Center for Environmental Building & Design

  • Decision-making cluster diagram of building energy conservation measures

Building Energy Management Plans and Campus Energy Analysis

Under the leadership of Professor of Architecture William Braham, the Center for Environmental Building Design (CEBD) has developed six building energy management plans in 2017 for Penn’s Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES), and is currently working on an additional thirty buidlings.

The built environment of the University of Pennsylvania accounts for approximately 85% of the carbon produced by the main campus through the use of electricity, steam, and chilled water. As technological capacity has increased, the amount of data being collected from the built environment has expanded dramatically—an important area of analysis to address climate change. For the past two years, nearly every major building on Penn’s main campus has been metering the consumption of electricity, steam, and chilled water every 15 minutes. More recently, a powerful new system has come online, which provides thousands of additional data points on the performance of systems and the environmental conditions within buildings. In 2017, FRES commissioned Braham and the CEBD to prepare several pilot building energy management plans, testing new ways to deploy and assess the metered data.

The CEBD has had an integral role in the University’s environmental initiatives since 2005, when it was engaged to produce Penn’s first Sustainability Plan. The Plan indicated that building energy consumption was one of the key elements of campus operations to be regulated. The Plan also proposed that buildings be individually metered, and that a provisional program of building audits begin immediately. For the following two years, performance assessments were conducted using a performance assessment tool that required “walk-around” audits of buildings with simplified performance simulations, enabling the University to identify buildings for renovation and upgrade. In subsequent years, that body of analysis became the basis for the University's Carbon Action Plan. When individualized building data sets became available, FRES looked for ways to analyze and take action on building performance using the metered data rather than walk-around audits.

The CEBD’s building energy management plans pilot new techniques for analyzing the metered data, using buildings that represent different schools, types, and uses. The plans include: building information, including size, use, construction, and renovation history; enhanced energy data reporting; performance benchmarks compared against national and campus norms; building energy “signatures,” showing the characteristic behavior of the building; and evaluation of potential energy conservation measures. Each measure is evaluated in terms of its potential impact on energy consumption, carbon production, and financial impact, resulting in a suite of conservation solutions that meet the specific needs and goals of the building’s users and managers. Each of the plans concludes with a path forward.



Pengyuan Shen, PhD Candidate
Evan Oskierko-Jeznacki, PhD Candidate
Nancy Ma, PhD Candidate
Kirin Kennedy, MArch/MSD-EBD Candidate
TAe Hyung Lee, MArch Candidate
Namita Kara, MSD-EBD Candidate
Mitra Sajadi, MEBD Candidate
In Hea Youm, MS in Architecture Candidate


Alex Waegel, PhD, Research Associate, CEBD, PennDesign
Max Hakkarainen, BA-BSE, Research Associate
Elizabeth White-Murray, Wharton School of Business Communication Program

From Facilities and Real Estate Services:
Anne Papageorge
Faramarz Vakili
David Hollenberg
Daniel Garofalo
Andrew Zarynow
Benedict Suplick
Tom Poole
Madeline Schuh
Christian Hanson
John Zurn


William W. Braham, Professor of Architecture, Director MSD-EBD Program / CEBD, Chair-Elect Faculty Senate