Every few months I like to give some updates of green strides being made by colleges around the country.
New York U Pilots Student-Initiated Bike Share Program
New York University has kicked off the pilot phase of its bike share program. With support from the university’s Sustainability Office, a group of students designed the program with the long-term goal of lowering barriers like cost and experience for campus bicyclists. At the start of the university’s academic year, bikes will be available in several residence halls for rental by students, staff and faculty. The program will expand based on demand.
U Arizona Recreation Center Receives LEED Platinum
The University of Arizona’s Recreation Center has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. The $27.6 million, 55,000-square-foot building’s location and established programs support and encourage mass transit, walking and bicycling. Sustainable features include solar panels, preferred parking for low-emission vehicles and a water runoff site where rain is funneled to planting areas or directed to a rock pile beneath the ground.
U North Texas Dallas Opens Green Building
The University of North Texas at Dallas has opened its newest green building. The 103,000-square-foot building was designed to meet LEED Gold standards. Sustainable features include a 60,000-gallon rainwater cistern to irrigate the campus, passive solar design, a roof garden and 448 solar panels expected to produce 100.4 kilowatts of power.
James Madison U Implements Residence Hall Geothermal Units
James Madison University (VA) has drilled eco-friendly geothermal units as part of a sustainable renovation of Wayland Hall. The units are located under a parking lot and will contribute to the heating and cooling of the dormitory. Set for a 2011 completion, the 158-bed residence hall has been designed to meet LEED Platinum certification.
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona is installing 4,500 solar panels on campus that are expected to go into operation in October. As part of the university’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, the panels will generate enough electricity to power 161 homes for a year with carbon savings equivalent to planting 282 acres of pine trees.
U Pennsylvania Debuts Sustainable Horticulture Center Complex
The University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum has completed its $13 million Horticulture Center Complex. The 20,840-square-foot facility was designed and built to LEED Platinum standards with photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heaters, stormwater collection cisterns, green roofs on the equipment storage garages and a ground-source heat pump that will provide heating and air conditioning for the complex using only about one-fourth of the energy of a typical boiler and air conditioning system.
U Maryland Reduces Campus Stormwater Runoff Pollution
The University of Maryland has begun efforts to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff pollution on campus. The stormwater that runs through the university ultimately makes its way to a nearby river. To help the problem, the university has built a brick pad at the most-used bus stop with pavers far enough apart that water can trickle through instead of running off. Funded by Prince George’s County and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the university also plans to build three stormwater treatment facilities on campus as part of a larger project for nutrient and sediment removal from stormwater.
U Utah Business Students Launch Socially Responsible Venture Fund
The University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business has announced the creation of its independent student-run venture capital fund. The University Impact Fund will focus on socially responsible investing, with a particular focus on companies solving social and environmental problems. Graduate and undergraduate students from any discipline, and from several different universities, will be able to participate in the new program.
Lakehead U Campus Building Earns LEED Platinum
Lakehead University’s (ON) Orillia-based campus has earned LEED Platinum certification for its new academic building. The $43 million facility was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program and the City of Orillia. Sustainable features include a green roof, geothermal heating system and a rainwater retention pond that collects water for use in the building’s non-potable water functions like toilet flushing.
Cal State Polytechnic U Pomona Center Achieves Carbon Neutrality
With the installation of concentrated photovoltaic solar energy systems, California State Polytechnic University at Pomona’s John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies has become carbon neutral. The center will use two photovoltaic solar systems to generate 100 percent of its own clean and renewable energy, displacing 85 metric tons of greenhouses gases. The university will save $30,000 a year in reduced energy purchases.