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In current time frame, many physical assets are a concern and should be monitored with curent COVID 19 issues.
Please refer to Facilities and Utilities Checklist  (coming soon on NACUBO website)  for dealing with this major component of a campus.

The most critical item campuses should implement is to regularly monitor the interiors and exteriors of buildings. Without staff in buildings, unforeseen problems could lead to water damage, mold, rodent/insect infestation, or fire. Establish a schedule to monitor these physical assets to ensure that you know if a water line breaks, a window or roof leaks, air movement has stalled, an electrical element has overheated, or other potential  issues that could result in damage or risk to health, safety, or welfare. 

Review of occupancy, energy set backs, utilities, grounds, and other contracts for facilities should be  reviewed with this short term closing implication.

Physical assets - Buildings  account for 40% of energy use and 60% of all global warming emissions. Campuses play a huge role in contributing to or mitigating the effects of climate change through the materials used, energy consumed and health involved with a concentration of large buildings. Evaluate general layout and existing composition, match of mission to the building spaces for efficiency, indoor air quality, building operation, preventative maintenance programs, space (both classroom and office) utilization and efficiency, building materials, building assessment systems such as monitors, and scheduling availability.  Master planning the strategic goals for a campus should include evaluation of its overall efficiency, campus physical plant infrastructure and alliance of physical asset to academic programs.

There are many resources for operational efficiencies at a campus; energy efficiency, space use, optimizing infrastructure, reducing deferred maintenance, etc. Awareness of the physical campus, that results in strategic planning which  combines existing facilities inventory and use, financial resources and academic goals is essential.

 Some suggestions; 

Check out NACUBO resources noted on this link - Sustainability Finance 

US Dept of Energy Better Buildings has webcasts, financing options, and resources to stimulate improving your buildings. 

Using campus space wisely via monthly, daily, and hourly is critical.  Note Space and Energy Issues link

A Facilities Primer (March 2015)   Free 30 minute video for members - a great primer on overall Facilities

  • University of California Irvine. "Home Run" Energy Retrofits" (Proven measures with near-certain cost/benefit results)

  • Department of Energy has ongoing free webinars on the Better Buildings Alliance

  • Sub-metering Analysis for Energy and Water in Buildings enables improved performance.

  • "Smart Laboratories" can cut energy consumption by more than half. The UC Irvine campus discusses how a smart lab can be a true energy savings; retrofitting to a savings of energy by 50% (and greater).  Smart Labs Initiative: building control systems adaptation.

  • University of WashingtonSeattle, WA  Why green labs are important to a campus. How Green Lab Certification program is development - levels of certification and inspiring data.

  • Department of Energy Better Buildings Alliance has a whole sector devoted to higher education building awareness and energy efficiency  - check out these other higher ed campus  activities.
  • University of MinnesotaCrookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, Twin Cities, Minn. Systemwide report on building, environmental footprint, resources and waste diversity, living learning, education and research, and student engagement.

  • CalTech Energy Conservation Investment Program (CECIP)Pasadena, CA  States the process, criteria and projects and graphs the program financials and results.   It is development of a program that combines finance, engineering and operations to implement energy conservation measures without negatively impacting research.  

FREE WEBINARS ON DEALING WITH BUILDINGS/CAMPUS ISSUES  -  this is the intersection of deferred maintenance, energy efficiency and sustainability.  Suggest a "Lunch and Learn" with staff - or just listen anytime/anywhere!  

Check out the Win Win Facilities and Finance issues:  some of these are in process of being moved to another platform

Turning Deferred Maintenance Challenges into Savingsintersection of aging buildings and sustainabilty featuring Michelle Smith, capital planning and management green building coodinator from University of Vermont. 

Bending the Deferred Maintenance Curve - Value of Whole Building Energy Retrofits featuring Wendell Brase, vice chancellor for administrative & business services, University of California Irvine 


These podcasts are open to anyone - encourage others at your campus to listen to these key leaders. 
NACUBO Sustainability Advisory Panel
has members sharing their unique  insights to advance your campus with sustainability, ideas on management and staffing and overall processes to improve your campus: Fred Rogers, Carleton College, Wendell Brase, University of California, Irvine and Ruth A. Johnston, University of Washington.

Results of building data in Key Facilities Metric Survey
Just as leadership can recite pertinent campus facts - cost of tuition, types of academic programs, number of students, etc  - it is critical to know basic facilities data to improve strategic planning; Btu, electrical, water, waste and carbon.   When you measure your consumption it is more easily able to manage it.   


Survey has four years of data from campuses indicating trends that electrical is being reduced by energy (BTU) various per type of institution, as well as this particular group of approx. 300 campuses.  What are YOUR campus metrics?  Plan on entering your campus data for the 2018-19 cycle!   Survey opens in Sept and closes the first week of December 2018. 

Campuses are urged it is their own numbers that should be evaluated every year for improvement; so urge you to enter as many of the five Issues  as possible this Sept - Dec 2018 for the 2017-18 year.   Note previous documentation on this from Business Officer magazine Five Telling Measures - the Key Facilities Metrics survey story.




Related Content

2019 Campus Efficiencies Posters

View campus success stories from poster submittals at the 2018 Annual Meeting. These posters are a great resource of how to execute savings as well as how to display success.


Reducing energy saves operational costs, eases utility infrastructure and benefits the community at large. Check out various initiatives that save operational funds, as well as inform students, staff and public. Note new means to advance renewable energy sources!


Review other initiatives campuses are using to conserve water. Due to either environmental or utility infrastructure problems, in some communities water is becoming the most expensive utility. Vigilance on conserving water can be cost effective, and it helps enlighten students and staff for the future.