Higher Education

Higher Education

With more than 20 million post-secondary students, and over 5 billion square feet of floor space, the higher education sector in the United States spends an estimated $14 billion annually on energy costs. Colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions across the U.S. hold unique places in their communities—as civic, academic, and cultural stewards, and opinion shapers. Students, staff, alumni, elected officials, and the general public expect higher education institutions to exhibit wise leadership coupled with strong fiscal oversight—a challenge in the best economic times.

Find a Partner

Through the Better Buildings Challenge, more than 360 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency. 

2019 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, Better Buildings partners have saved nearly 1.4 quadrillion Btus, achieving more than $8 billion in energy and cost savings.

2019 Summit Presentations

Slide decks from the 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit sessions are available to download and share. This is a filtered list of Education sector-specific presentations.
 

Featured Solutions

Better Buildings conducted a review of 45 Campus Energy Master Plans, Sustainability Master Plans, and Climate Action Plans developed between 2008-2018 to identify common features and best practices.
UC Berkeley's Energy Management Initiative (EMI) targets building occupants through building surveys and energy dashboards, and allocates energy cost responsibility to individual campus operating units to achieve savings of $6.5 million, 58.7 million kWh and 893,000 therms in just three years.
UC Irvine's empirically derived technical and behavioral performance improvement program supports risk-taking and questions status-quo practices to produce exceptional results across the board.
sustainNU is Northwestern University's comprehensive occupant engagement program that encourages sustainable behavior, builds leadership capacity, and removes barriers to sustainable practices by leveraging certification programs, social media, outreach events, and friendly competition.
The South Campus of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is one of four campuses located throughout Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This facility was the largest single energy user in the entire CCAC system, and the HVAC system was maintenance-intensive. 
University of Utah performed HVAC and fume hood mehcanical upgrades, combined with new sensor and control technologies to deliver an expected 44% energy savings.
This session explored the benefits of deep energy efficiency as the lowest-cost measure for reducing energy use and emissions, as well as innovative ways to secure offsets by sponsoring campus community energy efficiency.
In this panel, organizations participating in the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator shared their success stories and describe the strategies they employed to cut energy consumption in their laboratories.
Representatives from Seventhwave and University of Washington's Integrated Design Lab discussed outcomes from two plug load energy reduction field studies.
Wireless meter and control technologies are on the rise, helping to improve building system performance and cut energy costs.This session presented two case studies showcasing the implementation, outcomes, and lessons learned of these technologies on plug loads in retail and higher education buildings.

Priorities

Meet the Sector Committee Chair