars (MR16s). Additionally, many of Vanderbilt’s athletic facilities have been retrofitted with LED lighting. Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field (baseball stadium) recently went through an LED lighting retrofit, replacing 152 HID fixtures with 98 LED fixtures, reducing watts used on the field by 60%. VU’s baseball indoor batting facility and the Currey Tennis Center use high bay LED lighting. The Olympic Weight room was retrofitted in 2015 replacing (30)- 400watt fixtures with (30) 80 watt LED dimming fixtures. Many outdoor walkway lights were replaced with LEDs in 2013.

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

Automatic shades are used on the windows in some buildings to increase or decrease the amount of light allowed into a space in order to better regulate temperatures.

A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution:

In Fall 2013, Vanderbilt University began the conversion of its co-generation power plant from coal and gas fuel to all-natural gas. The Vanderbilt Co-generation power plant burned its last piece of coal on November 19, 2014. The plant, which produces 14 percent of Vanderbilt’s electricity, 86 percent of its heat and 40 percent of its cooling, now runs exclusively on natural gas. This cogeneration process is quite efficient: heat, which would otherwise be a wasted byproduct of electricity and steam generation, is used to produce more steam and hot water. The remaining 77% of electricity consumed at Vanderbilt is purchased directly from Nashville Electric Service from Tennessee Valley Authority.

The decommissioning of the plant’s last coal boiler in December 2014 brings the power plant’s 126-year reliance on coal to an end. The modern structure, built in 1962, has been partially powered by natural gas since 1988, but still burned 105 million pounds of coal and produced 15 million pounds of ash waste per year. Authority (TVA).

The environmental benefits of the conversion are significant. Greenhouse gas emissions—the carbon footprint of the power plant—will go down by as much as 40 percent. The conversion will also decrease the emission of particulate matter by more than 50 percent and virtually eliminates emissions of mercury, hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide and other air pollutants.

Operationally, converting to natural gas will make the plant more efficient, require far less maintenance and be more reliable. Additionally, it will be better able to meet stricter EPA regulations.

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

Vanderbilt invested over $8 million in 2013 and 2014 in energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings throughout campus. All projects had a payback of less than 3 years. Vanderbilt is also committed to installing more energy efficient systems and fixtures when replacement is needed for the older systems and fixtures. Buildings are also retrocommissioned periodically to reset the building systems to optimal energy efficiency standards. In 2015, Vanderbilt Plant Operations put together a Utility Conservation Task Force consisting of partners from various parts of Plant Operations who work together to plan efficiency projects that will save both natural resources and money spent on these utilities. This task force brainstorms future utility conservation projects, evaluates potential projects, and implements these projects across campus.

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

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