Facilities Energy Management Audit and Recommendations at Yellowstone National Park (2012)

Client Organization: 
Yellowstone National Park
Project Location : 
Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Summary of Project Idea: 

Pursuant to Executive Order 13514 (October 2009), Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is required to (among other things ) "increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; [and] design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations."A Further, YNP must "prioritize actions based on a full accounting of both economic and social benefits and costs and shall drive continuous improvement by annually evaluating performance, extending or expanding projects that have net benefits, and reassessing or discontinuing under-performing projects." The Park's environmental impacts are derived largely from the built environment. Residential housing, office space, hotels, visitor centers, water facilities and other structures require substantial amounts of energy to serve their functions. In fact, fully 78% of the Park's operational GHG from 2006 were emitted in support of the built environment. Given these significant impacts, an evaluation of the existing structures is integral to ascertain the greatest areas for project opportunities.

The master's project team set out to gather energy information for a sampling of buildings within the park.  This data was analyzed on a building by building basis to develop behavioral and systems improvement recommendations so that the park can reduce its energy consumption and improve its efficiency. The National Park Service's building planning and development practices were also analyzed to make recommendations on how future buildings and building upgrades can be more energy efficient.  Considerations for how the park can to adapt to climate change were also considered.  Additionally, energy monitoring software was surveyed to develop a recommendation for the park to monitor is energy use more closely.


SEAS Program Areas: 
Sustainable Systems
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Andy Hoffman
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Tyson Timmer, MS, Sustainable Systems
  • Gaurang Sethi, MS/MBA, Sustinable Systems
  • Lindsay Sharpe, MS, Sustinable Systems
  • Morgane Treanton, MS, Sustainable Systems
  • Anne Shishkovsky, MS/MUP, Sustainable Systems
Project Status: 
Past Project