Gordian Logo RSMeans Data from Gordian
College Uses Data-Driven Assessments To Save Energy and Improve Campus

College Uses Data-Driven Assessments To Save Energy and Improve Campus

$2 million

in electric cost avoidance in 2022


BTU/GSF reduction


cities served

Challenge: Striving to Live up to High Expectations

Lorain County Community College (LCCC) has a reputation among nearby campuses for being the first community college in Ohio to offer four-year bachelor’s degrees and for being the first community college in Ohio to have a permanent campus. Serving both urban and rural communities, LCCC consistently rates among the top for student success.

However, as LCCC saw continued growth and success in academics, their aging facilities started to fall behind. Feedback about facilities from students and staff indicated that there were issues that needed to be addressed in order to bring facilities performance in line with the community’s high expectations. Students and staff were experiencing HVAC downtime, making learning conditions less than ideal. Leadership ultimately concluded that it was time for something to be done.

Solution: Using Data to Craft a Story

The first challenge that LCCC addressed was the need for dedicated facilities leadership. To address that, LCCC brought on Leo Mahoney as Director of Physical Plant and Construction Management. With decades-long experience managing facilities and grounds, Mahoney understood what LCCC was up against. He recognized that the College needed a comprehensive understanding of how their facilities performance stacked up with peers. Mahoney was seeking a partner with a long-standing reputation for providing data-first facilities assessments and comprehensive peer benchmarking data. He found the answer in Gordian’s ROPA solutions.

Gordian’s ROPA solutions enabled LCCC’s facilities leadership to make well-informed, data-driven facilities management decisions with an analysis of their campus space use, facilities-related capital investments and operational profile. Our team of data professionals benchmarked those findings against the performance of peer institutions so the College could see a clear picture of how they stack up against similar schools. That data is stored in an online portal that leadership can access 24/7. Using this data, Gordian helped LCCC make a stronger case to senior leadership for appropriate funding and staffing by telling a complete and contextual campus story.

“ROPA is a security blanket for us.” – Jonathan Volpe, Vice President of Administrative Services and Treasurer, Lorain County Community College

Getting the external data to validate the observations that students and staff had been making helped seal the deal. The assessment provided tangible evidence that the College’s facilities could benefit from further investment in energy efficiency. Using the data, Gordian helped Jonathan Volpe, Vice President of Administrative Services/Treasurer, and Mahoney to craft the narrative needed to support further investments in facilities. When asked about how integral the data-supported story was to achieving Mahoney’s facilities goals, he remarked, “Without it, we don’t know that we would’ve gotten to the finish line.”

Result: Accessing Support for Campus Improvement

As a result of the ROPA analysis, Lorain Community College was able to increase staffing levels using custodial contracts and access the funds needed to better operate and maintain their campus. The funding allowed the college to address a backlog of deferred maintenance and improve the efficiency of their facilities.

“Without it, we don’t know that we would’ve gotten to the finish line.” – Leo Mahoney, Director, Physical Plan and Construction Management, Lorain County Community College

LCCC was able to put in place an energy performance project, using Ohio’s House Bill 7, to address mechanical deferred maintenance like their aging HVAC systems. This led to a significant decrease in downtime and complaints and a significant reduction in energy consumption and related costs — so much that when other colleges saw an increase in energy consumption following the return of students after COVID, LCCC continued to see decreases in consumption.

From analyzing the data, the College identified the gap in investment in the campus’ infrastructure. Because they were able to hire facilities leadership and address the facilities shortfalls they had, Volpe feels LCCC is “following a completely different trajectory.” They are now able to triage issues with more confidence and sleep better at night knowing that facilities are no longer vulnerable. In Volpe’s words, “ROPA is a security blanket for us.”

With the funds they saved, at more than $200,000 per year, LCCC is looking forward to what’s next for their facilities. They’re currently embarking on creating a new facilities master plan to continue their forward trajectory for the next ten years. This master plan also includes ways the College can repurpose existing space to align better with the new strategic plan.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leading provider of Building Intelligence™ Solutions, delivering unrivaled insights, robust technology and expert services to fuel customers’ success through all phases of the building lifecycle. Gordian created Job Order Contracting (JOC) and the industry-standard RSMeans Data. We empower organizations to optimize capital investments, improve project performance and minimize long-term operating expenses.

Gordian cloud platform on devices
Introducing Gordian Cloud Platform

Delivering critical asset management, capital planning, cost estimating and procurement capabilities in one connected platform.

Explore Now