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Undergraduate Research On Sustainability: Campus Energy Analysis And Building Lighting Audits

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Design Experiences in Energy Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1338.1 - 9.1338.14



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Paper Authors

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Sara Ross

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Patrick Giordano

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James Blanck

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Dona Johnson

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Peter Jansson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Undergraduate Research on Sustainability: Campus Energy Analysis and Building Energy Audits

Peter Jansson, James Blanck, Patrick Giordano, Dona Johnson, Sara Ross

Rowan University


In an innovative junior-senior engineering clinic course1-2 four Rowan University undergraduate students worked on a multidisciplinary project to learn first hand what sustainability challenges are and what it means to be a professional energy auditor. Their task was to find out why Rowan University led a group of 20 peer universities and colleges in energy consumption per square foot and to assist the university in meeting its sustainability commitment to the Governor's Office and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This is not easy given the exponential growth this southern New Jersey University has been experiencing in student population, energy use and building square feet. With the assistance of their professor and a professional energy auditor the team learned the basics of building energy analysis, how to perform lighting surveys and energy audits and developed recommendations to the University's Energy Review Panel. Their recommendations could save the University thousands of energy dollars, over a million kilowatt hours and Btu’s, and tons of greenhouse gas emissions when implemented. This team of electrical, civil/environmental and mechanical engineers completed two comprehensive energy audits and began sub-metering analysis to prioritize which buildings on campus should be investigated first based upon their energy consumption. As is true of many large campus facilities served by a single primary electric account not all buildings are sub-metered and just where all the power is being used on campus is unknown without detailed investigation and analysis. The team rapidly began to identify potential sources of data for their analysis and proposed inexpensive sub-metering for those locations where no equipment was available. The result of their work was the saving of significant money on external consultants and the ability of the Energy Review Panel to rapidly prioritize where it would focus its energy conservation efforts. They have become familiar with many industrial and commercial energy conservation techniques as part of this innovative laboratory experience. The results they have generated are creating motivation for a broader introduction of these concepts into the engineering curriculum.


As our university's enrollment grows, new buildings are constructed and we increase our use of technology, we create a significant increase in our use of energy. In 2001 our university administration joined 46 other colleges and universities across New Jersey in endorsing a Sustainability Greenhouse Gas Action Plan for the state that calls for a 3.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 20053. This commitment as well as ongoing priorities to keep student tuition costs low spawned an increasing need to conserve energy, and to cutback on energy costs across the Rowan University campus. A recent benchmark study that

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Ross, S., & Giordano, P., & Blanck, J., & Johnson, D., & Jansson, P. (2004, June), Undergraduate Research On Sustainability: Campus Energy Analysis And Building Lighting Audits Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13316

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