U of Oklahoma Introduces Green Roof

University of Oklahoma has debuted a green roof on top of one of its research buildings. The new installation has 160 trays measuring a combined 1,280 square-feet that will hold plants, grasses, sand, and organic material. The green roof is designed to reduce both storm water runoff and energy use and cost. Depending on the conditions, the University could save 25 to 75 percent of its annual air conditioning costs.

U Southern Maine Installs Green Roof

University of Southern Maine has installed an 880-square-foot green roof on the Wishcamper Center, an academic building that houses the School of Public Service and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Eight different varieties of plants now grow in 110 trays on the structure's roof in a mixture of sand, gravel, and mineral. The green roof is designed to reduce water runoff, extend roof lifespan, and reduce heating and cooling needs.

U Utah Install Rain Garden

University of Utah students install a rain garden. The rain garden will utilize a special blend of soil that stores the rain and slowly releases it to the plants over time. The rain garden is among the first projects to be funded by the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund. Last year, students voted to assess the fee of $2.50 per semester to fund campus sustainability initiatives.

U Washington Students & Faculty Construct Rooftop Garden

University of Washington students and faculty have constructed a rooftop garden on an existing greenhouse to demonstrate the various uses of a green roof. Three trays with different planting areas will be used to explore different ways to grow food in an urban environment. Students are interested in demonstrating that green roofs not only provide a habitat for plants and animals, but also help to alleviate potential water-flow issues. The roofs help reduce the rate at which water enters the storm system and also reduce the storm-water runoff overall.

Syracuse U Unveils Rain Garden

Syracuse University (NY) has unveiled its first campus rain garden. The Waverly Rain Garden will capture and absorb some of a nearby parking lot's storm-water runoff. This will reduce the amount of rainwater entering storm drains and help lessen storm system overloads. The garden covers 400 square feet and is capable of capturing nearly 2,000 gallons of water. A total of 55 volunteers, mostly SU and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students, helped to build the installation. The rain garden was designed by a SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry landscape architecture graduate student, and the idea was developed by an SU student.

Vanderbilt U Urinals Go Waterless

In an effort to conserve water, Vanderbilt University (TN) has begun replacing all of its non-residential urinals to waterless versions. 40 to 50 percent of the urinals have already been replaced, and the University says millions of gallons of water have been saved. Vanderbilt expects to replace all the urinals by 2013.

Luther College Receives Grant for Permeable Pavement Construction

Luther College (IA) has been awarded an $85,979 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to replace the asphalt paving of an existing 24,600-square-foot parking on the Luther campus with a more environmentally beneficial permeable surface. The grant money will pay a major part of the cost of removing the current 120-foot by 205-foot asphalt parking surface, grading the base and constructing a two-section permeable concrete parking surface. The new permeable surface of the lot will allow surface water and snowmelt water to seep through the paving and into the underlying soil, which significantly reduces the rate at which the water enters the river. The permeable surface paving has a design life of 50 years and is expected to function for at least 20 years with minimal maintenance. Construction on the project will begin in summer 2010.

Los Angeles Valley College Restrooms Conserve Water

Los Angeles Valley College (CA) has replaced 99 of its urinals with waterless versions. Each new urinal is expected to save 40,000 gallons of water per year.

Northeastern U Installs Permeable Asphalt, Receives LEED Gold

Northeastern University (MA) has retrofitted 18 street trees on campus with permeable asphalt bases to reduce storm-water runoff. The permeable material is comprised of recycled tires and stone, which allows rain water to penetrate and sink into the ground instead of ending up in the sewer. The University has also received LEED Gold certification for its Dockser Hall renovation. The project features low-flow lavatories and a new, more efficient irrigation system. Northeastern was able to recycle 96 percent of the waste generated during the renovation.

Stimulus Money Helps New York Schools with Green Infrastructure

The State University of New York (SUNY), Newburgh; SUNY Purchase; and Bard College have received stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through New York’s Green Innovation Grant Program. The program supports cost-cutting solutions for progressive water conservation, energy efficiency technologies for drinking water systems, and clean water infrastructure. SUNY Newburgh and SUNY Purchase will use the money for building green roofs. Bard College plans to install a new microfiltration system and a finished water storage tank.

UConn Installs Porous Parking Lots

The University of Connecticut has installed a porous concrete parking lot and a porous asphalt parking lot to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each. The permeable paving allows the water to sink into the ground rather than become runoff which can create erosion problems and pick up contaminants.

U Connecticut Installs Green Roof

The University of Connecticut has installed a green roof to help reduce water pollution of a nearby stream. The green roof will help to absorb storm water and reduce runoff into Eagleville Brook. The roof is ground level and is available to all faculty, staff, and students for its enjoyment.

