Energy Assessment

There are several ways OSU energy and water use is analyzed. Historically, outside consultants had been the primary mechanism by which analysis was accomplished. With the creation of the OSU Sustainability Office, and the increased campus focus of the OSU Energy|Efficiency Center, responsibilities and work process have changed somewhat.

Assessment Provider Systems Analyzed Available To Cost
OSU Sustainability Office Occupant-controlled systems: lighting, computers, lab equipment, etc. All, general funded buildings first priority None
OSU Energy|Efficiency Center Building systems (lighting, HVAC) and industrial equipment All Minimal
Professional Consultants Building systems (lighting, HVAC, etc)
All Varies
Energy Trust or Oregon Dept. of Energy Building systems (lighting, HVAC) when part of construction
Construction projects only  


Campus Night Audits

The Sustainability Office has begun looking more closely at off hours energy use in campus buildings.  Joined by students from various courses, the Office performs unannounced night audits several times each term.  During a night audit, buildings are thoroughly examined during predominantly unoccupied times for instances of potential energy waste. 

These audits measure losses from unnecessarily active electrical equipment like lighting, computers and peripherals, copiers, printers, and chargers, as well as thermal losses like open windows.  Losses are totaled and potential savings are estimated and will be made available to the public.  Data gathered during the audits can be used to assess the impact of conservation efforts, justify additional conservation projects, as well as report potentially unsafe conditions (low light levels, fire hazards, etc.).  A summary of night audit results is presented in the table below.


Term Surveyed Buildings Surveyed

Est. Annual Waste

Lighting Computers & peripherals Copiers & Printers Other Elec. equipment
Winter 2010 Bexell, Milam, Women's Building, Wilkinson, Moreland $4,000 $11,600 $1,500 $400
Spring 2010 Bexell, Gilkey, Strand Ag, Ballard Extension, Wilkinson, Burt, Gilmore  TBD   TBD   TBD   TBD

Energy Efficiency Center Assessments

The Oregon State University Energy|Efficiency Center (EEC) focuses on offering small and medium-sized manufacturers a comprehensive on-site assessment. Student teams led by engineering faculty visit Northwest manufacturers and seek ways to increase profits by increasing productivity and reducing energy use and waste. Within 60 days, the EEC sends a report to the client with analysis and specific recommendations to improve efficiency.

Recently, EEC has performed assessments of OSU campus facilities and issued reports of their findings.  Those reports are found here. 

Assessment  Report Date
OSU-Cascades Campus Oct. 2009
Pilot Project Report: OSU Agricultural Assessments Jan. 2009
Memorial Union Dec. 2008
OSU Greenhouse (Ag Assessment) Sep. 2008
OSU Hyslop Farms (Ag Assessment) Aug. 2008
OSU Research Dairy (Ag Assessment) Aug. 2008
OSU Vegetable Farm (Ag Assessment) Aug. 2008
Dixon Recreation Center Nov. 2007

Professional and Contracted Energy Assessments

OSU relies in some cases on outside professional consulting firms to assist or manage energy audits of campus buildings.  The list below includes recent audits.  As older audits with relevance are made electronic, they will be posted here. 


Building Consultant Date
Peavy and Richardson Halls PAE Consulting Engineers April 2012
Kerr Administration Interface Engineering March 2012
CH2MHill Alumni Center Audit and Implementation Review Glumac August 2011

Sustainability Audits

Would you like to reduce the environmental impact of your workspace? Interested in knowing how much energy you're consuming while working on campus? A free service provided by the Sustainability Office, sustainability audits equip building occupants with information and recommendations on how they can make their space more sustainable.  While the main focus is on occupant-controlled systems (lighting, computers & other electrical equipment, water and waste) any topic of interest can be evaluated.  Sustainability audits have also lead to cost-sharing opportunities, the reporting and rectification of maintenance issues, and the strengthening of ties between departments and Facilities Services.  Ask for one today!

