George Washington University, Virginia Science & Technology Campus

Reducing campus energy costs


Higher Education


Ashburn, Virginia


Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC)


Located in Loudoun County, Virginia, George Washington University's (GWU), Virginia Science & Technology Campus (VSTC) has been conducting innovative research in engineering, physics, and chemistry, while providing outstanding education at its Virginia Science & Technology Campus in Loudoun County since 1991.

Anchored at the University Center in Ashburn, Virginia the Campus is strategically positioned in the Northern Virginia technology corridor near Washington Dulles International Airport. A donation of 50 acres from regional developer Robert H. Smith formed the centerpiece of the new University Center and launched the Campus. The first building, Exploration Hall, opened to students in 1991 with the campus growing to 122 acres since then. 

Our Approach

The central utility plants (CUPs) serving the Enterprise and Exploration Halls were nearing the end of their useful life, resulting in escalating energy and operational costs. These plants were unreliable and impacted the University's ability to serve its students. Additionally, the energy management controls system serving Enterprise Hall, Exploration Hall, Innovation Hall, and Research Place were failing and needed to be replaced.

The ESPC was paid for entirely by energy and operational savings.

Southland partnered with GWU to develop and implement an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) that upgraded both CUPs, installed a new energy management control system, and was paid for entirely by energy and operational savings.


These upgrades reduced annual energy costs by over 30%, electrical consumption by $5,390,829 kWh/r., and CO2 by 3,717 metric tons/yr.


  • Successful Partnerships

    Owner: George Washington University
    GC: Southland Industries

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