Sustainability at the University of Maryland

Energywi$e UM


Energywi$e UM was a fall 2009 pilot effort between the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. The University’s Climate Action Plan calls for the campus to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent through behavior modification strategies in buildings and Governor O’Malley’s EmPOWER Maryland Initiative requires state government to reduce energy consumption 15 percent by 2015. Energywi$e UM was an experiment to see whether and how much building occupants could affect their buildings’ electricity consumption through targeted conservation challenges. For the results and lessons learned, click here.

How It Works

Three campus buildings and 15 fraternity and sorority houses participated in Energywi$e UM. Office of Sustainability student interns worked with building occupants to reduce their energy consumption. Each week, building occupants received a building energy "report" which summarized:

  • Energy used the previous week – in kWh, $, and pounds CO2
  • Whether the building’s energy usage increased or decreased over the prior week
  • Progress over the course of the pilot – is the building decreasing energy usage week by week (and saving $ and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions)?
  • A new "assignment" – weekly tips for occupant energy conservation (simple things like turning off lights, enabling power management settings on computers, working with the building’s heating/cooling system to conserve energy)

To see a sample building energy report, click here.

Participating Buildings

Chesapeake Building 1

  • Year Constructed: 1991
  • Total Gross Square Footage (GSF): 52,555
  • Total Net Assignable Square Footage (NASF): 39,383

The Chesapeake Building houses a number of important administrative functions - Human Resources, Procurement, the Office of the Comptroller, and the Department of Environmental Safety. Unlike many campus buildings that are heated (and in some cases cooled) by the campus combined heat and power plant, the Chesapeake Building is powered entirely by electricity. Chesapeake saw an ~10% reduction over the course of the pilot. Much of this was due to HVAC schedule adjustments that were implemented as a result of the pilot.

Glen L. Martin Hall 3

  • Year Constructed: 1950 (Renovated in 1980)
  • Total GSF: 158,843
  • Total NASF: 88,051

Martin Hall houses the Departments of Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, and Distance Education Technology and Services (DETS) within the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The building includes classrooms, labs, and faculty and administrative offices. It also houses student club offices and the E+M Deli, Coffee Shop, and Taco Bell® Express. Electricity reductions in Martin Hall were negligible over the course of the pilot.

Van Munching Hall 4

  • Year Constructed: 1992
  • Total GSF: 283,990
  • Total NASF: 153,430

Van Munching Hall houses the Smith School of Business and the School of Public Policy. The building includes classrooms, computer labs, and faculty and administrative offices. It also houses student meeting rooms, executive education facilities, and Rudy’s Café (Dining Services). Van Munching Hall reported a ~3% reduction against a weather adjusted baseline. Much of this was due to HVAC schedule adjustments that were implemented as a result of the pilot.

Fraternities and Sororities 2

The Office of Sustainability is working with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life on an on-going energy conservation competition called the Green Greek Challenge. Each semester, students living in each of the 14 houses on Frat Row receive a weekly energy report from the Energywi$e team. Off-campus chapters may also participate. The house that shows the biggest improvement on their own electricity consumption will win the Green Greek Challenge and the Greek Green Cup.

Final Reports