U Michigan Grants Target Sustainability Challenges in Puerto Rico & Michigan
The Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan has awarded more than $200,000 to support three sustainability-related research projects in Puerto Rico and Michigan. The projects vary in scale and address energy and food system resilience in Puerto Rico, stormwater management on tribal lands in Michigan, and plans for a green energy village in Detroit’s Eastern Market.
Texas A&M International U to Save $15M Through Energy Efficiency Project
The university recently announced it has started construction on a $9.7 million, comprehensive campus-wide energy-efficiency project that will streamline facility operations and encourage sustainable behavior. The energy savings performance contract guarantees nearly $15 million in energy savings over the life of the project. Savings will come from improving the university’s irrigation system, interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades with occupancy sensors and automated dimming controls, and utility meter upgrades with user-friendly energy dashboards. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by fall 2019.
Bentley U Arena Earns LEED Platinum
The recently opened, 76,000-square-foot arena features a 504 kilowatt solar array that will generate 40 percent of the building's annual electricity needs, natural light that decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior, high-efficiency LED lighting with smart, motion-detecting controls, and waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showers. Additionally, at least 50 percent of wood used in the building is sourced from forests with certified sustainable forestry practices, about 10 percent of construction and finish materials were locally sourced, and about 20 percent of construction and finish materials contain recycled content.
U Richmond to Enlist Goats for Invasive Species Removal
Part of a four-part eco-corridor project, the goats will be used for 12 weeks to help remove invasive species. The full project includes the removal of invasive species, stormwater management, stream restoration and the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
EPA Announces Campus RainWorks Challenge Winners
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received first place in the Demonstration Project Category for integrating a variety of green infrastructure practices into a campus parking lot, while the University of New Mexico received second place. The University of California, Berkeley earned first place in the Master Plan Category for its commitment and vision in stormwater management, while the University of Maryland, College Park earned second place. The University of Arizona received an honorable mention in both the Demonstration Project and Master Plan categories.
U Washington Installs Solar Fins for Shade & Power Generation
In an effort to reduce heat gain and use renewable energy in the university's Life Sciences Building, the building, which is still under construction, will feature vertical glass fins that include embedded photovoltaic cells along the south side of the building.
McGill U Bans Sale of Bottled Water on Campus
On the eve of World Water Day 2018, McGill has announced that it will phase out the sale of single-use bottled water over the coming year. By May 1, 2019, non-carbonated water will no longer be sold in retail and vending machine locations on the downtown and Macdonald campuses. The university also plans to work with event organizers to reduce the use of bottled water at McGill events.
North Carolina State U Tests Water Quality With Floating Islands
A faculty member and a student in biological and agricultural engineering recently installed floating islands of plants at an on-campus research site to evaluate whether the islands can improve stormwater quality. A temporary vinyl barrier divides the pond into a control side and an experimental side with water quality sensors providing continuous, multi-point data as water enters and exits the pond.
Purdue U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's Honors College and Residences building features high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation equipment and water saving shower and faucet fixtures.
U Puerto Rico Partners to Deliver Clean Water
The university recently partnered with two organizations to provide continuous, clean water and power to some of those affected by the hurricanes this fall. A solar-powered system will provide long-term benefits to the local people while being used as a teaching instrument for the engineering students at the university campus.
U Michigan Building Receives LEED Gold
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business' Kresge renovation and Jeff T. Blau Hall project has received LEED Gold certification. The project includes energy and water conservation measures such as occupancy sensors for lighting control, energy-efficient light fixtures, the incorporation of natural daylight and low-flow bathroom fixtures. Energy measures are expected to allow for energy savings of an estimated 30 percent.
Monroe CC Installs Green Roofs
The 22,000 square feet of newly installed green roof on the college's Downtown Campus is capable of capturing 13,000 gallons of rainwater during a single rain event. It will also decrease the urban heat island effect and reduce electricity usage needed to cool and heat the campus.
ACEEE Launches 'Shrink Your Dorm Print' Campaign
In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign, which offers a tip sheet and shopping guide for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
U Kentucky Scores LEED Gold on Academic Building
The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems are low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials.
Nottingham U Building Achieves BREEAM Outstanding & LEED Platinum Designations
(U.K.): The university's new GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry building, partially funded by GlaxoSmithKline, features minimal energy use, utilization of natural ventilation, wind catchers, a water leak detection system and sustainable drainage systems to deliver energy and water reductions. A green roof featuring drought-tolerant native species is also installed. Excess energy generated by the building during its lifespan will offset all the carbon associated with its construction, allowing it to reach carbon-neutral status.
Rhode Island College Partners to Reduce Energy Consumption
The college selected Ameresco to renew and upgrade campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency and water conservation measures at the college. The $5 million Energy Savings Performance Contract project is expected to save the college more than $340,000 in avoided energy costs annually for the next 15 years.
