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Key Facilities Metrics survey individual results for the 2018-19 academic year of the 239 campuses are now available on the APPA website.  Institutions can mix and match their data with over 18 different ratios of student count, square footage, region, or institutional classification. For results log in to, click on Services, then  and click on the 2018-19 APPA/NACUBO Key Facilities Metrics Report.   This will take you to a description of the survey and then you can “Launch Dashboards” in a variety of reports.    If you did not participate you can still review general region and institutional type ranges. 

Premise of this survey is to increase leadership’s knowledge to understand their own consumption facts – just as they know the number of students or academic programs.  It is crucial to know basic facilities data to improve strategic planning. This survey captures Btu (energy), electrical, water, waste (recycle and garbage) and carbon.  

Each consumption factor is unique, and evaluation of data should be done with ratios that best fit the campus mission and analysis; whether ratio by region, square footage or student count. Not all consumption is bad – but it should be measured and evaluated to improve overall operations.  For example, it is better to increase the amount of recycle waste and decrease the amount of garbage.  Increasing Btu (energy) per square foot might be good if the overall student count has increased, or the campus is open longer hours for learning.    

In the wake of covid-19, and the subsequent demand on additional labor, we will take a pause for the 2019-20 academic year. However, we hope campuses will still collect this data to track their consumption and maintain their records. Due to covid-19 there will likely be increased ventilation and water usage. As a result, we expect most campus  consumption factors to be increased.  Thus, it is also critical to apply any conservation measures whenever possible. If interested, all of these metrics are also captured in the larger APPA Facilities Performance Indicator survey.    


Six Years of Key Facilities Metrics Survey
Institutional Medians: 2018-19 highlighted 


The medians are given here as a general indicator.  The number of campuses participating in the survey is too low to be statistically relevant.  Additionally, since the campuses entering the data has not been consistent for each cycle there cannot be a fully accurate comparison.   Regional and geographic issues would also alter the results and yield them non-comparable. 

Goal is for campuses to review their own data annually to verify trends and execute projects/policies that reduce consumption.

While the medians are not statistically relevant - there are fascinating trending issues occurring. Electrical is most noticeable in trending downward of consumption, a likely factor that campuses are replacing most lighting with more efficient LED lighting (a simple payback).  Water is slightly increasing per student, but the overall range remains constant regardless of the number of institutions. Both waste (garbage) and recycling appears to be increasing. Recycling could be increasing as the survey does not monitor “compostables” and more campuses are estimating that component. The critical Energy Intensive Index (KMBTU/sq ft) hovers closely around each institutional type with increases in community college and comp/doc institutions which may reflect increased student hours at those campuses.  

kBTU/Sq ft – is the energy used per square foot.  This is also termed EUI – Energy Use Index.  Usually British Thermal Units (BTU) is shown as MBTU.  However, for simplicity sake we have reduced by 1,000 so an  is 74,000 MBTU/sq ft more easily remembered as kBtu 74/sq ft  for Energy Use Index.   Important to note that the APPA website allows the campus to review by square foot or by FTE (Student count).  A campus might have a very high usage of energy as it operates on nights and weekends but a low usage if divided by student.  Each campus should review its data by square foot, or student count, or region to fully understand its consumption.  Goal is to continually lower consumption.

Electrical is kilowatt per square foot.  Trending in the last four surveys indicate most campuses are reducing their electrical use.

Water per FTE is the annual consumption; total water used annually dived by 365 and number of students to get the consumption per student per day.  If a campus wants to evaluate use per days the campus is opened that large annual amount would be divided by the number days students are in campus – not the 365-daily use.   This also does not reflect the number of occupants using the campus as it excludes staff, faculty and community that also use water resources at the campus.   However, it still is a good indicator for students to review their impact of daily water use at a campus. Wide variations in gallons per student per day depending on institutional type and the academic programs offered; and some of that might be reflected on the number of students at the institutions.

Recycling and garbage were collected in tons and then multiplied to pounds to reflect a more relevant connection to students.   This is the annual weight in pounds divided by the number of students; i.e. each student is accountable for this much recycle or garbage on an annual basis. 

Carbon footprint is the metric ton Co2 divided by the number of students.  This does not reflect actual usage at a campus as there are staff and community members. It includes only Scope 1 and 2 and does not include the transportation data from Scope 3.

Community Colleges
Similar participation from previous years.  Despite different campus participation – similar results.  
Overall energy use intensity has increased,
and that could be due to increasing students, hours, days or program type.
Electrical use has trended downward likely due to proactive energy efficiency projects such as retrofitting lighting.


Small Institutions  
ower participant than in previous years but similar results. 
Overall water and waste streams appear higher than the masters or research institutions as most small institutions included their residential/auxiliary
structures within their consumption and masters/research counted these buildings separately.
General reduction in  electrical likely due to energy efficiency projects.  Recycling has also increased as a trend line.

Research Colleges 


Graphic Results of Institutional Medians for Five Years of Surveys.

Energy 2017-18

Electrical 2018-18


Water 2017-18


Recycle Garbage 2017-18

Carbon 2017-18

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