Every so often I like to include updates I’ve gotten on steps taken by campuses all around the country to go green. Here are some impressive recent ones!
U Maryland Installs Solar Trash Compactor on Campus
University of Maryland Dining Services has installed a trial solar-powered trash compactor outside a late night campus dining facility. The dining hall was notorious for having trash overflow that would not be collected until the early morning hours. The new trash compactor, which the University currently has as a free trial, can compact what eight trash cans would normally hold.
Portland State U Receives $1M for Geothermal System
Portland State University (OR) has received a $1 million grant to drill geothermal wells near a campus science building and help purchase a 1,000-ton heat pump for additional heating and cooling in the 13-building campus energy loop. Design work has begun, and well construction will start this summer. The system should be operational in 2011.
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.
Yale U Kroon Hall Achieves LEED Platinum
Yale University’s (CT) Kroon Hall has received LEED Platinum certification. The new home of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies was designed to use 81 percent less water and 58 percent less energy than a comparable building, and to generate 25 percent of its electricity on site from renewable sources. The east-west orientation of the building takes advantage of solar access and natural ventilation. The building is highly insulated and a green roof serves as a courtyard and covers a service lot and storage rooms below. Fresh air ventilation and free cooling cycles on air handling units reduce the need for air conditioning most of the year. Indicator lights alert occupants when conditions are suitable for opening windows. Concrete walls and exposed concrete ceilings retain heat in winter and help cool in the summer.
98 New Campuses Complete Climate Action Plans
98 new campuses have submitted Climate Action Plans (CAP) as part of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin on December 21, 2009. The plans illustrate the specific steps schools are taking to reach climate neutrality. The CAP is the second major reporting requirement of the Commitment and is due within two years of signing.
U New Hampshire, State Partner to Create Green Jobs
The University of New Hampshire and the State of New Hampshire have partnered to create the Green Launching Pad, an initiative that will bring new green technologies to the marketplace, help innovative clean technology companies succeed, and support the creation of green economy jobs in New Hampshire. Through the Green Launching Pad, companies, both established and start-ups, will receive extensive financial, operational, technical, and managerial support to launch and commercialize green energy products and services. By accelerating these products and services to market, the program aims to help reduce energy use and carbon emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities in New Hampshire. The program, which starts immediately, will draw on the engineering, energy, environmental, and business research at UNH.
Saint John’s U Opens Solar Farm
Saint John’s University (MN) has partnered with the Order of St. Benedict and Westwood Renewables, a local company who received a $2 million solar grant from Xcel energy, to build a 1,820 panel solar farm. Located on a 14-acre farm field, the 400-kilowatt solar array is expected to produce four percent of the University’s energy needs. The solar farm is also being used as an educational tool, providing tours and other learning opportunities.
King Abdullah U Receives LEED Platinum
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. Green features include 100 shared electric vehicles spread across campus; four megawatts of solar power; and a long-term habitat preservation, restoration, and protection plan.
NIIT U Builds Campus to Harvest Rainwater
NIIT University (India) has inaugurated its environmentally-conscious 100 acre, 54-building campus. The campus was built to harvest and recycle 95 percent of waste water and some buildings have been designed not to use air conditioning.
Beloit College Science Center Awarded LEED Platinum
The Beloit College (WI) Center for the Sciences has received LEED Platinum certification. The 117,000-square-foot building, which opened for classes in the fall of 2008, houses 10 academic departments and programs. The Center contains a green roof, high-recycled content in building materials and furnishings, significant reduction in energy and water use, and a storm-water cistern for watering plants in the greenhouse. Furthermore, as Chamberlin Hall—Beloit’s former science building—was deconstructed, 98 percent of those construction materials were recycled or repurposed, contributing to the new Center for the Science’s platinum rating.
Central College Academic Building Receives LEED Platinum
Central College (IA) has received LEED Platinum Certification for its newly constructed education, psychology, and communication studies building, which opened this past fall. Green features include a vegetative roof that occupants can enjoy via a rooftop patio, natural ventilation, daylight harvesting systems, and radiant floors which serve to heat and cool the facility. Rain water is captured and re-used for flushing low-flow toilets and urinals, and building materials contain high recycled content. Drought tolerant native plantings, rain gardens, and pervious pavers were incorporated into the landscape design. In addition, materials were recycled from the college’s University Apartments and several houses which were razed to make room for the project.
Iowa State U Education Addition Earns LEED Platinum
Iowa State University’s King Pavilion addition to its College of Design has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. The $6.6 million, 23,735-square-foot addition features a central, two-story “forum” surrounded by instructional studios. The structure is expected to save more than $22,000 per year in energy and reduce water usage by 20 to 30 percent over that of a similar structure. In addition, the King Pavilion contains 32 percent recycled content, including recycled steel, recycled blue-jean insulation, recycled plastics, and restroom countertops made out of 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.