Notre Dame is actively addressing the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions stemming from power generation, with the goal of reducing campus carbon emissions by 50% per square foot by 2030. These initiatives fall into three categories:
- energy conservation infrastructure (investing in more efficient technology)
- behavior change programs (educating and incentivizing the campus community to save energy)
- energy decarbonization (using cleaner energy)
Energy Conservation Infrastructure
Building Upgrades: ECM I and ECM II
The multi-year Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) program continues to implement energy efficiency technology in existing campus buildings, with expected efficiencies ranging from 10-20% at each building. The technologies employed in the ECM program include efficient lighting, occupancy sensors, variable speed air handling units, direct digital controls, and improvement of the HVAC systems on campus. The first phase of this program retrofitted 25 buildings at a cost of $4 million, reducing electricity use by over 5.2 million kWh, and steam and chilled water by over 30,000 MMBTU, equating to a 4,000 MTCO2e reduction. In ECM II, to be implemented in 2011 and 2012 in 55 buildings, ECM I strategies will continue to be utilized, but efforts will also expand into new areas. These include installing LED lighting in exit signs, reducing the flow rates of fume hoods, and replacing motors and pumps with high-efficiency models. ECM II is expected to yield an annual savings of over $1 million and to reduce campus carbon dioxide emissions by 14,900 tons each year.
LED Light Standards
In September 2009, the University retrofitted 121 outdoor light standards with LED lamps, resulting in a savings of 53.16 MTCO2e savings per year. LEDs are now the campus standard for new lamp posts. Notre Dame joined the LED University program in 2008, an international community of universities working to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting More info
Thermostat Set-Point Program
For buildings that have digitally controlled heating and cooling, sensors maintain each room’s temperature between 70° and 75° during occupied time, but allow it to fluctuate within that range. Allowing the temperature to fluctuate rather than trying to maintain an exact temperature reduces energy use by minimizing the use of mechanical systems. Those faculty, staff and students who are not in digitally controlled buildings are asked to keep residential, office and classroom temperatures below 75° during the heating season and within the 70° to 75° range during the cooling season. Click here for Building Specific Thermostat Information
Geddes Hall, Ryan Hall, Carole Sandner Hall and Stinson-Remick Hall have received LEED Gold Certification, which included multiple credits for energy efficiency. Other newly constructed buildings are expecting LEED certification as well. See Construction for more information
Behavior Change Programs
The greeNDiscovery program is designed to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon footprint by promoting energy efficiency in research laboratories, the most energy intensive areas on campus. More info
Sustainable Office Practices
Sustainable Office Practices is the Office of Sustainability’s workshop on how to save energy, paper, money, and time through easy steps to green your office. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a workshop for your department.
Annual CFL Exchange
At the beginning of the school year, students go door-to-door in the dorms and exchange over a thousand incandescent light bulbs for efficient compact fluorescents.
Dorm Energy Competition
Each year, Notre Dame’s 29 residence halls compete in one or more Dorm Energy Competitions. In the Spring of 2011, a real-time energy dashboard was installed, allowing residents to view their standings at any time.
Walsh Hall (Fall 2008)
Cavanaugh Hall (Fall 2009)
Knott Hall (Fall 2010)
Mod/God Quad (Spring 2012)
Howard Hall (Kill-a-Watt Competition, Fall 2012)
Welsh Family Hall (Energy Bowl, Fall 2012)
24 dorms were winners in the Spring 2013 Megawatt Madness competition.
College of Science – Main Building Energy Challenge
In February 2009 the College of Science kicked off a year-long energy challenge. This challenge went out to not only the faculty, staff and students of the campus science buildings, but also the Main Building. The Main Building won the Challenge, achieving 11.9% total energy savings over the College of Science’s 4.3%. Together, the two entities saved over $40,000 worth of electricity.
Over the last several years, the Notre Dame Power Plant has burned a greater percentage of natural gas versus coal, with the result that the carbon intensity of our energy has been declining. See our Metrics Page for details.
Several renewable energy projects have also been installed on campus:
- A 50kW solar panel system donated by GE on the roof of Stinson-Remick Hall, providing an estimated 55,000 kwh annually
- A 10kW flexible thin-film solar array donated by Inovateus Solar on the roof of Fitzpatrick Hall