Approach to Energy Conservation and Sustainability for Design and Construction

The University of Michigan has a long history of environmental stewardship in its approach to facility design and construction. With the University’s 2025 goals related to climate action – reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 2006 levels – incorporating energy reduction in building design is one of the most effective ways for U-M to reduce its carbon footprint.

In October 2017, the University of Michigan adopted Chapter 13 Energy Efficiency – Michigan Energy Code Part 10a rules incorporating the American Association of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2013 energy code.  U-M requires the incorporation of numerous mandatory energy conservation measures on projects, requires comprehensive evaluation of additional energy efficiency measures, and requires comprehensive modeling of energy usage for proposed projects and development of energy impact statements at each phase of design.

All new buildings and additions with an estimated construction budget greater than $10 million are designed to achieve a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification level.

Several sections of U-M’s Design Guidelines for Design and Construction outline U-M’s detailed requirements related to both energy efficiency as well as sustainable design and environmental stewardship:


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