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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
OP-8: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.30 / 6.00 Jeff Severin
KU Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total building energy consumption, all sources (transportation fuels excluded):
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total building energy consumption 895,461.15 MMBtu 896,928 MMBtu

Purchased electricity and steam:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 435,475.22 MMBtu 443,432.14 MMBtu
District steam/hot water 244,878.25 MMBtu 453,432.70 MMBtu

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 5,592,339 Gross Square Feet 5,707,181 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year::
Floor Area
Laboratory space 506,345 Square Feet
Healthcare space 34,138 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F)::
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 5,635
Cooling degree days 1,564

Source-site ratios::
Source-Site Ratio (see help icon above)
Grid-purchased electricity 3.14
District steam/hot water 1.20

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods)::
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

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

The year 2005 was the original baseline used by our university for our first STARS submission. We feel that using 2005 provides us with a consistent means of assessing our progress.

A brief description of any building temperature standards employed by the institution:

A commercial energy management system is used to control building temperature and start/stop times in accordance with the building occupancy and set-back schedules. Control systems are operated for most buildings on campus. The current energy policy requires temperatures to be maintained at 69 and set back to 55 when unoccupied during the heating season and at 76 occupied and 85 unoccupied during the cooling season. These temperature settings are being assessed to determine how a flexibility with these settings could actually improve energy efficiency in some facilities.

A brief description of any light emitting diode (LED) lighting employed by the institution:

A new design standard street and walkway lighting has been adopted, requiring LED lighting for these uses. Improvements along the main campus boulevard and a major parking lot reconstruction have used this standard.

A brief description of any occupancy and/or vacancy sensors employed by the institution:

New construction includes occupancy sensors for energy efficiency and accessibility. Existing hallways and classrooms on campus have been updated to use either motion or infrared sensors and in some cases use dual technology devices (motion and infrared). Facilities Services is working to identify additional opportunities for occupancy sensors.

A brief description of any passive solar heating employed by the institution:

The Center for Design Research uses passive heating, including a Trombe Wall.

A brief description of any ground-source heat pumps employed by the institution:

Ground source heat pumps are being used to retrofit old heating and air systems at the scholarship halls on campus.

A brief description of any cogeneration technologies employed by the institution:


A brief description of any building recommissioning or retrofit program employed by the institution:

The University has completed two large energy conservation projects with Energy Service Companies. These projects include installing efficient lighting, controls and air conditioning systems in various campus buildings. Retro-commissioning is being planned for buildings at this time.

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

KU uses both EnergyCap software and Metrix software to track energy consumption and performance for metered buildings campus-wide. Real-time electric data is also be collected for large campus buildings. The real-time data gathering is going to be expanded to be used on 90% of campus buildings. Future plans are being developed to tie other metering into the real-time system.

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

KU has done a number of chiller replacement projects to install new high efficiency chillers to replace old chillers beyond their service life.

A brief description of any energy-efficient landscape design initiatives employed by the institution:

The reconstruction of Lot 54 at the core of the Central District included features to reduce the heat island effect such as lighter-colored pervious concrete (versus the asphalt is replaced) and vegetated islands with rows of trees throughout the lot.

A brief description of any vending machine sensors, lightless machines, or LED-lit machines employed by the institution:

Vending Miser sensors are used on most vending machines to lower energy consumption. If there is no traffic within 15 minutes of last use, the machine shuts down then comes back on periodically to keep items cool, or comes back on when it senses traffic.

A brief description of other energy conservation and efficiency initiatives employed by the institution:

As performance contracts have come to an end, KU is exploring the development of a new conservation program with a strong focus on conservation behavior. The program, which will include a building-level green team approach, is expected to be implemented within the next year.

The campus sustainability plan includes several strategies that are being reviewed and acted on when possible:
Strategy 1.2.1: Increase the base for the revolving green loan fund
Strategy 1.2.2: Capture savings from energy conservation projects (not just those funded through the RGLF) to fund future conservation projects
Strategy 2.1.1: Review and update the Campus Energy Policy on an annual basis
Strategy 2.1.2: Create new policies to address prioritized problematic energy uses (e.g. unnecessary plug loads)
Strategy 2.3.1: Provide individual users with real time energy use/consumption data
Strategy 2.3.2: Develop a comprehensive energy awareness/education program to educate students, faculty, and staff about specific energy conservation behaviors
Strategy 2.3.3: Develop an incentive program to support conservation behaviors
Strategy 2.4.1: Establish a campus conservation award program as part of the Sustainability Leadership Awards (see ADP 3.2.1)
Strategy 2.4.2: Develop a method to assign the campus energy budget at the school, department, or building level to shift a portion of the responsibility for conservation to building users
Strategy 2.4.3: Reward departments or schools for conservation efforts through energy savings

The website URL where information about the institution’s energy conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

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.