University of Notre DameUniversity of Notre Dame

Facilities Design & Operations

Utilities Department


Golden Dome ECM Project Announcement



As part of the University’s Energy Conservation Measures program (ECM) the Utilities Department has undertaken a project to relight the Golden Dome and the statue of the Virgin Mother, Mary. The project improves the illumination intensity, quality, and uniformity of the Dome to better display this prominent landmark and icon of the University in the night sky. State-of-the-art LED light sources obtain optimal light efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

Having collaborated previously with Musco Lighting on numerous other well-known venues on campus including: the Word of Life mural, the Purcell Pavilion, the Compton Family Ice Arena and the Notre Dame Stadium, the Utilities Department and Musco have again partnered to light the Dome.

The gold leaf surface of the Dome presents a bit of a lighting challenge as light easily reflects off the surface and into the sky. To improve the lighting of the Dome the new lights have been installed on the roofs of St. Edwards Hall, Washington Hall, Bronson Hall and the steeple of the Basilica. These locations improve the aiming angles and provide for better overall illumination.

This installation reduces the energy consumption by over 35,000 kilowatt hours per year and reduces the campus carbon footprint by approximately 12.2 tons per year.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd at approximately 9 PM the University will extinguish the existing lighting and turn on the new. Take a peek and see how much brighter The Blessed Mother looks sitting proudly on top of the Golden Dome.

Energy Conservation Measures Phase 3 Project

Building on the success of the Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) Phase 2 projects, which began implementation in 2008 and due completed by the summer of 2010 the Utilities Department is now embarking on ECM Phase 3.

Energy Conservation opportunities have been deemed by the University as a vital piece of its Sustainability program as they offer both reduced environmental impact and economic savings. ECM and other initiatives taken since 2008 have resulted in year over year reductions in energy consumption, the first since reductions in electricity consumption during the energy crisis of the early 1970’s. With the continued growth of campus both now and throughout its history there have only been nine instances when year over year electrical growth has dropped since recorded data was started in 1923. World War II and the aforementioned Energy Crisis of the 1970’s accounted for six of the nine instances with three of the last five years accounting for the balance.

From a baseline perspective electrical consumption has been decreased by nearly 13.3% over the past five years.

ECM Phase 3 seeks to continue the improvements of ECM Phase 1 & 2, which focused on Lighting and HVAC improvements. ECM Phase 1 & 2 made improvements to over 70 campus facilities. ECM Phase 3 will essentially complete the campus conversion from T-12 and incandescent lighting to T-8 and other more efficient lamp and ballasts offerings. HVAC improvements include:

• Conversion of constant volume pneumatically controlled systems to variable volume direct digital controlled systems (DDC)
• Conversion of variable volume pneumatically controlled systems to variable volume DDC controlled systems
• Fume Hood Control improvements to minimize air flow
• Occupancy Sensor control for temperature setbacks during unoccupied times
• Wireless Thermostats to affordably implement DDC
• Damper Zone Isolation controls

In addition to lighting improvements ECM Phase 3 seeks to reduce electrical consumption by implementing enhanced LED lighting, where applicable. It is a goal of ECM Phase 3 to also seek out further energy conservation opportunities for implementation in the future.

ECM Phase 3 is expected to be fully implemented by late 2015, building managers and occupants will be informed prior to activities in their facilities and explanations and training will be provided for building users once the systems are installed.

The University and the Utilities Department appreciate the support and cooperation from campus users as we work to improve our facilities and reduce our impact on the environment.

GIS Project

The Utilities Department is working with Open Spatial to implement a geographic information system (GIS). This will enable us to move from a CAD/drawings based system to an intelligent, geo- located, database repository that can be maintained easily as well as integrate with other systems, thereby improving data quality and availability and benefit operations, planning and management activities of campus assets.


The Notre Dame Utilities Department has joined forces with the Office of Sustainability to meet growing University demands in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner. Together we have focused on energy and water conservation methods through the implementation of projects for cleaner, more efficient energy and water supplies. More information regarding energy , water and other sustainability projects can be found at Office of Sustainability website.