Northwestern University


Challenge Commitment
13Million Square Feet
Goals Progress
20%Reduction in Energy Intensity

Northwestern is a private research institution with three campuses and a range of buildings covering residential, laboratory, office, classroom and athletic facilities. Over the past eight years, Northwestern has made investments in excess of $32.4 Million in energy conservation retrofit initiatives, with a focus on lighting improvements and HVAC upgrades. Major construction projects place a focus on energy efficient alternatives, target a minimum of LEED Silver certification and participate in a local utility construction incentive program. One unique initiative is implementation of laboratory demand control ventilation - initially completed as retrofits to existing labs, and now being incorporated into new lab design. 

Northwestern values partnerships as a way to promote energy conservation and sustainable practices in both the local community and through knowledge sharing with peers. Already an ENERGY STAR Partner and participant in the Retrofit Chicago Commercial Building Challenge, NU's participation in the Better Buildings Challenge will enhance opportunities to share best practices both locally and nationally. The University plans to meet their 20% energy reduction commitment through infrastructure improvements, as well as a focused and cohesive energy management policy and strategic plan that will guide all Northwestern properties. An additional $4.5 Million in funding is committed for installing demand control ventilation, including unoccupied setbacks, in laboratory spaces. Northwestern is evaluating LED lighting retrofit opportunities, onsite electrical generation through solar PV and CHP, water reclamation, and decentralization strategies.