Getting Started

Sustainability audits are performed by Sustainability Office students workers and can be scheduled at your request. Audits can involve a complete assessment of environmental impacts associated with your workspace, or can be focused just on areas that interest you. There is no charge for this service.

To request an audit, or for more information, email us. Please include a description of the area you would like examined. While whole buildings or floors are the preferred audit size, individual offices can be scheduled as time allows.

The Audit Process

Audits typically take between 1 and 3 hours for small offices or office suites, and up to 8 hours for entire buildings. The audits focus on occupant-controlled systems such as:

  • Lighting
  • Computers and peripherals (printers, speakers, UPSs, etc.)
  • Other electrical equipment
  • Waste and recycling
  • Purchasing and paper use
  • Water

Audits typically began with a 30 minute meeting of Sustainability Office staff and building contacts. The audit process is discussed, problem areas are identified and building contacts have time to ask questions, or express concerns. After this meeting, Sustainability Office staff walk through every space in the building and inventory equipment, note areas for potential improvement, and interact with occupants as needed. Building contacts are encouraged to join part or all of the walkthrough, though it is not required. At some point during the audit, personnel familiar with purchasing will briefly be asked about purchasing practices.

The Audit Report

After a site visit, a report recommending changes is issued to building contacts. Recommendations are not mandatory and can be implemented at any reasonable pace. Changes can be behavioral, equipment or infrastructure-related, and some will require approval and implementation from Facilities Services.

As of April 2012, if all audit recommendations were implemented, the total annual resource savings would total over $140,000. Emissions reductions of more than 5.2 millions lbs of CO2, 37,000 lbs of SOx and 19,000 lbs of NOx would be realized. View past audit reports here.

Follow-up and Implementation

While the audit report is purely recommendatory, it is the goal of the Sustainability Office to actually as many recommendations as possible. The following is a partial list of actions resulting from sustainability audits:

  • Restoration of the lighting control system at Dixon Recreation Center
  • Installation of T5 linear fluorescent lamps at La Sells Stewart Center's Austin Auditorium
  • Replacement of almost 60 incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents (CFLs)
  • Installation of window films in areas of high solar exposure
  • Yellow-jacket infestation controlled at Adams Hall

Many recommendations in audit reports have the opportunity for cost-share financing from Facilities Services. For more information on cost-sharing, please contact Brandon Trelstad.

In August 2009, an audit implementation event took place at Adams Hall. Each space was revisited with the goal of actually implementing audit recommendations. The results were encouraging:

  • 15 incandescent lamps were changed to CFLs
  • Over 25 computers had their power management settings changed to use less energy
  • 4 large printers had their power management settings changed to use less energy
  • Temperature set points in 4 offices were changed to recommended standards (cool at 78°F and heat at 68°F)
  • Work orders were placed to retune outdoor lighting photo sensors

Audit Reports and Schedule of Audits

The table below lists past and future audits. Building names in blue are links to the Audit Reports. Please contact the Sustainability Office with any questions or comments.


Audit Report Audit Date
Gill Coliseum July 2012

César Chávez Cultural Center

January 2012
Black Cultural Center January 2012
Asian Pacific Cultural Center January 2012
Moreland Hall May 2011
Wiegand Hall May 2011
Gilmore Hall April 2011
Career Services October 2010
5th floor Snell (CAPS) May 2010
Valley Library April 2010
Wilkinson Hall November 2009
Cascades Hall October 2009
Richardson Hall July 2009
OSU Foundation June 2009
Gilbert Hall June 2009
Cordley June 2009
Langton May 2009
CH2M Hill Alumni Center May 2009
Adams Hall April 2009
Plageman Student Health Center January 2009
Cascade Hall November 2008
Property Surplus Warehouse October 2008
LaSells Stewart Center September 2008
Motor Pool August 2008
Student Sustainabiity Center August 2008
Milam March 2008
Dixon Rec Center August 2007
Snell 4th Floor May 2007
Gladys Valley March 2007
Kerr Administration March 2007
Kerr 4th Floor February 2007
Bexell Hall February 2007
Ballard January 2007