Washington U St. Louis Installs Green Roof

Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has installed a 10,150-square-foot green roof on top of a campus residence hall. The roof contains grass, native plants, and 110,000 pounds of soil. The University expects that 90 percent of rainwater that falls on a green roof will be absorbed by the soil and vegetation, reducing the amount of runoff that flows to sewers and increasing the amount of rainfall naturally recycled through the atmosphere. The green roof also acts as insulation, keeping the building underneath cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which reduces energy usage.

U Texas Athletics Bump Up Water Conservation Efforts

University of Texas Athletics has begun an initiative to participate in the City of Austin's effort to conserve water. The department has chosen to only water athletic fields twice a week, and the new artificial football field has reduced water usage by 80 percent. UT has also turned off several landmark water fountains across campus.

U Wisconsin-Milwaukee Reduces Storm-Water Runoff

The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee has undertaken a project that will divert approximately 84 percent of rainfall from minor storms away from the sewer system. Rainwater collected from a few campus rooftops and a parking lot will be directed into a new system of streams that are lined with native flowers, grasses, and sedges. The plants will filter and absorb a large portion of the water.

U Tampa Expands Recycling, Increases Energy & Water Conservation

The University of Tampa (FL) has expanded its recycling program and has implemented several new energy and water conservation initiatives. 15 new recycling receptacles have been placed in buildings around campus to allow faculty, staff, and students to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Recent energy initiatives include replacing 729 175-watt light bulbs with 420 80-watt bulbs, which will save UT approximately $125,000 per year; replacing window air conditioning units in one campus building with central air, which will reduce energy use by 60 percent; and installing a new air chiller and two air handlers in a campus gymnasium. UT has also installed 955 tamper-proof 1.2 gallon-per-minute shower heads.

Purchase College Announces Green Landscaping Project

Purchase College (NY) has announced plans to renovate its central plaza. The renovation will reduce the amount of pavement by 25 percent and increase the thermal properties for the occupied spaces below the plaza. Plants will include a variety of native and adapted trees, shrubs, grasses and ground cover planted in soils specifically engineered to promote infiltration and plant health. In addition, about 4,000 linear feet of existing granite paving will be re-used as curbing around the perimeter of the new planting beds. The project seeks to reduce the amount of current surface runoff, slow the infiltration rate of rainwater, and act as a bio-filter to improve the water quality of runoff conveyed to the existing storm system. The work is scheduled for completion by August 2012.

Calvin College Plants Rain Garden

Calvin College (MI) has installed a rain garden on its campus. The garden features irises, pink phlox, Black-eyed Susans, and mature oak, spruce, and maple trees.

U Texas El Paso, Cleveland State U Install Green Roofs

The University of Texas at El Paso and Cleveland State University (OH) have each installed a green roof on their campuses. The UT El Paso installation, which is located on top of the Biology Building, is 9,156 square feet and features such plants as regal mist, white evening primrose, and sun gold gazania. The 7,000 square-foot CSU green roof was installed by 20 volunteers and contains 15,000 plants. The installation, which cost $250,000, was a gift donated by the classes of 2009 and 2010.

Oklahoma State U to Upgrade Water System

Oklahoma State University has announced plans to undergo a water system upgrade that will allow the University to rely on untreated or partially treated water for some uses that do not require drinking-quality water. The University expects to save as much as $6 million in four to five years by running its own water system instead of purchasing water from the City. OSU's new system will be capable of serving as a backup to the municipal system in case of emergency.

U Houston-Victoria Uses Xeriscaping to Save Water

The University of Houston-Victoria (TX) has installed a new xeriscape, landscaping that seeks to conserve water and protect the environment. The 48-by-56-square-foot area is made up of large boulders, mulch, moss rock, small landscaping stones known as cobble, and Texas native flowering shrubs. The xeriscape will allow UHV to conserve about half the amount of water the University previously used to irrigate the site.

U Western Ontario Installs Rooftop Garden

The University of Western Ontario has installed a living roof on its Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavilion. UWO has also embedded probes throughout the new installation that will allow students to monitor such data as soil moisture and temperature. Areas of the roof not covered by plants have been painted in a reflective white color to reduce the heat-island effect. The University plans to install solar panels and a wind turbine on the roof as well.

Washington State U Installs Smart Sprinklers

Washington State University has installed a new water management irrigation system that turns off when it is raining. The University expects the evapotranspiration controller system to reduce water consumption by 30 percent.

Kansas State U Installs Green Roof

Two professors in Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning, and Design have installed an experimental green roof over a third-floor breezeway on campus. The professors hope to assess how a living roof can reduce the urban heat load and control runoff from the region's intense thunderstorms. The rooftop garden mixes 14 grasses and other plants native to Kansas inside a border of sedum, a shallow-rooted succulent.

