Improving the performance profile of energy conservation measures at the Penn State University Park Campus

Melissa Kazemi Rad, David R. Riley, II, Somayeh Asadi, Parhum Delgoshaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine significant steps taken by the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to account for both energy cost savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals through strategic investments in energy conservation measures (ECMs) in campus buildings. Through an analysis of multiple years of investment in facility upgrades across the university, the impacts of ECMs of various types are characterized by building type. The standards and criteria for ECMs investments are also evaluated with the goal to develop a predictive tool to support decision making pertaining to an annual investment in a portfolio of ECMs that will maintain a trajectory to achieve both financial return on investment as well as GHG reduction goals. Design/methodology/approach - This study is comprised of three main parts: analyzing the energy costs saving and GHG emissions reduction contribution of various building types in which ECMs were conducted, analyzing costs saving and GHG emissions reduction contribution of each ECM while considering the average annual investments made in them and estimating the impact of upgrading Penn State's steam plants from firing a mixture of coal and natural gas to natural gas only on the GHG emissions. Findings - These analyses help identify which types of buildings and ECMs would have larger savings and emissions reduction contributions. A calculator is also created to enable forecasting of costs saving and GHG emissions reduction of investment distribution strategy among ECMs. This study demonstrates that the calculator based on data from previous years will benefit decision makers in more wisely configuring the investment portfolio. Originality/value - This paper fulfills an identical need to couple energy efficiency strategies coupled with the environmental impacts associated with different fossil fuel energy sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-628
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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