Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.09 / 6.00 Phil Valko
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Electricity use, performance year (report kilowatt-hours):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity 265,152,499 Kilowatt-hours 904,700.33 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site, non-combustion facilities/devices (e.g., renewable energy systems) 1,454,544 Kilowatt-hours 4,962.90 MMBtu

Stationary fuels and thermal energy, performance year (report MMBtu):
Stationary fuels used on-site to generate electricity and/or thermal energy 924,394 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 0 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, performance year:
1,834,057.23 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
11,302,973 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 1,406,800 Square Feet
Healthcare space 847,209 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 1,989,311 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
17,800,302 Gross Square Feet

Degree days, performance year:
Degree days
Heating degree days 4,356 Degree-Days (°F)
Cooling degree days 1,795 Degree-Days (°F)

Total degree days, performance year:
6,151 Degree-Days (°F)

Start and end dates of the performance year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Performance period July 1, 2020 June 30, 2021

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

Electricity use, baseline year (report kWh):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity 170,266,792 Kilowatt-hours 580,950.29 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 1,422,837 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water 0 MMBtu

Total site energy consumption, baseline year:
2,003,787.29 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space, baseline year:
5,544,107 Gross Square Feet

Start and end dates of the baseline year (or 3-year period):
Start date End date
Baseline period July 1, 1989 June 30, 1990

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

Fiscal Year 1990 has been selected as the baseline year for building energy consumption for three reasons: 1) Washington University has consistently been investing in energy efficiency on our campuses and in our buildings since 1990, 2) our energy use and building square footage data sets include consistent data back to 1990, and 3) our 2020 energy and emissions goal focused on reducing emissions to 1990 levels despite significant campus growth.

Source-site ratio for imported electricity:

Total energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Site energy Source energy
Performance year 0.16 MMBtu / GSF 0.32 MMBtu / GSF
Baseline year 0.36 MMBtu / GSF 0.57 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:

Washington University has a number of major initiatives related to shifting energy efficiency practices. We completed a major building energy sub-metering project in 2015 that 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; a Green Labs program; 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 6,000 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:

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. Our newest building include smart lighting systems with occupancy sensors that integrate with HVAC systems, as well as occupancy-controlled outlets. Sensors in many of our fume hoods allow our facilities teams to engage with lab managers when fume hood sashes have been left open for long periods of time. The University has also updated night and weekend building setback schedules 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 and increasingly includes Enlighted smart lighting systems. We have replaced the vast majority of exterior lighting and garage lighting with LED lights. The School of Medicine campus is ~75% complete retrofitting interior building lighting to LED bulbs. The Danforth Campus is approximately 30% complete retrofitting interior building lighting with dozens of buildings targeted and millions of dollars budgeted each year for the next few years to complete the retrofits.

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. Weil Hall and McKelvey Hall include horizontal and vertical exterior architectural sun shades to manage solar heat gain. The Schnuck Pavilion and the Sumers Welcome Center include fritted glass to limit solar heat gain. The Tyson Research Center HQ building and the Living Learning Center building are heated/cooled by a ground-source heat pump systems.

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:

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 rolled-out a policy requiring all new ultra low temperature freezers to be high-efficiency units that use low-GWP refrigerants. The University also offered an incentive to replace old ULT freezers with high-efficiency models that has resulted in dozens of expedited retirements of inefficient ULTs.

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

Gross square footage in OP5 differs from gross square footage because the University’s 2010 – 2020 energy & emissions goal focused on the University’s two main campuses in order to strike a balance between impact, effort to track data, and focused implementation. Baseline data and subsequent year data reported here are for the main academic, medical and residential campuses (Danforth, S40, and School of Medicine) and do not include two administrative campuses (West and North) or the university's other holdings. PRE4 includes Danforth, S40, School of Medicine, satellite administrative buildings, and off-campus housing. It’s important to note that while the energy & emissions goal has been focused on the most energy intensive subset of our holdings (the two main campuses and on-campus housing), we have made significant strides reducing energy use and emissions throughout our holdings. This includes a multi-year set of gut renovations of approximately 100 historic apartment buildings that added significant interior insulation, high efficiency windows, and more efficient HVAC systems, among other things. The data reported here does not account for the energy use at these satellite sites or take credit for the reductions at the satellite sites.

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.