Duke Building Energy Use Report (2019-2020)

This Bass Connections project aimed to help leaders across Duke University understand their energy use and take simple steps to reduce energy consumption.

Before the fall semester, a summer Data+ team processed and analyzed utility consumption data and developed monthly building energy use reports and a project poster. Using the dataset developed by the Data+ team, the Bass Connections team created energy reports for eight buildings across campus in the fall. Afterward, the team interviewed key stakeholders in campus finance and operations and used their feedback to refine the report. Over the course of the project, the team discovered that while building managers and other stakeholders had access to energy usage data, they felt that they did not have a centralized and visual way to view this data. The line graphs, bar charts, pie charts and other visualizations in the reports gave stakeholders a more succinct and effective way to view the data.

During the spring semester, the team pivoted toward student engagement, which involved creating an energy use report specific to dorms. This report, which includes energy consumption trends, emissions, cost, energy use rankings and recommendations for improvement, was provided to the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean for Residential Life, Joe Gonzalez. Finally, the team spent the end of the spring semester editing final versions of the building energy use reports, streamlining the process for generating data visualizations, creating an instructional guide for making future versions of the energy reports, and providing a comprehensive transition plan for Sustainable Duke to continue the project.


Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Moving Duke Toward Carbon Neutrality (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)


Sara Platek

Hazel Horvath

This Team in the News

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2021

Duke Moves Toward a Greener Future

How Much Energy Do Duke Campus Buildings Really Use?

See related Data+ summer project, Duke Building Energy Use Report (2019).

Duke Building Use Report.

Team Leaders

  • Jason Elliott, Duke Sustainability Program
  • Zachary Johnson, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • William Pizer, Sanford School of Public Policy

/graduate Team Members

  • Quentin Cui, Master of Environmental Management, Energy and Environment
  • Mingjie Zhao, Statistical Science - MS
  • Yuchen Zhu, Master of Environmental Management, Energy and Environment, Geospatial Analysis
  • Ziwei Zhu, Statistical Science - MS

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Hazel Horvath, Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)
  • Joyce Huang, Visual and Media Studies (AB)
  • Sara Platek, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Carsten Pran, Program II (AB)
  • Thomas Wang, Economics (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Tavey Capps, Duke Sustainability Program
  • Casey Collins, Duke Facilities Management
  • Dina Helderman, Divinity School
  • Wayne Miller, Duke Law
  • Brad Teague, Graduate School