You are here

Projects Updates for Energy iCAP Team Recommendations Summary

Search tips:
  • This form will search for words in the title OR the description. If you would like to search for the same term(s) across both the title and description, enter the same search term(s) in both fields.
  • This form will search for any of the words you enter in a field, not the exact phrase you enter. If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put double quotes (") around the phrase. For example, if you search for Bike Path you will get results containing either the word Bike OR the word Path, but if you search for "Bike Path" you will get results containing the exact phrase Bike Path.


  1. Energy005 Modeling for Energy Code Compliance - Submitted

    The Energy iCAP team made the following recommendation on 2/11/21. The Energy005 Modeling for Energy Code Compliance recommendation is attached. 

    The aim of this recommendation is to ensure compliance of current and recent projects with State of Illinois Energy Codes and Facilities Standards

    1. F&S will identify a contractor—which may be a student group or include a student group—capable of creating 25 models of building whole energy use in campus buildings. F&S will contract to provide electronic files so they can be run on a common platform such as Trane700, Energyplus, eQuest, DOE-2 or BLAST. Preference will be given to contractors who make maximum use of student effort.
    2. F&S will identify five buildings completed recently but prior to 2019 for which breakdown meter energy use data is available, and five campus buildings currently under construction. F&S may identify buildings for which the required requested model energy files are available, at a cost saving on the project.
    3. The contractor – in collaboration with a student group -- will complete for each of the ten buildings
      1. a model file of the building which follows the Energy Code prescriptive requirements (baseline energy model) in use at the time of construction in order to determine an Energy Cost Budget, (10 files)
      2. a model file of the building as constructed (10 files), and
      3. a determination of the level of compliance with Energy Codes and Facilities Standards in terms of design and construction.
    4. For the five already-completed buildings, the contractor will calibrate the as-constructed model to fit the measured energy consumption data, using historical weather data. The calibrated model (5 files) should replicate actual energy use for a minimum of one year within 5% on a monthly basis and within 20% on a daily basis.
    5. If energy modeling files are available in project files on a common platform listed above, and may be distributed, then this may be considered one of the deliverables, and the work need not be redone, at a cost saving for the project.
    6. The contractor will provide a final report that describes the level of compliance in the ten buildings with the State of Illinois Energy Code (in use at the time of design and construction, as applicable) and Facilities Standards. The energy model files will be made available publicly, and primarily to students and faculty in engineering and architecture for their study.
  2. iWG Meeting Minutes from 11-18-20

    The iCAP Working Group met on November 18, 2020 and discussed energy conservation funding (Energy004) after hearing a presentation by Josh Whitson, Tony Spurlock, Rob Roman, and Karl Helmink (F&S). The meeting minutes and presentation are attached. 

  3. Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Successful

    Doug Wolters, the ACES Director of Operations, responded to Morgan White, co-chair of the iWG, with the following email:


    Good morning Morgan,

    Many thanks to you and your team for your work on the development of the iCAP 2020!

    The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) has a long standing commitment to sustainability and is fully supportive of the iCAP goals and specifically the SWATeam recommendation to “conduct a Feasibility Study to construct and operate an anaerobic digester on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.”

    As noted in the recommendation, the feasibility study should be incorporated into the planning phase of the new Dairy Farm project.  Although the 2017 Campus Master Plan indicates a new Dairy Farm at Lincoln Avenue extended, the timing and funding of this project are yet to be determined, confirming several of the comments and perceived challenges identified in the iWG Assessment and SWATeam Recommendation regarding the need to consider such items as project timing, funding, return on investment, resource allocation, and other financial impacts. 

    All the best,



    See Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Transmitted

    For further information about this project, see Anaerobic Digester at Beef and Sheep Study.

  4. Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Transmitted

    Following the completion of iWG assessment for Energy001 Anaerobic Digester, the recommendation was transmitted to German Bollero (ACES Associate Dean for Research) and Doug Wolters (Director of Operations, Facilities Planning and Management) on October 27, 2020.

    See the submittal of Energy001 Anaerobic Digester.
    See iWG assessment of Energy001 Anaerobic Digester attached.


