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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Key Facilities Metrics Survey Results Now Available

May 18, 2015

According to the inaugural Key Facilities Metrics survey, conducted jointly by APPA and NACUBO, respondents report using a median of 20 gallons of water per day, per FTE student. Energy usage varied from 60,000 BTUs per square foot of maintained space at associate colleges to 160,000 BTUs per square foot of maintained space at very high research universities.

Initiated by NACUBO's Sustainability Advisory Panel (SAP), the survey provides specific data points by which finance and facilities leaders can plan, develop strategic decisions, and operate the campus more efficiently, with the goal of making improvements from one year to the next. Higher education institutions spend approximately $6-7 billion on utilities and $14 billion on operations. Those expense categories are usually the second highest budgetary expense for an institution after salaries.

The results are more informative than exact because of annual changes in weather, demographics, number of community participants, and many other program factors beyond the raw consumption data supplied by vendors or utilities. The raw data can be used to evaluate and reduce consumption. The survey reports raw data by gross square feet (GSF) and by student FTE (SFTE). Each campus may choose the most appropriate ratio depending on campus composition.

To view general results from the 2014 survey—including metrics on BTU, kilowatt, water, waste and carbon footprint—visit the APPA website (log-in required). Additional survey results can be found on the NACUBO website.

The second Key Facilities Metrics survey opens later this summer and closes in December 2015.


Sally Grans Korsh
Director, Facilities Management and Environmental Policy