Cardinal Green Buildings

Stanford operates and maintains hundreds of campus buildings. While advanced systems ensure these buildings operate efficiently, a critical tool in helping further reduce Stanford’s energy use is the collective action of building occupants. The Cardinal Green Buildings campaign was created in 2013 to advance energy reduction programs operated by the department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM). Since then, Office of Sustainability (OOS), in partnership with Facilities Energy Management (FEM) and Zone Management, has continued to develop additional sustainability opportunities for targeted energy reduction. Cardinal Green Buildings engages and educates our campus community in energy conservation measures that have a significant impact on building sustainability. This year, in an effort to optimize savings opportunities identified through the plug load inventory and other data analysis, Cardinal Green Buildings will include new targeted measures to help maximize energy conservation this fall.  To help the Stanford community  maximize its conservation efforts, OOS offers Cardinal Green Trainings associated with each campaign. Register today!

Get Involved

  Turn Off for Break

The annual Winter Closure program engages occupants at a building and individual level to continue Stanford University’s decade-long history of resource-conscious building operation while unoccupied over breaks. At a building level the program targets a shutdown of heating and ventilation systems, as well as custodial services, to conserve energy. This year, FEM and OOS will also work with specific buildings to facilitate a shutdown during Thanksgiving break. 

  Cardinal Green Office Program

The Cardinal Green Office Program primarily works with building managers to evaluate office spaces on campus and recommend simple steps occupants can take to reduce their environmental footprint, and offers support in implementing those changes. After going through the program, buildings have saved up to 20 percent on electricity bills in some cases. This program includes an audit of your building, tailored recommendations, and access to an online resource center. 

Targeted Plug Load Programs

  Space Heater Swap

A thorough study conducted by Zones engineers in winter 2015 showed that many space heaters are not used excessively on campus, but there are some buildings with poor HVAC systems where space heaters may be necessary. This new space heater minimization program focuses on upgrading space heaters in buildings where necessary, but ultimately hopes to incentivize individuals to remove space heaters in the buildings where they’re not necessary by allowing them to swap space heaters for Stanford gear to keep them warm.  

  "Chill Up" Lab Freezers

The Cardinal Green Labs program was launched in summer 2015 and has since engaged over 25 labs in taking comprehensive sustainability measures. Through Cardinal Green Buildings, OOS works with lab managers to encourage them to “chill up" ultra-low temperature freezers in the lab, from -80 degrees to -70 degrees. Studies have shown in many instances the increased temperature is more than adequate for many samples, and the energy saving potential is substantial.  

  Equipment Timer Direct Install

Through the Direct Install program, departments no longer need to purchase programmable timers for certain types of equipment upfront, but instead, the timers are directly funded through the ERP Express program and installed by OOS interns. OOS will gradually install timers by working with building managers to schedule installation times, and asking building occupants to pledge to maintain their operation over time. 

For questions or more information on any of these programs, please contact Moira Hafer

What's In It For You?

The Cardinal Green Buildings campaign is an excellent opportunity to connect your community to Stanford‘s sustainability mission. Realized savings may even improve your building’s Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP) performance. By helping your department conserve resources, you'll also be eligible to win participation prizes. All individuals who pledge to Turn Down for Break are entered into a gift card raffle!

2015 Results

The 2015 Cardinal Green Buildings campaign proved to be a success, with a total of 29 buildings shut down or converted to shortened schedules for Thanksgiving Closure, and 188 buildings participating in Winter Closure energy curtailment. The resulting savings totaled more than $340,000 in avoided energy costs – which represents 1.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, or 840 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided. For the inaugural Space Heater Swap, 50 people pledged to turn in their space heater for a Sustainable Stanford fleece. Participants in the Chill Up campaign will save 4,000 kWh of electricity annually. Over 150 timers were installed in 31 buildings on campus with the highest numbers of qualified equipment, with an estimated savings of over $4,000 per year, and during the academic year, 15 buildings will be audited through the Cardinal Green Office program.