North Carolina State U Installs System to Reclaim Water
A new reclaimed water system designed by NC State Energy Management and a Utilities and Engineering student intern collects the unused water from the Cates Utility Plant and reroutes that water for use in the facility’s cooling towers, which uses more than 20 million gallons of water annually to cool refrigerant in the facility’s chillers. The new system is anticipated to reduce water costs by about $6,000 annually and achieving a full return on investment in less than 18 months.
U Nebraska Medical Center Sets 2030 Carbon Neutrality Goal
Over the next 13 years, a new set of goals calls for the university and its partner, Nebraska Medicine, to become carbon neutral, with all the energy they use coming from renewable resources produced either on or off campus. The goals also call for reducing waste to zero and using less water than what falls on the main campus during an average year, about 104 million gallons.
U Florida Launches Public Water Quality Website
The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences launched a new website to teach Florida residents how to preserve and protect the state’s quality of water. The site is targeted at different roles of people regarding how to be more efficient with their water usage. Topics include water use in agriculture involving irrigation and fertilizers, water use in nature, like aquifers and wetlands, and how homeowners and builders use water in urban settings.
Three Georgia Universities Address State Water Crisis
Open to students at Emory, University of Georgia and Georgia State University, the recently concluded Sustainability Case Competition asked participants to create a five-year plan to mitigate Georgia's water crisis, taking water conservation, distribution, resilience and impact on community stakeholders into account. The winning team has chance to work with the Department of Watershed Management on implementing their five-year plan, and all participants have the opportunity to intern.
Northern Arizona U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's Aquatic and Tennis Complex features recycled material use, such as steel, carpet and acoustical tiles, the use of native and climate-adapted plants, high-efficiency lamp sources and daylighting, and water-efficient fixtures and water bottle/drinking fountain stations.
Auburn U Implements Water Restrictions Due to Drought
Due to extreme drought conditions, the university has reduced landscaping irrigation across campus, and will reduce irrigation on athletic and recreation fields at season's end, and has discontinued vehicle washing and pressure washing of paved surfaces except for health and safety concerns, and rescheduled routine cooling tower preventative maintenance at chilled water plants.
Architectural Record Covers Campus Sustainable Development
In the November 2016 issue, Architectural Record centered around design and development of the built environment on campuses across the U.S, with a spotlight on three schools. The issue highlighted Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, a full-cycle water reclamation, net-positive energy production and zero-waste operations campus, Hampshire College's R.W. Kern Center, a building constructed to meet the Living Building Challenge guidelines, and Cornell University’s 352-unit, 26-story tower high-rise designed to Passive House standards (set to open 2017).
North Carolina State U Reaches State-Mandated Energy & Water Goal
Despite a more than 50 percent increase in campus square footage, the university reduced campus energy use by 33 percent and water use by 50 percent per gross square-foot, as indicated by a piece of legislation that became law in 2007. The legislation calls for a 30 percent reduction in energy use per gross square foot from the 2003 baseline and a 50 percent reduction in water use per gross square foot from the 2002 baseline.
U Iowa to Launch Water Sustainability Graduate Program with $3M Grant
The university has received a five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation Research Traineeship grant that will be used to develop a Sustainable Water Development graduate program. With a planned launch of fall 2017, the program will train about 50 master's and doctoral students to address water, food and energy challenges facing resource-limited communities.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Announces Three Zeros Initiative
The university's new Three Zeros Initiative strives to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, water neutrality and zero waste by addressing individual behaviors, teaching and how the campus can model new, innovative approaches while having a global impact. Three Zeros stemmed from the new Sustainability Plan, which is the university's framework for examining campus-wide sustainability efforts and identifying ways to integrate them into teaching, research and engagement activities.
U California Berkeley Enters $4M Partnership with Brita
The 10-year, $4 million partnership beginning in the 2016-17 academic year bolsters the university's Refills not Landfills program, an effort to encourage students and the campus community to drink from reusable containers. The partnership includes distribution of Brita products, monetary support to departments and an on-campus Brita filter-recycling program.
U Utah Building Achieves LEED Platinum
The one-year old building features a 65 percent reduction in energy costs through structural design and passive solar orientation, solar power generation, natural light, recycling and re-using grey water to flush toilets, and a focus on energy efficiency.
Butler U Building Supports LEED Gold
A $34 million renovation of the university's Hinkle Fieldhouse includes new roof with a white cap sheet that reflects sunlight, bicycle storage and changing rooms, low-flow water fixtures and a two-year contract to purchase at least 35 percent of the building’s electricity from renewable sources.
Michigan State U Implements Campus-Wide Tobacco Ban
The campus-wide ban on the use of tobacco products, to begin mid-August, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the community can enjoy the healthiest campus possible, which includes not only immediate physical health of humans, but the health of waterways. Cigarette butts release pollutants into the ecosystem as they break down.
