Harvard University

Uncovering new opportunities in heating and cooling

  • Reduced GHG emissions
  • Campus planning and net-zero strategies
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Improved O&M
  • Streamlined controls

Harvard University aims to reach fossil fuel neutrality by 2026 and become fossil fuel free by 2050. To meet these targets, the campus must increase efficiency or fuel-switch to reduce GHG emissions. Harvard chose Ecosystem to conduct a detailed energy efficiency study at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to help the campus achieve its targets.

Harvard not only has world-class teaching facilities but also is a leader in sustainability in higher education. By the time Ecosystem was engaged, several studies and projects had been completed, and Harvard had already optimized many systems. From this base, Ecosystem and Harvard University collaborated over a 15-month process to develop deep energy retrofit projects.

To uncover hidden opportunities, Ecosystem looked beyond the building envelope, where electric heat pumps could recover even more energy, taking advantage of simultaneous heating and cooling demands. By using wasted heat energy that the university had already generated and paid for, Ecosystem demonstrated that Harvard could offset new steam generation and thus reduce purchases of natural gas as well as cutting GHG emissions by 30%. Once implemented, this retrofit project will generate savings independent of future energy rates.