U Pennsylvania Installs Water Conserving Shower Heads

The University of Pennsylvania has begun a project to install 2,500 new environmentally friendly shower heads in campus residences. The new devices will save approximately 17.25 million gallons of water per year.

U Colorado Denver Students Install Rain Garden

A group of graduate students at the University of Colorado, Denver have converted a parking lot into a storm water test site. The new water-purification site, also known as a rain garden, uses recycled materials to help filter the pollutants out of the rainwater. The rain garden will also feature solar panels that power the instruments needed to the study the storm runoff.

Western Kentucky U Greens Parking Lots

Western Kentucky University has begun a project to convert at least 5 of its parking lots to permeable asphalt. Once the regular concrete is removed, a layer of coarse gravel will be poured, and the permeable concrete will be laid on top. WKU's Parking and Administrative Services has also asked for funds to purchase two hybrid buses and to install solar carports that would produce enough electricity to service the parking and transportation building.

Bethel U Installs Green Roof

Bethel University (MN) has installed a green roof on its Brushaber Commons building. The roof is covered with approximately 4,000 square feet of sedum.

Anne Arundel CC Installs Rain Garden

Anne Arundel Community College (MD) has installed several rain gardens on its campus. More than 600 plants were installed near storm water drains to slow rushing water and filter out impurities. The project, which was funded by a $24,000 grant from the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Trust, was initiated by a student in an environmental science course.

U North Carolina Installs Reclaimed Water System

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has constructed a reclaimed water system that serves facilities on the University’s main campus. The reclaimed water system provides non-potable water which has received advanced treatment at the nearby Wastewater Treatment Plant including filtration and disinfection with ultraviolet light and chlorine. The new system will enable the University to reduce its use of drinking water for make-up water at cooling towers by about 660,000 gallons per day in Fiscal Year 2010. The University also plans to extend the reclaimed water system in the near future to serve additional cooling tower, toilet flushing, and irrigation needs on the main campus.

Cal Poly Students Install Energy & Water Efficient Dishwasher

Student interns with the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program and California Polytechnic State University’s Campus Dining have identified and installed an energy efficient dishwashing machine in the campus dining facilities. The replacement machine will save the campus 736,920 gallons of water, 9,321 therms of natural gas, and $16,647 annually.

U Georgia Uses Recycled Water in Fountains

The University of Georgia has begun using recycled water in two campus fountains. UGA officials turned off the fountains during the 2007 drought and in the spring of 2008, a group of engineers redesigned the fountains to use rainwater collected on campus. The system also captures air-conditioning condensation to use in the fountains.

U Kansas Installs Rain Garden

More than 200 student and community volunteers at the University of Kansas have installed a rain garden at the campus' Recreation Fitness Center. The 5,500 square foot rain garden, which allows for the absorption of rainwater runoff from urban areas such as roofs, sidewalks, driveways, and lawns, features more than 2,500 native plants. Once established, the garden will be self-sustaining, and the native plants will be able to survive with no fertilizer or pesticides and little maintenance.

Furman U Golf Club Goes Green

The Furman University (SC) Golf Club has begun the Sanctuary Initiative, which aims to green the Club's operations and landscaping. The Club has installed a new irrigation system that uses less water and has allowed 15 acres of previously maintained areas on the course to become natural in an effort to cut down on fertilizer and chemical applications. Integrated Pest Management practices are being employed to reduce or eliminate pesticide use and simultaneously keep pest populations at an acceptable level.

Purdue U Installs Green Roof

Purdue University (IN) has installed a green roof on its Schleman Hall of Student Services. PU received a $68,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to help fund the new installation.

U Wisconsin Platteville Installs Rain Garden, Pervious Concrete

The University of Wisconsin, Platteville has installed a rain garden and a new parking lot made of pervious concrete. The rain garden uses vegetation and special soil to capture and absorb suspended solids such as sand, salt, grease, and garbage before they drain into the water shed. Water that is not absorbed by the soil drains into a pipe that filters out harmful pollutants and is transported to Rountree Branch Creek. The pervious concrete also helps to reduce water pollution. Water is absorbed by the concrete or the thick layer of gravel that lies beneath it. Water that is not absorbed is filtered before being transported to the creek.

App State U Students Pass Water Conservation Legislation

Appalachian State University’s (NC) Student Government Association has passed legislation recommending that all urinals in new campus buildings or renovated structures conform to low-flow standards. The legislation asks that the urinals use only one-eighth of a gallon of water per flush.

Auburn U Reduces Water Usage by Up to 80%

Auburn University (AL) has announced that it has reduced its water usage in landscaping by up to 80 percent in 2008. The University did so by planting drought resistant species, installing drip-tape instead of sprinklers, and using frequency and duration timers.

