Stanford University's Education in Sustainability
Part 3: University Hires Consultants for Energy Audits
University Hires Consultants for Energy Audits
By Chris Matt, Associate Editor - December 2008 - Energy Efficiency
Stanford engineers and facility managers met with top management in 2004 and asked for funding for larger projects that became part of the Capital Retrofits Program. After management decided to fund the projects, Stanford hired two consultants to perform audits on the university’s 12 most energy-intensive buildings. These buildings all have certain system requirements, such as once-through cooling or tight humidity restrictions, that make them unique and energy intensive.
Projects included in the Capital Retrofits Program must save $4.2 million annually and reduce total energy use in these buildings by 28 percent.
“The intent of these Phase 1 audits was to see, ‘Does it make sense to spend more time in this building, are there opportunities,’” Gould says. “The idea would be, if it looks like there’s good potential and nothing that’s a showstopper, then let’s make a larger investment in what we refer to as a Phase 2 audit. And that really is more detailed, life-cycle-cost analysis and getting up inside the ceilings and really verifying that these projects are possible.”
While the consultants performed their audits on the 12 most energy-intensive facilities, Stanford’s building managers were by their side.
“From an energy-retrofit standpoint, zone managers tend to be very involved,” says Bob Wheeler, a zone manager with Stanford’s facilities operations department responsible for buildings comprising 2.9 million square feet. “While the university brings in consultants to evaluate the buildings and put on the table options that would save energy, we need to evaluate those to see how practical they are to the programs that occupy the spaces. In some cases, it’s not practical, and in other cases it’s 100 percent doable. In some cases, it’s 100 percent doable, but as a zone manager responsible for a building, it’s up to us to educate the occupants in the building.”