IPF helps MSU surpass energy goals

Photo montage of T.B. Simon Power Plant, commissioning work at Erickson Hall and Broad Art Museum

Anthony Yuhasz

August 10, 2020

MSU has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for surpassing its Better Buildings Challenge goal, set almost 10 years ago.

In 2011, MSU became a charter member of the challenge, a national energy-saving initiative that charged university, commercial and industrial leaders with the task of achieving a 20 percent reduction in building energy use by 2020.

Through campus-wide efforts led by Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), Spartans surpassed the goal two years ahead of schedule, achieving an energy savings of 21 percent across 20 million square feet of campus facilities – roughly equivalent to the energy demands of 4,400 typical Michigan homes.

In a letter to President Stanley, the DOE congratulated MSU not only for achieving this significant energy savings, but also for its transparency and willingness to share our methods with our peers so that others may benefit from our hard work.

“I was very proud of our team at IPF who spent a good deal of time and energy making sure MSU achieved its goal,” said Dan Bollman, vice president for Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. “We’ve got a great team working on energy and performance issues, and the results speak for themselves.” 

However, this achievement was only possible through the culmination of several important initiatives over the past 20 years.


  • MSU Sustainability Committee established (precursor to Office of Campus Sustainability).


  • Lynda Boomer (retired) becomes MSU's first Energy and Environmental Engineer.
  • MSU joins the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).


  • Retro-commissioning program established to upgrade the efficiency of energy use in campus buildings.


  • The Chicago Climate Exchange concludes.
  • Bott Nursing Building becomes first campus facility to be heated/cooled using geothermal energy.
  • Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) initiative begins.




  • MSU reaches 10% reduction in energy used per square foot (halfway towards its BBC goal).
  • Anaerobic Digester is constructed on south campus.
  • Anthony Hall selected as showcase project for the ECM initiative. Energy conservation measures installed result in annual cost savings of over .5M.
  • Spartan Treasure Hunts begin (engages facility occupants in the identification of energy and operational efficiency opportunities).




Accomplishing all of this in such a relatively short period of time is in no small part due to the dedication, talents and hard work of the hundreds of members of Team IPF who prove 24/7/365 that Spartans Will.

“It has been a long journey with many challenges,” said Bill Lakos, IPF Building Performance Services assistant manager. “Achieving this goal was not an easy task and involved many people within IPF, including the changes to power generation at T.B. Simon Power Plant as well as all the engineering and operational changes that were made to make many of our buildings much more efficient.” He added, “I think this recognition is one that all of IPF can take pride in.”