U Georgia Reduces Water Consumption by 28%

The University of Georgia has announced that it lowered its water consumption by 28 percent over the past year. The University has saved more than $250,000 through conservation, cost-cutting measures, and the cooperation of faculty, staff, and students. Last fall, the University initiated the Every Drop Counts educational campaign and created a Water Resources Task force composed of faculty, staff, students and administrators in response to the severe drought. Water saving measures included replacing and reconfiguring cooling units; replacing 1,500 toilets, 500 urinals, and 2,000 faucet aerators; and installing 63 water meters on cooling towers that enabled the Physical Plan to better measure water usage and detect and immediately repair malfunctions.

Western Illinois U, George Washing U Install Green Roofs

Western Illinois University has installed four vegetated roofs on the school's new Multicultural Center. All of the plants used on the roof are native to Illinois and are drought resistant. The plants, which are all species of sedum, will grow between 5 and 6 inches tall and will resemble a course shrub. George Washington University (DC) has also installed a green roof on the Elliott School of International Affairs. The 2,000 square-foot development was organized by campus environmental groups. Graduate students from GW's Sustainable Landscape Design program and members of Green GW and Net Impact installed the roof. More than 4,000 plant "sedums" were planted in a three-color layout.

U Maryland, College Park Completes Green Roof

The University of Maryland, College Park has completed the installation of a green roof on Cumberland Hall. The $350,000 green roof features extra insulation and 15 species of plants. UMD also plans to install a green roof on the Stamp Student Union in the near future.

Sarah Lawrence, Princeton, & Swarthmore Install Green Roofs

Sarah Lawrence College (NY) has installed a green roof on campus. The new roof, which is the second of its kind on campus, was paid for by the student engagement fund and features modular trays that contain sedums, succulent plants that retain water. Princeton University (NJ) has also installed a green roof on its campus. The new roof, located on its newest building, Sherrerd Hall, aims to reduce water pollution, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions that result from heating and cooling. Likewise, Swarthmore College (PA) has installed its third green roof on its campus. Swarthmore planted 15 different types of sedums and 7 other types of plants on the roof of the new dorm, Kemp Hall.

Duke U Med Center Installs Green Roof

The Duke University (NC) has installed a green roof on its Medical Center entrance. The diamond-shaped patch of plants is a pilot project to help the University decide whether or not to install a green roof on the $596 million hospital expansion.

The College of St. Joseph Installs Green Roof

The College of Mount St. Joseph (OH) has installed a green roof on its library. The roof features 8,880 plants that were obtained locally. The Library’s green roof is designed to reduce heating and cooling costs, extend the lifespan of the roof membrane, and decrease storm water runoff and pollutants into storm sewers.

U Kansas Installs Green Roof on Football Complex

The University of Kansas has installed a green roof on a portion of its new football complex. The weight room of the complex has been built underground, which reduces heating and cooling costs, so the green roof has been planted with grass and functions like a normal lawn. The University expects the green roof and underground building to save approximately $20,000 per year in energy costs.

U Idaho Installs Green Roof

The University of Idaho has begun a renovation project to install a green roof on its Student Union Building. The project will be nearly self-sufficient and will include a storm water run-off mitigation system that will collect and store run-off water. The run-off will have a higher water quality and will be stored in a series of 550-gallon containers that will be reused to water the plants on the roof in dry periods.

Triton College to Install Environmentally Friendly Roof

Triton College (IL) plans to install a one-inch layer of marble chips topping off the tar and insulation on the College Center's roof to reflect sunlight and keep the roof cool. This cooling effect will reduce cost and energy use from the building's air-conditioning and refrigeration units. Additionally, 85 percent of the original insulation will be used for the new roof. The roof has qualified for an Energy Star label.

George Washington U to Install Green Roof

George Washington University (DC) recently announced plans to install a green roof atop the Elliot School of International Affairs City View Room Terrace this summer. The 2,000 square foot green roof pilot project is the result of an initiative by GWU's Net Impact chapter, and will feature storm water run-off reduction and potential energy savings and will offer research opportunities to students.

Rice U Installs Rainwater Collection Tank

Rice University (TX) recently installed an 8,000 gallon, underground rainwater collection tank at the Rice Children's Campus which is currently under construction. The water collected in the harvesting tank will be filtered and used to irrigate the Rice Children's Campus' native trees and plants. The installation is part of several measures aimed at achieving LEED certification.

Dickinson College Building to Feature Green Roof, Light Sensors

Dickinson College (PA) recently announced its plans to install a green roof, light occupancy sensors, and other green features into the new science building on campus. The green roof will feature flowers of Dickinson's school colors, red and white, and the lighting system will include sensors that dim lights when it is bright outside and shut off the lights when there is no one in the room.