    Good morning German and Doug,


    On behalf of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group I am transmitting a recommendation from the Energy Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWATeam) for your attention.  This recommendation is to identify a lead researcher in coordination with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to initiate a feasibility study for an anaerobic digester at the future dairy facility in the College of ACES. The original Energy001 recommendation from the SWATeam is attached here, as well as the iCAP Working Group’s assessment and an extended comment from one of our iWG student members, Jonah Messinger.


    We appreciate your support during the development of the iCAP 2020, which was recently finalized and approved by Chancellor Jones at the Campus Sustainability Celebration. To see more, you can visit the iCAP 2020 page on the iCAP Portal at As a reminder, the iCAP includes this statement on page 67, “A promising future technology for the campus is an anaerobic digester that could accompany the construction of a new Dairy Facility. The proposed digester would use organic waste to produce biofertilizer and biogas, which could be upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) and processed into renewable compressed natural gas (CNG). The renewable CNG could then be used as fuel for the campus fleet.” Thank you again for your assistance with the development of this plan. 


    For your info, the prior digester study was for an installation at the Beef and Sheep facility, and it was quite promising for research tied to ACES and Engineering. In 2014, we worked with Dr. Neal Merchen on the development of an ISTAR proposal with several of your faculty.  That effort was stalled with some leadership changes, but it is still available to be reviewed and enhanced in connection with the future dairy facility.


    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or any member of the iWG.  We look forward to hearing your response to the recommendation, and we ask that you provide an official reply by November 20 addressing how you plan to move forward with this recommendation.  We look forward to hearing from you.


    Best regards,

    Morgan and Ximing

  5. Energy002 Building Envelope - Successful

    Morgan White, Associate Director of F&S for Sustainability, responded to Dr. Ximing Cai with the following email. See the attached file for an overview of the building envelope testing pilot project.


    Hi Ximing,

    Thank you for sharing the Energy002 SWATeam recommendation. As we discussed, F&S is pleased to move forward with this recommendation to do a Building Envelopes Pilot Project on campus.  We have submitted a request to the Student Sustainability Committee, seeking their support to run this pilot project.  We are also meeting with Bill Rose, the co-chair of the iCAP Energy Team, and several F&S team members to discuss first steps.  I’ve attached a project overview here, which we can share with the iCAP Working Group.




    See transmittal of Energy002 Building Envelope to F&S here. 
    See iWG assessment of Energy002 Building Envelope here.
    See recommendation and submittal of Energy002 Building Envelope here. 

    For additional progress on this effort, see Building Envelope Pilot Project


  6. Energy002 Building Envelope - Transmitted

    Following the completion of the iWG assessment for Energy002 Building Envelope, the recommendation was transmitted to Mohamed Attalla, Executive Director of Facilities and Services, on June 3, 2020.

    See iWG assessment Energy002 Building Envelope attached. 
    See SWATeam recommendation Energy002 Building Envelope

    Attached Files: 
  7. Energy004 Energy Conservation Funding - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend $10M per year (scalable) of funding for the next 5 years to implement critical projects that work in concert with energy performance contracts (EPC) and/or energy focused capital projects. EPC contracts are fulfilled by specialized, accredited firms known as energy service companies. The university uses EPCs to manage complex projects targeting facilities with high energy use, such as laboratories, maximizing energy efficiency and addressing sizable volumes of deferred maintenance issues along the way. The campus backlog on deferred maintenance is approaching $1 billion.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy004 Energy Conservation Funding with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  8. Energy003 Energy Master Plan - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that F&S commission an Energy Master Plan for the U of I campus that contains at least 4 scenarios under which the campus meets the iCAP goal of 0 GHG by 2050.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy003 Energy Master Plan with comments from the Energy SWATeam.


    This recommendation has been supplanted by Energy007 - Implementation of Comprehensive Energy Plan.

    See project update here. 

  9. Energy002 Building Envelope - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that Building Envelope Inspection, Testing and Maintenance be performed as a method to improve building energy conservation to support the iCap 2050 goal of zero GHG emissions. Building Envelopes should be commissioned for all new construction projects. Existing Buildings should be inspected, tested, deficiencies addressed and maintained to achieve the best energy conservation possible for the building envelope. 

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy002 Building Envelope with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  10. Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    The College of ACES should conduct a Feasibility Study to construct and operate an anaerobic digester on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The College of ACES should then proceed in accordance with the results of the Feasibility Study.

