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energy efficiency | simply™

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

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The University of Kansas (KU) is a major public research and teaching institution of 28,000 students and 2,600 faculty on five campuses.

A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1909, KU consistently earns high rankings for its academic programs. Its faculty and students are supported and strengthened by endowment assets of more than $1.44 billion. It is committed to expanding innovative research and commercialization programs.


As the main campus of a large university, KU's Lawrence location was faced with numerous deferred maintenance projects that couldn't be addressed though their annual budget. The campus has an extensive steam distribution system that requires constant upkeep, and has multiple large research and teaching laboratories that struggled with maintining proper heating, cooling and ventilation. While there was far more "need" than dollars available, the goal of the project was to use energy-saving improvements to help pay for, or offset, the cost of other maintenance needs.


ESP delivereed a comprehensive energy and facility improvement project combined energy saving and deferred-maintenance projects, along with behavioral training, to yield a truly holistic facility improvement project for the University. Campus-wide conservation projects (including lighting, water conservation, energy management control
enhancements, steam-system effi ciency improvements, energy behavioral training) that offered good cost-to-savings payback ratios were implemented. Savings from these campus-wide measures were used to help fund major deferred-maintenance and efficiency improvements in the primary scientific research buildings such as: replacement of air-handling units, complete retro-commissioning of air-distribution systems, and an upgrade of exhaust-hoods and associated controls.

Lab Improvements
At Mallot Hall, Haworth Hall, and Simons Bioscience, ESP implemented a cutting-edge lab exhaust system for KU that incorporates ganged exhaust, a chemical/air-quality sensing system, and variable speed exhaust at lab hoods; all of which greatly improved safety and decreased energy use. The University previously had around 246 individual exhaust fans that have now been reduced to 65.

Energy Conservation Training
ESP provided ongoing energy conservation training to the students, faculty and staff at the University in an effort to change the paradigm of how occupants use energy within their daily activities. Teaming with KU’s Center for Sustainability,ESP routinely provided formal training sessions, organized contests, conducted building energy audits, managed building schedules and temperatures, distributed literature, and identified and implemented changes in operations and maintenance.


In addition to increased energy and dollar savings, and improved comfort, throughout many buildings on campus, the laboratory buildings utilize an Aircuity OptiNet system, that works in conjunction with Phoenix Controls
valves, to improve air quality and safety while reducing energy consumption.

Energy conservation training resulted in measurable energy savings resulting from changes in occupant behaviors. The results of a 12-week energy-saving competition pilot test between three buildings showed 14.3% energy savings, and a second simliar contest a year later between 14 buildings resulted in an average savings of 9.2%.

Project Snapshot

University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence , Kansas

Completion Date

Total Square Feet

Number of Buildings

Total Project Cost
$25.6 million

Annual Savings
$1,789,000 (average)

Carbon Footprint Reduction
38,142,839 lbs CO2e

Environmental Impact
The equivalent of 2,555 homes' electricity use for one year.


Client Type


Coleen Flathman Jeff Flathman Sue Hennahane Tim O’Kane

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