Sustainability in Residence Halls Part 2

Student activities and choices have a high degree of impact on electricity and water use in residence halls. Personal decisions, such as how long we shower and whether we leave lights, stereos, and computers running, will affect electricity and water consumption. Part 2 of our Sustainability in Residence Halls tips guide focuses on temperature and water conservation – two key aspects of our Sustainability Plan.  


Work with Mother Nature. Keeping curtains and blinds closed in the summer can help keep the sun from heating the room, while opening them in the winter will warm the room naturally. This allows your heating and cooling system to work less to maintain the temperature inside. Please do not open a window while the heat or air conditioning is on, as this can lead to simultaneous heating/cooling. When large amounts of outside air are entering the room, or large amounts of inside air are dissipating, the heating and cooling system works harder to maintain a consistent temperature, which increases energy waste.  

Please report temperature issues to Facilities Services immediately at 773-834-1414 or submit a Service Request here.


Please do not leave the water running. Leaving a faucet running when not in use wastes energy and water. Energy is required to extract water from the ground, clean it, pump it to your building, heat it, pump it back to the treatment center, clean it again, and send it elsewhere. The more water you use, the more times the cycle is repeated; thus, the more energy is wasted. Take shorter showers if possible. Not only will a shorter shower reduce the amount of water used, but it also reduces the amount of energy necessary to heat the water. 

If you encounter leaky faucets/showerheads/sinks, please report it to Facilities Services at 773-834-1414 or submit a Service Request here.


Help us make the University of Chicago more energy efficient by becoming a Sustainability Ambassador for your House! Serve as a liaison between the Office of Sustainability and your residence hall community, and help create student awareness around events on campus including the upcoming ENERGY STAR® Treasure Hunt, and winter quarter Battle of the Buildings Energy Challenge! Visit our website and social media pages for exciting new updates! Email to learn more. 

Encourage others in your House community to conserve where possible, and help make significant efficiency gains that are little to no cost, and instantaneous. Visit our website and social media pages for exciting new updates and features.

How Do I?

UChicagoSocial: Facilities Services