    Recruit qualified faculty and staff and/or hire a contracting engineering firm to undertake this study and use the 2014 “South Farms Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study” and David Rivera-Kohr’s “Anaerobic Digester at the U of I” presentation as references. This new feasibility study should help the University:

    1. identify the optimal location for the digester considering transportation of feedstocks (e.g. COW pipeline from 2014 study), proximity to the natural gas (NG) pipeline and campus fleet, and the College of ACES’ plans for future construction (e.g. new Dairy Farm);
    2. determine feedstock options (i.e. food waste from dining halls, campus buildings, restaurants and industrial partners, agricultural waste, animal manure and carcasses) and quantities from both on-campus and off-campus sources and projected monthly and annual outputs of biogas (cubic feet) and solid/liquid digestate (tons). This should include a breakdown of chemical constituents in biogas and digestates with specific focus on the monthly and annual outputs of valuable molecules (e.g. methane, nitrates, phosphates, potash);
    3. evaluate optimal biogas and digestate end uses for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for best return on investment with particular focus on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) production for the campus vehicle fleet or MTD buses, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) injection into the NG pipeline, biogas Combined Heat & Power (CHP) to meet parasitic energy load of digester and associated machinery, and applying digestates to agricultural fields as fertilizer. Include a recommended course of action for meeting the University’s sustainability goals;
    4. determine the optimal location for a CNG facility if the recommended option for biogas use is found to be RNG pipeline injection or CNG considering the most feasible CNG use scenarios (campus fleet trucks, cars, or MTD buses);
    5. determine prospective economics for implementation scenarios including life cycle costs of construction, equipment, transportation, etc., prospective savings from reduced expenditure (e.g. natural gas, vehicle fuel, fertilizer, waste transportation and disposal) and projected profits from energy credits (RECs, RINs, LCFSs), sale of digestion and upgradation byproducts, charges for facility use, acceptance of outside waste, etc.;
    6. evaluate mechanisms for integrating the recovered energy into campus’ energy generation and distribution system, e.g. determine the feasibility, economics and emissions associated with RNG pipeline injection, converting 8-12 campus fleet vehicles to CNG annually, using an Internal Combustion Engine to meet electricity needs of the host facility and dumping excess electricity onto the local grid, using biogas CHP with renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar, Deep Direct Use geothermal) to meet parasitic energy loads;
    7. determine potential sources of funding and evaluate the feasibility of owning and operating the system considering different partnership scenarios including the University alone and partnerships with private entities (e.g. GESS International, Inc., American Biogas Council, CR&R Environmental Services, EESI) or surrounding cities or counties—include other parties’ willingness to participate;
    8. compile a list of environmental, economic and other benefits associated with anaerobic digestion and utilization of biogas and digestate byproducts including those mentioned in the references. Include whether global water consumption will be reduced if digestate is used for fertilizer as opposed to generating an equal amount of traditional fertilizer and estimate time for return on investment given different biogas use scenarios;
    9. address and/or update the “recommended next steps” from 2014 feasibility study;
    10. investigate reasons why the previous feasibility study did not lead to digester construction and, if not already addressed by the previous criteria, collect information or take necessary steps to address those concerns.

    This study should be completed by FY22 (June 30, 2022).

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  11. eGen010 Geothermal Feasibility Study - Returned

    Andy Stumpf provided the following response for eGEN010, "Yes. The summary will be compiled as part of a 'Living Labs' project proposed by the Illinois Water Resources Center."


    See the iWG Assessment of eGen010 Geothermal Feasibility Study here.

    See the SWATeam recommendation eGen010 Geothermal Feasibility Study here

  12. eGen009 Campus Geothermal Policy - Successful

    Dr. Mohamed Attalla, Executive Director at F&S, responded to Dr. Ximing Cai, iWG Chair, on August 27, 2019 stating, "We will review options for incorporating geothermal into existing campus documents, and share our thoughts with the iWG before proceeding."

    For further information about this project, please see Geothermal on Campus

    See the transmittal of eGen009 Campus Geothermal Policy Recommendation. 

    See the SWATeam Recommendation eGen009 Campus Geothermal Policy


Subscribe to