Sustainable campus improvement program design using energy efficiency and conservation Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Reducing energy consumption is critical to improving campus sustainability. Both increased efficiency of built infrastructure and conservation by users can contribute. This work investigates feedback in the design of energy improvement programs that exploit both efficiency and conservation by developing a system dynamics model. The model formalizes the paid-from-savings approach and is validated using a sustainability program at a major university. Model simulations use five program designs, two forms of performance (energy savings and monetary savings), and capital requirements to test four hypotheses. This research indicated the existence of a trade-off space of program designs in which the preferred design will depend upon specific objectives. Other conclusions partially support improved performance with more investment and recommend the use of conservation to fund efficiency under capital constraints. A feedback analysis provides a richer explanation of the drivers of program success. The scientific contributions include an improved understanding of campus sustainability improvement program design, a formal dynamic model for program design, and an innovative staged design as an advanced solution to the dynamic challenges of designing campus sustainability improvement programs.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Faghihi, V., Hessami, A. R., & Ford, D. N.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Faghihi, Vahid||Hessami, Amir R||Ford, David N

publication date

  • January 2015