Joint 56th Annual North-Central/ 71st Annual Southeastern Section Meeting - 2022

Paper No. 9-33
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


CARR, Meghan, Geology, Augustana College, 639 38th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201 and STRASSER, Jeffrey, Chair of Geology, Augustana College, 639 38th St, Rock Island, IL 61201

With increased concern about greenhouse gasses and anthropogenic climate change, institutional carbon management becomes a necessary part of the solution. Due to their forward-thinking agendas, executive structure, and concentrated populations, college and university campuses are ideal microcosms to examine carbon trends and deploy mitigation strategies. This study is a first attempt to estimate the carbon emissions from natural gas and electricity consumption of 4 residence halls at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, in order to provide a carbon baseline for the school’s sustainability efforts. Constructed between 1936 and 2006, each hall varies significantly in efficiency, with one hall undergoing extensive retrofitting during the period of study (2015-2020). The utility footprints for each hall were determined using the SIMAP® carbon analysis platform created by the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute. Results show relationships between seasonal weather fluctuations and monthly utility consumption. Analyses also show the positive effects of retrofitting as well as the transition to remote learning in response to Covid-19 in 2020. Annual carbon emissions of one building decreased by 11.3% following retrofitting, and electricity consumption overall sharply declined after April of 2020.