Energy & Climate

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In 2014, Lehigh published an Energy Policy that outlines how the institution will reduce energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions on its campuses.  This poilcy discusses infrastructural and technical strategies as well as everyday efforts of students, faculty, staff, and university visitors (the “university community”).  Since May 2016, Lehigh has been tasked with developing an energy management plan, which is currently in progress.

Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 Goal

  • Create an energy management plan that addresses campus growth and building needs, energy efficiency retrofits, behavior change opportunities and future reduction targets that reduces energy use per sq ft by 25% over 2007 baseline.



Recent Projects


    Lehigh's Facilities Services team has recently reduced energy usage (and greenhouse gas emissions) with several different types of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) projects.  Older chillers were replaced with more energy-efficient models at Zoellner Arts Center and Alumni Memorial Building on the Asa Packer Campus.  Older fixed-speed air-handling fan motors were replaced with new variable-speed models.  This is often done in conjunction with replacing pneumatically-controlled HVAC control systems with direct-digital-control (DDC) systems.  During 2018-2019, these types of projects occurred at Maginnes Hall and Zoellner Arts Center on the Asa Packer Campus and several buildings on the Mountaintop Campus: Iacocca (A), Jordan (F), Imbt/H, and J.

    During 2018-2019 Lehigh's Facilities Services team also worked with Siemens to reprogram some HVAC control startegies used in laboratories at the STEPS building.  These changes were aimed at reducing energy while improving occupant comfort and maintaining consistent indoor air quality.  The strategies included reducing the number of air changes per hour and fume hood face velocities, and setting-back space temperatures when rooms are unoccupied.



    Lehigh, like many other institutions has been reducing energy usage (and greenhouse gas emissions) by replacing fluorescent light fixtures, bulbs, and ballasts with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, bulbs, and drivers.  This has been occurring for several years and it will continue for several more years.  During 2018-2019, the following buildings were partially or completly retrofitted with LEDs:

    For some projects, lighting controls are also installed, such as occupancy sensors, vacancy sensors, or photoelectric (daylight) sensors.

    • Mudd Building
    • Neville Hall
    • Whitaker Laboratory
    • Central Heating and Cooling Plant for Asa Packer Campus
    • Central Heating and Cooling Plant for Mountaintop Campus
    • Alumni Parking Garage
    • Cundey Varsity House
    • Zoellner Arts Center Parking Garage
    • Physics and Sherman Fairchild Buildings