Energy Efficiency

Exterior of the MSU Physical and Biomedical Sciences building.

We promote sustainability at MSU by ensuring campus buildings are energy-efficient. To maximize building efficiency, all of our new construction projects follow industry best practices, and we update existing buildings to improve energy conservation. These efforts result in operational savings for MSU and reduce the environmental cost to the wider community.

Building Automation System

We monitor utilities around the clock with smart meters to identify patterns and adjust systems to ensure buildings are operating at the highest level of efficiency. Our system is capable of

  • Scheduling start and stop times for equipment connected to buildings
  • Campus-wide HVAC system scheduling
  • Heating and cooling thermostats and temperature control
  • Reacting to alarms
  • Consulting new construction and building renovations and upgrades
  • Implementing energy conservation measures
  • Scheduling service to campus sewer septic tanks

We are equipped to respond immediately to any system alert. Our skilled trades staff are prepared to repair or replace any system to minimize service interruption to campus.

Preventive Maintenance

Our preventive maintenance program ensures that MSU facilities are operating at the highest performance standards. We monitor and records all equipment that requires regular maintenance. This includes 2,750 fan systems with thousands of bearings and fittings that need regular greasing and lubrication, and 5,300 air filter and fan drive belt sets. Investment in preventative maintenance ensures that campus systems continue to perform for the comfort and productivity of the entire MSU community.

New Projects

Construction quality assurance

We conduct quality assurance reviews of new construction to ensure sustainable campus environments. Our quality assurance reviews encompass projects involving

  • Architecture and structure
  • Roofing and masonry
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Outside utilities and soil erosion
  • Life safety systems


We commission work on existing campus buildings to ensure they are optimized for efficiency and occupant satisfaction. Commissions follow a process of comprehensive engineering and operational analysis. Opportunities for improvement are classified as either:

  • Low cost or no cost
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Energy conservation measures
  • Facility improvement measures

LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. It provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed to improve performance in health and environmental metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources.

Michigan State University has pledged that all new on-campus construction is built to LEED-certified levels. A total of 1,559,273 square feet of MSU-owned space has been LEED registered.

Gold certifications:

Silver certifications

Use of space heaters on campus

Michigan State University has established heating and cooling season building temperature policies to provide comfort conditions in support of the university’s educational mission while advancing MSU’s energy conservation goals. Space heaters are regulated because they can create system imbalances, overload building electrical circuits and use a significant amount of energy. If used improperly, space heaters can also become a fire hazard.

Most campus spaces are heated to 69 degrees during the winter. Because spaces on campus vary greatly in age, construction and function, exceptions will occur. Please contact us if you experience temperature discomfort on a regular basis at (517) 353-1760. We will identify the source of the problem and work to provide a comfortable work environment.

Where space temperatures fall within university guidelines, several low wattage personal heaters have been approved that meet safety and efficiency guidelines. Below is a list of approved heaters currently available through Spartan Marketplace (as of 2/8/23).

  • Grainger, QMARK Portable Electric Heater 1DKW3
  • Grainger, SENGOKU Portable Electric Heater 4NHG9
  • Office Depot, Tatco Energy Saver Heating Panel #9822202

NoteThis information does not pertain to MSU Student Life and Engagement buildings, offices or departmental spaces.