Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Twedt


Alternative Energy, College campus, Energy Efficiency, Energy upgrades, Mechanical Systems, Renewable Energy


Universities and colleges are looking for ways to be sustainable and save energy costs on their campuses. In terms of raw dollars, “America’s colleges and universities spend almost $7 billion a year in energy and utilities”. Campus buildings consume more than 80% of the energy utilized by the universities and it is often used in the form of electricity for lighting, ventilation, air-conditioning, and natural gas for heating. By reducing energy use, it will translate into cost savings that could be utilized towards student programs, facility improvements, and other university initiatives. This can be achieved by energy conservation efforts and integrating renewable energy systems in campus buildings. This thesis is focused on studying three buildings on the South Dakota State University campus and analyzing their energy consumption. Energy consumption is modeled using eQuest energy modeling software to determine current and proposed electrical, heating, and cooling energy use. Lastly, renewable energy was integrated into the buildings to offset electrical and heating loads to increase energy savings and resulting energy costs. The total electricity consumption can be reduced from 414,490 kWh to 94,325 kWh yielding a 77% savings in energy usage. Heating loads can be reduced from 24,468 therms to 15,304 therms, resulting in 37% natural gas consumption savings by upgrading to high-efficiency mechanical systems and integrating solar wall technology. This energy savings corresponds to a monetary savings of over $20,200 annually. Additionally, these savings also contributed to saving over 281.1 tons of CO2 per year from being emitted into the atmosphere. Validation is an important step in the process to assess if the simulation results are accurate. The simulation results are validated using utility data provided by the Facilities and Services Department for the specific buildings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Buildings.
College buildings -- Energy consumption -- South Dakota -- Brookings.
College buildings -- Energy conservation -- South Dakota -- Brookings.
Renewable energy sources.
Sustainable buildings.
Architecture and energy conservation.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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