Quick Ref

The University’s Facilities Services division incorporates sustainability throughout its practices. The Office of the Provost created the Office of Sustainability Advisory Council that includes faculty representation to facilitate collaboration, communication, and cross-boundary leadership on sustainability issues. Initiatives to increase the University's efficiency include:

  • Energy efficiency revolving funds, which lend capital to energy-saving projects under the agreement that the fund is paid back over time through the savings of reduced utility costs. The Regenstein Library, for example, partners with Facilities Services in a low-capital pilot program designed to reduce utility costs, both through behind-the-scenes building systems optimization and through a public communications campaign to educate and encourage occupants to use less energy. 
  • Building energy efficiency retrofit projects. More than 200 projects, valued at $11.3 million, have been completed with a projected savings of nearly $2.3 million and an average simple payback of 5.6 years.  These projects included enhancements to heating, cooling, temperature controls, lighting and facades.
  • New buildings, such as the new Campus North Residence Hall will provide robust data collected from a sophisticated energy monitoring system to enable lower consumption.
  • Classes such as Prof. Liz Moyer’s, titled “Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage,” has resulted in student-conducted research projects on state and national energy policy, private-sector energy decisions, and campus energy use.
  • Combined with faculty expertise in energy and the environment and student groups interested in working to come up with solutions to problems of energy consumption and efficiency on campus, the Office of Sustainability and its campus data present an opportunity to be a model for how a University can cut across research, education and facilities to enhance its own practices and provide scalable solutions for others. The Office of Sustainability takes a data-driven approach to setting metrics and targets to optimize the University’s use of energy and resources.
  • Array of Things – UChicago has launched an urban sensing project on campus that is designed give scientist and policy makers important data that will allow them to build a safer cleaner and more efficient urban environment. The project will be expended to include sensors across the City of Chicago.