Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Phil Valko
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 1,051,083 MMBtu 580,950 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 692 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (e.g., natural gas, fuel oil, propane/LPG, district chilled water, coal/coke, biomass) 976,363 MMBtu 1,422,837 MMBtu
Total 2,028,138 MMBtu 2,003,787 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, 1989 June 30, 1990

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):

Fiscal Year 1990 has been selected as the baseline year for building energy consumption for two reasons: 1) Washington University has consistently been investing in energy efficiency on our campuses and in our buildings since 1990, and 2) our energy use and building square footage data sets include consistent data back to 1990.


Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 11,044,168 Gross Square Feet 5,544,107 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 0.18 MMBtu / GSF 0.36 MMBtu / GSF
Source energy 0.39 MMBtu / GSF 0.59 MMBtu / GSF

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline:
33.87

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 3,397 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 2,134 Degree-Days (°F)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,348,169 Square Feet
Healthcare space 481,758 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
16,435,797 Gross Square Feet

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
22.31 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):

Washington University has a number of major initiatives related to shifting energy efficiency practices. We recently completed a major building energy sub-metering project that has allowed the University to shift from allocating energy costs based on square footage to allocating costs based on actual usage. This change aligns the incentive structure to ensure that schools and departments will experience the cost savings from investments in energy conservation measures, as well as behavior change initiatives. Our outreach and behavior change efforts are a key overlay on top of this policy/billing change and include: a growing Green Office Program (over 100 certified offices) that includes an emphasis on energy conservation; the annual Green Cup energy reduction competition in residential halls; direct peer-to-peer outreach through a residential Eco Rep program and an orientation Green Ambassador program; and regular communications through bi-weekly newsletters that reach over 3,000 subscribers in our community and at least quarterly outreach through the university's main news service.


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

The University has adopted a thermostatic set point policy with an express goal of energy conservation (https://facilities.wustl.edu/maintenance/building-controls/danforth-campus-temperature-setpoint-policy/). All new buildings include a range of occupancy sensors that control lighting and ventilation. One example is Seigle Hall (construction completed in 2008), which uses this type of technology to adjust space temperature setpoints based on occupancy. The University is steadily rolling out updated night and weekend building setback schedule through a robust retro-commissioning program.


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

Lighting in all new construction and major renovation projects is LED lighting, with few exceptions. We have replaced thousands of light fixtures with LED bulbs including approximately 400 high wattage (175 watt) metal halide campus street lights that were replaced with low wattage (52 watt) Sylvania LED fixtures. We recently replaced all of our parking garage lighting on the Danforth Campus and South 40 with LED fixtures.


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

The south facade of the Lofts student housing includes sun shades that reduce solar heat gain during summer months and allow for passive solar heating during winter months. The Tyson Research Center HQ building is heated/cooled by a ground-source heat pump system.


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):

Both major campuses have been implementing significant retro-commissioning projects for a number of years. The RCx efforts include air flow rebalancing, updating thermostatic set points to align with the university policy, addition of variable speed drives and pumps, lighting upgrades, and more. The university's building-level metering has allowed us to prioritize buildings for RCx with high EUI based on space type. RCx projects have resulted in annual energy savings of 20-40% per building and payback period that range from 2-5 years. The University has also been steadily replacing old chillers and boilers with significantly more efficient equipment, including heat recovery chillers that allow us to mothball a number of natural gas boilers from May - October that used to operate year-round for re-heat.

In early 2018, the University will roll-out a policy requiring all new ultra low temperature freezers to be high-efficiency units that use low-GWP refrigerants.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.