Every so often I like to list some of the strides being made by universities across the country on sustainability issues. Here as some highlights.
Central College Receives Kresge Grant for Green Building
Central College (UA) has met a Kresge Foundation’s challenge to raise $3.59 million for its education and psychology building, which opened in August and has received LEED Platinum certification. By reaching its fundraising goal, the foundation provided an additional $850,000 in grant money. The structure is home to Central’s new Center for Global Sustainability Education.
Central Florida U Debuts Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Central Florida University has partnered with Ford Motor Company and Progressive Energy to host the state’s first Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on its campus. The University’s Smart Solar Plug-in Research Facility includes parking spaces for four electric-powered vehicles where solar panels above the spaces can recharge vehicles. The vehicle can achieve up to 120 miles per gallon and will be tested in Florida.
Louisiana State U Students Use Community Garden
Louisiana State University students can now have their very own nine-by-five foot plot to grow vegetables for $10 a semester at the campus farm. The four-acre Hill Farm will allow students to use eco-friendly gardening practices to grow food.
U Albany to Install 49 kW Solar Panel System, Purchases RECs
The University at Albany has received more than $287,000 in federal stimulus money to fund the installation of a 49-kilowatt solar panel system on a campus building. The project is expected to save approximately $63,000 a year. The University also purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets. The institution purchased 800,000 kilowatt hours of wind energy with the RECs, which will help support wind farms in New York State.
Texas A&M U Students Vote for Green Fee
Texas A&M University students have voted to impose a $3 per semester student fee in order to support environmental services on campus. The fee will create the “Aggie Green Fund” and will generate $300,000 annually to carry out sustainability initiatives. This comes a year after the Texas state legislature approved a measure allowing students to implement student-driven fees.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Passes Student Green Fee
Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have passed a referendum that proposed increasing the current student green fee from $5 to $14. The first fee was implemented in the spring of 2007. One of the current programs that will continue to benefit from the newly-increased fee is the student sustainable farm, which sells produce to the university’s dining halls. The farm is relatively new, celebrating its first full harvest year. The increased fee will help plant new seeds for future farm projects
Berea College Hotel Earns LEED Gold
The Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant at Berea College (KY) has received LEED Gold certification. Boone Tavern, built by Berea College in 1909 as a campus guest house, recently underwent an $11.3-million renovation during 2008-2009 to make significant upgrades to the building’s infrastructure, improve efficiency, lower operating costs, and add modern technologies and other features for improved guest service and comfort. The renovation earned points for sustainable site work, water and energy efficiency, materials and construction methods, indoor environmental quality, use of recycled and regional materials, and innovation in design processes. As a member of the Green Hotel Association, Boone Tavern’s ongoing operating practices also demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility.
Bakersfield College to Install Solar Field
Bakersfield College (CA) has announced plans to cover one of its parking lots with solar panels that will track the sun as it moves across the sky. The power generated by the $8.3 million installation is expected to provide about one third of the College’s energy needs. The power produced when classes are not in session will be sold back to the power grid. The system, which will provide shade for 756 parking spaces, could go live as early as the fall of 2010.
U Texas Austin, Rice U Students Approve Green Fees
Students at the University of Texas at Austin and at Rice University (TX) have passed referendums to establish green funds on campus. UT Austin students approved a $5 a semester fee which could be added to tuition bills beginning in 2011. The money raised by the fees will be used for such projects as subsidizing internships for green jobs and paying for a community garden. Students at UT passed the measure with 71 percent in favor and 29 percent opposed, with 8,917 total votes cast. One out of five dollars in the UT proposal would go toward financial aid. The $9 a semester green fee at Rice will create the Rice Endowment for Sustainable Energy Technology (RESET), which will be used for campus sustainability projects.
