Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Buildings are a major contributor to local pollution and global warming by consuming electricity to support daily activities of students, faculty and staff.

Two ways to reduce the negative impact of buildings are:

  • Power them with renewable energy
  • Make them as energy efficient as possible

Dallas College is using both of these strategies.

In June 2021, Dallas College Board of Trustees approved the college to begin purchasing 100% renewable energy from Gexa Energy. This effort reduces our college greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 30,000 metric tons annually.

The fixed-rate contract also avoids the variable rates that shocked some consumers following the February freeze. For the next five years, the contract is expected to reduce energy costs, reduce the overall carbon footprint of college facilities and conserve crucial resources for the community.

Dallas College is recognized by the EPA Green Power Partnership program for its effort purchasing 100% renewable energy.

Green Power Partner logo

Green Certified Buildings at Dallas College

Dallas College has six certified green buildings by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The college six LEED certified and pending seventh LEED certified buildings are:

The USGBC-LEED standards help guide equity, energy and environmental design standards for buildings, campuses and neighborhoods. Dallas College has seven certified LEED buildings and uses the LEED checklist in 8 areas to help guide new construction and building operations and maintenance. The 8 areas of LEED are:

  • Location and Transportation
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation
  • Regional Priority

New Green Buildings at Dallas College

The International Code Council (ICC) provides information, tools, and resources for organizations to advance building safety solutions.

Dallas College uses the ICC codes for energy conservation and green building to help guide new construction and building operations maintenance.

The International Energy Efficiency Code (IECC) and International Green Construction Code (IgCC) are updated every few years to help organizations improve building safety solutions for energy and green building.

ICC logo

The 2019 Dallas College Bond Program follows the City of Dallas Green Code for all new construction. The Dallas Green Code is a local municipal ordinance for all new construction that is adapted from the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

The Dallas College Bond Program focuses on nine areas of sustainability and green building:

  1. Building Orientation to be Optimized based on Local Sun Paths and Shade Optimization with Landscaping
  2. Engaging Locally/Regionally Sourced Vendors/Suppliers
  3. Use of Building Material with Post-Consumer Recycled Content
  4. Utilization of Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
  5. Selected Products and Colors for Exterior Hardscape to reduce Heat Island Effect
  6. Design to Provide Access to Quality Transit Systems
  7. Design to Promote Micro-Mobility
  8. Passive/Active Daylight Strategies in Occupied Spaces
  9. LED Lighting in Design

Energy Efficiency at Dallas College

The Dallas College Energy Management Department leads and manages all utilities efficiency and resource conservation projects in areas of consumption for electricity, water, natural gas and fleet vehicle fuel.

Dallas College follows the goals outlined by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to reduce consumption by 5% annually for seven consecutive years. The Energy Management Department also utilizes industry-recognized frameworks such as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), Energy Star for buildings and maintenance.

From 2019 to 2021, the Facilities Improvement Plan (FIP) invested more than $58 M in building upgrades to enhance the resilience and sustainability of college buildings and campuses.

The FIP areas of sustainability investment are nine different areas shown in the table below.

Sustainability and Green Building AreasSummary of Estimated
Construction Costs
Resilience, Emergency Preparedness $23,774,936
Energy Efficiency $15,125,811
Weatherization, Energy Efficiency $13,592,448
Water Efficiency $2,000,000
Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency $1,450,000
Education Success $1,010,000
Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Resilience
Fuel Efficiency $405,000
Grand Total $58,264,011

The top four priority investment areas comprised more than $38 M combined, including safety, resilience and emergency preparedness, energy efficiency with mechanical system improvements, energy efficiency with weatherization and roofing improvements, and energy efficiency with building automation controls.

Safety, Resilience and Emergency Preparedness

Fire-and-life-safety equipment and electrical systems often represent unseen hazards for building occupants. When failures occur in these systems, the consequences can be dire and immediate.

Dallas College has put forth more than $20.3M to assess, evaluate, and make capital improvements in fire-and-life-safety and electrical systems. These efforts ensure potential unseen, high impact failures are prevented or minimized when possible.

Energy Efficiency with Weatherization and Roofing Improvements

Roofing and the building envelope are essential building systems. When functioning, performance goes unnoticed. When non-functioning, envelope failures represent compromises in energy performance and occupant safety and comfort.

Dallas College has invested more than $13.8M since 2019 in building envelope improvements. All roof replacements are Energy Star rated, high reflectivity and high emissivity products coupled with increases in insulation levels that meet or exceed current building code standards.

Energy Efficiency with Mechanical System Improvements

Building mechanical systems, including chillers, boilers, and air-handling units, are the largest energy using components within a building. Upgrades to these components improve efficiency as technology advances are realized. This results in fewer emissions through decreased energy usage as well as reduced refrigerant loss due to equipment age and outdated refrigerant technologies. Dallas College has invested more than $10.5M in major mechanical system updates since 2019.

Energy Efficiency with Building Automation Controls

Modern buildings rely increasingly on smart building controls to coordinate and monitor the function and performance of building mechanical systems and environmental controls - the major energy using systems in buildings.

Dallas College has committed more than $4.3M in building automation controls updates, resulting in more coordinated and energy-efficient mechanical system operations. These software systems also provide for Demand Response actions, allowing Dallas College to respond to high load conditions within the ERCOT (Energy Reliability Council of Texas) electric grid. In this way, we can do our part to reduce the impact of college operations and increase resilience of the grid.


For additional information, please contact Dallas College Facilities Management and Planning.