award-winning Energy Hawks

   An innovative approach to saving energy, reducing utilities costs, and improving occupant    comfort in 60 buildings across the University of Iowa campus

Winner of  APPA's 2010 Effective & Innovative Practices Award
Press Release

What's an Energy Hawk?

Energy HawksA quick-hit, high impact team of specialists from various Facilities Management units including maintenance services, building commissioning, controls engineering and Utilities. Drawing from a rotating group of energy engineers, building controls technicians, maintenance personnel and operations engineers, the group members work in synergy to evaluate and resolve energy issues in buildings quickly and efficiently.


Saving energy, reducing utilities costs and improving occupant comfort are the chief goals of the Energy Hawks.


The Energy Hawks process is a part of the UI's comprehensive energy conservation plan to eliminate energy waste.

Innovative Strategies

The Energy Hawks take a holistic, cross-organizational and cross-functional approach. The process goes beyond routine operational fixes to a comprehensive evaluation of the whole system revealing solutions for better systems management.

Energy Hawks Building Audits

Iowa Institute for Rural and Environmental Health (IREH) Building  (PDF available)
An energy audit of the Iowa Institute for Rural & Environmental Health (IREH) building at The University of Iowa estimated energy efficient lighting upgrades could save up to 21% on energy use. The lighting upgrade included:

  • Using natural light to illuminate the building spaces
  • Installing energy-efficient lights
  • Using timers and sensors to control when lights are turned off and on

Van Allen Hall  (PDF available)
Rising energy bills and outdated building management systems and equipment in Van Allen Hall made it a good candidate for energy-related improvements.

The University of Iowa Utilities & Utilities team led an initiative to:

  • Upgrade the building systems
  • Boost energy performance
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Increase occupant comfort


Building Occupant Testimonials

Tina Hass, Assistant to the Dean of the College of Education, says, “The experience with the Energy Hawks has been seamless and painless. They came in and got to work with no disruption to the building occupants. Faculty and staff have commented on how much more comfortable their offices are, space heaters are gone, and we have noticed a difference in energy efficiency and comfort levels throughout the building.”

Jan Waterhouse, Assistant Dean for Operations and Finance, UI College of Nursing, stated, “The team was in the Nursing Building for about two weeks. They provided a complete list of action items identified during the investigative phase, explained what they found, and the steps that would be taken to address the issues.  The repairs included replacing our outside air dampers and a large number of old, faulty thermostats in individual offices, which has really improved our temperature control and air flow throughout the building.”