Prevalence of Findings from ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Assessments at 13 Colleges

  • Michael J. Madigan
  • Robert M. Neimeier
  • Stuart J. Spiegel
Keywords: ASHRAE Level 2 Energy


To meet a number of objectives, not the least of which is cost savings, colleges and universities of all sizes, public and private, have been exploring opportunities to reduce energy use and costs. In operational or maintenance practices, energy inefficiencies may be present due to the condition of mechanical systems or campus infrastructure, or as a result of behavioral and cultural habits. To derive information for an energy master plan (EMP), and derive, prioritize and implement energy conservation measures, the first step is to obtain a perspective on campus- wide opportunities for an improved energy profile and resultant cost savings. This program of energy assessments has been performed at 13 of the colleges at the City University of New York (CUNY). The assessments identified opportunities in the following 12 categories on a building-specific basis for a total of 169 buildings: building envelope, lighting, HVAC, plumbing, boiler plant, chiller plant, building automation system, utility distribution, electrical, special systems (as appropriate), O&M, and existing building commissioning (EBCx). There were 36 subcategories, which are described for clarity as to the scope of the assessment in these areas. The energy assessments have noted some commonalities among the energy saving opportunities that were observed. Buildings with some common uses (administration, library, science) did not necessarily reflect strong commonalities, possibly given the relatively limited number of buildings with these uses in the database and the relative diversity of building age, historical use and construction.The results of this article will be useful as a benchmark to stakeholders involved in or planning similar assessments.


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Author Biographies

Michael J. Madigan

Michael J. Madigan, P.E., LEED AP, is an Engineer 3 at O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., with more than 30 years of experience designing high-performance mechanical systems and providing energy consulting services for commercial, industrial, municipal and higher education clients. His recent energy engineering projects have involved advanced HVAC and control system design, energy efficiency feasibility studies, plant and campus energy assessments, campus submetering programs, building commissioning, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consulting services. Mike has an AS in humanities and social science and an AAS in engineering science from Corning Community College (NY), and a BS in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University. He is a professional engineer in New York, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Qualified Commissioning Process Provider (QCxP). (email:

Robert M. Neimeier

Robert M. Neimeier is a Project Manager 2 at O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., and has 25 years of professional experience specializing in air and environmental compliance management. Rob has responsibility for major clients’ environmental programs, particularly with respect to GHG and carbon management, and air resource management and compliance. His current clients include programmatic GHG and energy reduction assessments, and sustainability planning, for campuses of the City University of New York, and for several State University of New York (SUNY) campuses, as well as the management of countywide GHG inventory programs. His background also includes climate action planning, air emissions inventories and permitting, regulatory compliance negotiation and source emissions testing. Rob has an AS in business from Onondaga Community College (NY) and a BS in environmental science with a minor in planning from SUNY at Plattsburgh. (email:

Stuart J. Spiegel

Stuart J. Spiegel is a Senior Managing Scientist at O’Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc., with more than 40 years professional experience in the areas of environmental management planning, environmental audits, environmental compliance and permitting strategies, environmental due diligence, environmental impact analysis, and EH&S compliance assistance involving more than 1,000 facilities. In recent years, his activities have focused on sustainability and environmental management at academic institutions. Stu has written or co-authored more than 60 presentations and publications on a range of academic topics, and has served as an adjunct instructor at the College of Engineering at Syracuse University. He has a BS in biology and an MS in sanitary science from Syracuse University. (email:


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