Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Integrated Science and Technology


In recent years interest in reducing energy consumption at the building levels has been increasing, especially in the higher education sector. Many examples exist of higher education institutions reducing their environmental impact through energy consumption reductions, however the majority of these are anecdotal examples and it is difficult to replicate these initiatives at other institutions, either due to resource constraints, financial constraints, or a lack of reproducible methodology. This issue is further compounded by the fact that a generalized methodology does not exist for the purposes of estimating building energy loads, especially in dormitories in the absence of expensive and sophisticated metering and sub-metering systems. A study was completed in which a generalized methodology was developed for the purposes of estimating dormitory energy loads and used to analyze the energy consumption of four representative residence halls on James Madison University campus. The purpose is to describe energy consumption using only building level metered data recorded every month as starting point for the determination of the most beneficial energy saving options for a university to focus their efforts on reducing total energy consumption. Total energy usage profiles over time, energy usage indexes, and total dormitory energy load profiles by end use contribution of total energy consumption analyses were generated and show that on the JMU campus, the vast majority of energy consumption, 69-76%, is as a result of providing heating and domestic hot water to the residence halls. The resulting 24-31% of energy consumption is as a result of electricity consumption in the residence halls. The results indicate that the most popular areas for reduction of energy consumption, namely lighting and plug loads, are not the most beneficial areas, but rather initiatives directed at reducing heating and domestic how water loads may provide the greatest reductions in energy consumption.