We're reducing energy even as demand is growing
Throughout the University, building managers and facility departments are saving money and cutting emissions by reducing the energy used by campus buildings. Increasingly, these teams are achieving deeper reductions by implementing innovative energy efficiency measures and undertaking on-going commissioning projects to optimize building performance.
Ninety-seven percent of the University's emissions are from building electricity use, heating, and cooling. As a first step in meeting its 2006–2016 climate goal, Harvard focused on increasing the energy efficiency of more than 600 buildings. As a result, building energy use is down seven percent across the University, even as the campus grew (energy use varies year-to-year depending on weather conditions). Total campus energy use was reduced by ten percent in the same time period.
Explore the data
Our energy footprint
Harvard’s campus includes more than 600 buildings making up 25 million square feet. This includes a dozen different types of buildings, the largest by square footage are residential, lab, and office spaces.
Energy usage is dominated by labs, both for existing buildings and the new buildings
While laboratory buildings only account for 22% of building area, they make up almost half of overall campus energy use. Lab buildings have also had an outsized impact when we look at the square footage added after 2006, labs make up 60% of the energy usage attributed to these buildings.
From 2006–2016 Harvard’s campus square footage grew by 3 million square feet, a 12 percent increase.
Although almost all space types have seen reductions, overall the total energy reductions were driven primarily by the lab spaces.
Neutralizing the impacts of growth
From 2006-2016 Harvard’s energy use both increased, from the addition of new buildings and the conversion of existing square footage to more energy intensive spaces; and decreased, from a focused push to implement conservation measures in existing and new buildings.
This chart shows the competing trends from campus growth (dark blue) and energy conservation projects in existing buildings (light blue).