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Lehigh University, Climate Action Strategy, Central Utility Plant Master Plan

Burns developed multiple pathways for the university to pursue campus-wide carbon neutrality.

Lehigh University is a top-ranked private university based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Over the past 30 years, the Lehigh Valley region’s average temperature increased more than anywhere across the state.

To limit contributions to climate change, Lehigh’s Climate Action Strategy provides a detailed framework for measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the 4-million-square-foot campus.

Supporting Trefz Engineering, Burns evaluated cost-effective central utility plant modernization strategies, including energy-efficiency improvements, low-carbon fuels, and electrification alternatives.

The Central Utility Plant Master Plan involved:

  1. Evaluating the plant’s energy use, demand, and overall energy-load profile.
  2. Developing a carbon-emissions baseline for measuring future emissions reductions.
  3. Producing five emissions-reduction scenarios, including detailed energy-saving forecasts.

Burns assists colleges and universities meet their carbon-neutrality-goals, providing custom solutions for energy and economic analysis; electrical, mechanical and structural assessments and design; and resilient power infrastructure design and oversight.

Photo credit: “Linderman Library, Lehigh University” by NDXP/Flickr


Bethlehem, PA


Lehigh University


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Key team members on the project

Daniel Batten, PE

Power & Utilities Project Manager