U California Merced Installs Hydrogel Into Soil
In an effort to conserve water and maintain an attractive landscape, the university uses a hydrogel system, which acts as a water and nutrient reservoir, allowing water to be released slowly into the soil and roots.
U Texas Austin & Huston-Tillotson U Win College Sports Sustainability Contest
The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University were announced as the two inaugural winners of the College Sports Sustainability Makeover Contest at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Designed to highlight college athletics' ability to influence fan sustainability behavior and boost college sports sustainability, the winners will receive a prize package valued at $50,000.
Emory U to Launch $1.5M Sustainability Revolving Fund
The soon-to-launch $1.5 million, self-replenishing program will be used to fund capital-intensive energy and water efficiency projects. Made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Kendeda Fund and matched with $1 million from the university, Emory also joins the Billion Dollar Green Challenge led by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Michigan State U Water Research Reveals Campus Behavior
A recent survey of students, faculty and staff revealed that 37 percent prefer tap water while 36.6 percent prefer bottled water, 39 percent use filtered water stations, and 90 percent understand that bottled water has a higher environmental and economic cost than tap water. These insights will be used to help improve recycling programs and create awareness of refill stations across campus.
U California Los Angeles Students Win Grant for Storm Water System
As part of the Sustainability Action Research program, five students from the Resilience Team received $18,000 from the Green Initiative Fund for a 200,000-gallon water capture system in order to save an estimated 1.22 million gallons of water per year. The system is intended to supplement water currently supplied by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the university's irrigation system.
U Alberta Student Creates Method to Save Water in Labs
To reduce water in the university's chemistry labs, undergraduate Alex Schoeddert in collaboration with faculty member Sarah Pelletier built a water reuse system that will save up to 1,900 gallons of water each year.
Indiana U Completes Student-Funded Rain Garden
The newly completed rain garden installation was funded by the Student Sustainability Council and facilitated by one of the working groups of the Office of Sustainability. The garden was conceptualized, proposed, funded and installed by students.
EPA Honors Winners of Campus RainWorks Challenge
In April 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency announced four winners and two honorable mentions for the 2015 Campus RainWorks Challenge. University of Texas at Arlington (Master Plan category) and University of Maryland, College Park (Demonstration Project category) were first place winners, with Stevens Institute of Technology (Master Plan) and University of California, Berkeley (Demonstration Project) taking second place. The Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to learn about the current or potential impacts of climate change on campus and demonstrate how using green infrastructure practices on their campuses can build resiliency to those impacts while effectively managing stormwater runoff.
Four Universities Receive Water Research Funding From EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $3.3 million to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices. Of the five institutions selected, the four universities are the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Utah State University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of California Riverside. Selected by the EPA in conjunction with the White House Water Summit, this research will evaluate how reclaimed water applications such as drinking water reuse, replenishing groundwater and irrigation can affect public and ecological health.
U Nebraska-Lincoln to Upgrade Irrigation System
A new campus-wide upgrade to irrigation piping is underway and projected to decrease campus water use by 20 percent annually. The new system allows employees to control and monitor watering from a centralized location.
U Washington Tacoma Tracks Source of Tainted Water
The university's Tacoma campus, UWT, was built on what was once home to commercial and industrial uses such as dry cleaning, auto-repair operations and other manufacturing, reports a recent article from The Seattle Times. University officials have already spent about $7 million since the mid-1990s investigating and in clean-up, but a proposed legal agreement between the UWT and the state Department of Ecology seeks to pinpoint the source.
Duke Kunshan U Campus to Receive LEED Certification
Duke Kunshan University is the first Chinese university campus to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) campus program, with all five campus buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The campus is distinguished by its use of aquatic elements to absorb, store, permeate, purify and reuse rainwater. Classrooms are equipped with air filtration and carbon dioxide monitoring and 32 percent of the campus site is covered in oxygen-generating native plants. Buildings make use of natural light to reduce energy consumption, high-efficiency water fixtures and solar thermal collectors.
Mott CC Launches Water Info Webpage With Lead Results
The community college, located in Flint, Michigan, updates a webpage with regular results of water tests for its main campus and any necessary actions taken if results were out of compliance. The webpage also gives updated information on the availability and distribution of bottled water, water testing kits and filters for students and employees, and information, updates and resources related to the water situation in Flint.
U Colorado Boulder Athletics Engages Fans in Water Conservation
As part of the university's new Water for the West campaign, fans at home basketball games will be prompted by an announcement to send a text message pledging to conserve water. For each text pledge received, CU Athletics will restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin through a partnership with Change the Course, a national water initiative that engages the public, corporations and the conservation community in restoring water for people and nature. Through Water for the West, CU Athletics is restoring 10 million gallons of water to projects in the state of Colorado, balancing the estimated 12 million gallons of water used annually by the department for everything from watering Folsom Field to accommodating hundreds of thousands of fans at large-scale sporting events.