Skip to main content

Sustainable University Environment

Visit USU Sustainability
USU Sustainable Buildings-LEED Certified
Campus Energy Conservation Plan

The natural resources that are available to the University are extremely important. The stewardship entrusted to the campus by the State obligates the University to operate and maintain our systems in the most effective manner possible. There are a number of systems – such as steam, gas, water, sewer, cooling, and electrical – that utilize some form of natural resource internal to that system. In addition, there are the more obvious impacts on the environment such as waste removal, recycling, and landscaping that also have an impact on campus environments. Many of the accomplishments listed below have combined to maintain the overall energy usage constant even with substantial growth in students and square footage:

  • The utilization of energy savings design standards in renovation and new building construction projects
  • The elimination of the use of culinary water as a heat sink for refrigeration systems
  • The elimination of system distribution leaks through the use of an annual ultrasonic leak detection program
  • The installation of low water consumption devices in new buildings and those being renovated
  • Moving away from culinary water as an irrigation source
  • Separated turf and shrub beds to separate watering zones
  • Replaced older spray heads with new models with better distribution patterns and old valves with new valves having pressure regulating devices
  • Replaced old manual operated irrigation systems with automatic systems managed by computer
  • Installed new time clocks that have more control of when and how often areas are watered
  • Installed new variable speed drives and pumps in irrigation pump houses that operate more efficiently and reduce power consumption
  • Increased the amount and quality of topsoil used on new construction and renovation
  • Installed over one million dollars of direct digital control system upgrades for HVAC in major campus buildings. High efficiency lighting upgrades have been completed in 3.5 million square feet of building space
  • Replacement of old oil filled electrical switches with new more efficient switches is 50% complete; the new ones do not use SF-6 ozone depleting insulators
  • Replacement of old inefficient electrical motors with high efficient units has become the standard
  • Electrical substations have been upgraded with staged and controlled power factor correction capacitors
  • The quartz halogen fixtures in the basketball arena have been replaced with high efficiency metal halide fixtures which reduced energy usage by half and improved lighting levels by 6-7 times
  • Occupancy sensors have been installed for lighting systems across campus which reduces usage and maximizes the use of daylight
  • Co-generation plant is now operational providing 5MW of base power or reducing peak demand depending on gas prices
  • Installed a new high voltage distribution system model (SCDA) which tracks energy usage and identifies inefficiencies
  • New pedestrian lighting on main pathways is dark sky friendly and energy efficient
  • Variable frequency drives are being installed with major equipment replacements to add control and improve energy efficiency
  • Old natural gas steel piping is badly corroded and has nearly all been replaced with PVC pipe
  • All of the key staff working on natural gas systems have been certified through the State of Utah’s Certified Gas Systems Operator Course
  • A comprehensive sewer pretreatment and preventive maintenance system has been established; there are now 45 stations connected to Logan City’s system
  • An education program to make campus users aware of the proper use and disposal methods concerning the sanitary sewer system has been implemented
  • Infrared aerial surveys have been made over a ten year period to identify heat loss and used to justify project funding for repair or replacement
  • A new natural gas fired heating plant was built and became operational in 2001; overall air emissions reduced from 265 tons to under 20 tons in 2004
  • The steam/condensate piping was installed in 6,200 linear feet of new utility tunnels replacing old and badly leaking direct buried piping
  • In house staff crews have replaced most of the lateral steam feeds to individual buildings
  • Four thousand tons of central cooling has been installed in the new Central Energy Plant and the supply/return piping in the utility tunnel system
  • Twenty one buildings have been converted to the central cooling system; two more are currently underway
  • The individual building chillers and cooling towers have been disposed of as the buildings are supplied by the central cooling system
  • A campus recycling center was built in ’91 and the items taken have been constantly increased; the campus is now recycling 24% of the waste stream; in addition surplus sales recycles all surplus campus assets
  • To date four major buildings have been re-commissioned – putting internal energy system back to the design intent - and a fifth is underway

In addition to these accomplishments, there are a number of opportunities that continue to be evaluated:

  • Wind power metering has been installed near the mouth of Logan Canyon to determine if there is justification for a wind generator project
  • Working with campus customers to identify server locations in space that can be cooled independent of the building so nighttime setbacks can work
  • Increasing the amount of recycling throughout the campus; use of a compactor to increase the amount of materials and including food waste in recycling
  • Installation of a SCDA system for chilled water usage which would help to balance the overall campus cooling distribution systems
  • Updating of the campus master plan to include: use of GIS modeling to study campus needs and address problems; enhancing bike paths on campus and connections to routes off campus; enhancing effectiveness of walk paths, bus routes, and connections to campus
  • Continue to work with the state to fund more LEED type energy savings design applications for new buildings and the development of green standards
  • Continue to emphasize office energy saving procedures and minimize waste
  • Continue to re-commission major buildings that are about fifteen years old
  • Continue to replace piping insulation on older systems to reduce heat loss
  • Evaluate alternative fuel vehicles for on campus usage

The work to protect and conserve our natural resources is never ending. New technology enables innovation and different processes. The campus needs to stay alert to these opportunities and invest in them. The Facilities organization remains committed to this vigilance and will work consistently to achieve results.

Facilities Sustainability Coordinator


Alexi Lamm
(435) 797-9299 Office
(435) 797-3888 Fax
Facilities (FCLT) 110

Physical Address:
Facilities (FCLT) 110
1295 E 700 N
Logan, UT 84322-6600

UMC: 6605

Organization Chart Your Feedback