Facilities has taken an active role in reducing Duke's carbon footprint through sustainable projects, policies and behaviors. Working with Sustainable Duke toward Duke's Sustainable Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan and 2024 Carbon Neutrality Commitment, Facilities works with faculty, staff and students in creating a more sustainable Duke.
Since Facilities helped to create money saving policies that benefit the environment, such as an university-wide building temperature and scheduling policy, which reduces Duke's carbon footprint and helps contribute to University wide savings in 2009, energy-saving initiatives remains a top priority.
Energy use is the largest source of Duke’s greenhouse gas emissions, and thus represents an important opportunity for sizable emission reductions. The University continues to progress in reducing the greenhouse gas footprint at both whole-campus and individual-building scales.
During the 2022/23 academic year, Duke Facilities Management commissioned its Chilled Water Thermal Energy Storage Tank, completed the third major phase of the LED lighting retrofit project (over 7.2M square feet of buildings now all-LED), and continued design to convert buildings from steam to hot-water heating (in addition to the 28 buildings already converted). These efforts build on over a decade of progress, resulting in the lowest energy emissions of record, down 41% since Duke began tracking this data in 2007.
Some of our other responsibilities include:
- Utilities consumption tracking and cost allocating
- Load forecasting for budgeting and planning
- Optimization of central utility plants
- Fuel procurement
- Utilities metering
- Energy conservation projects
- Control systems administration and operation
- Renewable energy planning
- Assess the potential of new energy efficiency technologies
- Working with faculty and student groups interested in energy conservation