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Housing Facilities Improvements

We have implemented many projects in partnership with Housing Maintenace, the DU Facilities department, and DU's Energy Engineer to improve our energy and water efficiency in our facilities.  Here is a list of a few of our accomplishments.

ENERGY STAR Certification

Energy Star Certified


In September 2011, Johnson McFarlane residence hall became an officially ENERGY STAR certified building! This means that Jmac is more energy efficient than 75% of all residence halls in the country. Jmac is the first ENERGY STAR certified building on our campus, the first certified residence hall in Colorado, and one of fewer than 100 certified residence halls in the country. Click here to see details. We are working to make improvements in all of our residence halls which will allow us to ENERGY STAR Certify each of them in the coming years.

Motion Sensor Lights

In spring 2012, we installed motion sensor lights on all residential floors of Centennial Towers. The building was constructed in 1964 without light switches for the hallway lights, so this was the first time in 48 years that the lights were turned off! 

Bottle Filling Stations

Bottle Filling Station


Our lobby drinking fountains and the drinking fountains on the floors in Halls and Jmac have been retrofitted with systems to easily fill re-usable water bottles! Now you don't have to buy single-use plastic water bottles; you'll save money and you'll protect the environment from the dangers of plastic!

Light Bulb Exchange

During move-in each year, we offer a free exchange at the front desks of the residence halls for residents to trade incandescent light bulbs for energy saving light bulbs.

Energy Assessments

We conducted an Energy Assessment in Halls and Towers in partnership with Xcel Energy and LONG Energy Solutions to guide us in prioritizing steps to improve our efficiency in those buildings.

Environmentally Friendly Carpeting

We installed envrionmentally friendly carpeting in the Towers Lounge in summer 2011.  Among other benefits, the carpet from InterfaceFLOR is climate neutral, installed without the use of toxic adhesives, and made from recycled materials.

Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators

We have installed the most efficient shower heads and sink faucet aerators available in our residence halls.  Thanks to funding from the University Student Government Sustainability Committee and thanks to the work of our Facilities staff, all of our residence halls have shower heads designed and calibrated to work specifically with the amount of water pressure available on each floor of the buildings.  They only use 1.25-1.4 gallons of water per minute (an average high efficiency shower head uses 2.0 gallons per minute)!

Window Replacements

We have replaced the windows in Jmac, Halls, and Towers with new, better insulated windows, resulting in reduced heating and cooling requirements. 

Removed Unnecessary Appliances

We removed unused refrigerators from Nelson Hall kitchens in summer 2011.  Students have refrigerators in their rooms so the lounge refrigerators were never used and ran even though they were empty all of the time.   This has helped us to reduce wasted electricity and to reduce our carbon footprint.

Nagel Hall

Our most recently built residence hall, Nagel Hall, was built with sustainability in mind and we are seeking a LEED Gold rating for the building. Click here for more information on sustainable features in Nagel Hall.