See also: Blog Post on Rice U Green Fee
5 U Florida Buildings Receive LEED Certification
Five different University of Florida buildings and additions, located both on and off campus, have received LEED certifications. These structures include: the Steinbrenner Band Hall (Gold), the UF Dental Clinic in Naples (Gold), the Graham Center for Public Service at Pugh Hall (Silver), the NIMET Nanoscale Research Facility (Certification), and the IFAS Biological & Agricultural Research Facility in Fort Pierce (Certification). UF adopted the LEED criteria for design and construction in 2001 for all major new construction and renovations projects.
Clemson U Baruch Institute Receives LEED Gold Certification
LEED Gold certification has been awarded to the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science at Clemson University (SC). The 12,600-square-foot facility includes room for 14 faculty and staff members and large multipurpose rooms and smart classrooms that connect Clemson students statewide. Green features include censored lights, an air-conditioning system that uses an energy recovery wheel to recycle heat byproduct, natural lighting, local and natural building materials, and a storm water management system. Clemson has committed to achieve at least LEED Silver ratings for all newly constructed buildings and major renovations.
U Notre Dame Geddes Hall Receives LEED Gold
The University of Notre Dame’s Geddes Hall has received LEED Gold certification. The 65,500-square-foot home of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and Institute for Church Life opened in August of 2009 and contains a variety of materials made from both rapidly renewable materials and pre- and post-consumer recycled content. 97 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills, including the waste from the demolition the former home of the Center for Social Concerns, previously located on the same site. The use of low-flow plumbing fixtures reduced water consumption by 45 percent and the landscape design minimizes grassed lawns while employing an irrigation system with new control technology and drip irrigation. In addition, 31 percent of the building materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius.
U Toledo Completes 1.2 MW Solar & Wind Installation
The University of Toledo (OH) has completed a 1.2 MW solar and wind power system through an agreement with a Constellation Energy subsidiary. The project utilizes thin-film-on-glass photovoltaic solar technology that was originally developed based on research at the University of Toledo. A 132-foot wind turbine was also installed at the site.
Southern Illinois U Carbondale Green Fee Funds Campus Projects
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale has approved 17 projects for funding from its Green Fund. Projects that offered educational opportunities, student involvement, improvements to campus life and collaboration between multiple departments were more likely to receive money. The fund, generated by a green fee, gave out $151,174.50 to projects this semester.
U Kansas Enters $25M Energy Contract
The University of Kansas has entered into a $25 million contract with Overland Park energy company to help increase the campus’s energy efficiency. KU expects to save nearly $2 million per year by addressing aging heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; by reducing energy and water use; and by educating the campus about responsible stewardship of resources. Work has begun and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2011.
George Washington U Res Hall Certified LEED Gold
The George Washington University’s (DC) newest residence hall has received LEED Gold certification. South Hall opened in September 2009 and houses 474 fourth-year students in single-bedroom apartment-style living. Design and construction of the residence hall incorporated strategies for sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. South Hall offers students bike storage, fuel efficient vehicle parking, and recycling facilities on each floor of the ten-story building. Prior to occupancy, rigorous air quality testing was completed. Low VOC paints were used throughout the building to reduce odor and irritation for indoor air contaminants. Highly insulated wall systems, energy efficient windows with double pane, low-e glass, and an Energy Star white roof improves energy performance of the building by 24.5 percent over the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for residential buildings.
Northern Arizona U Building Earns LEED Gold
The facility housing in Northern Arizona University’s Extended Campuses has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The 23,000-square-foot extension to the School of Communication houses classrooms, offices, and production studios to support NAU’s Extended Campuses programs. The building uses about 43 percent less energy than a typical building of the same size through passive ventilation, solar-preheating of outside heating air, an HVAC system called “active chilled beams,” and sophisticated lighting and environmental controls. Water use is reduced more than 60 percent through low-water use plumbing fixtures and irrigating with municipal reclaimed water. More than 30 percent of building materials have significant recycled content and were attained and manufactured locally.
Bucks County CC Completes Green Campus Building
Bucks County Community College (PA) has unveiled its expanded Upper Bucks Campus. The $15 million, 28,000-square-foot project features solar-powered hot water, geothermal heating and air conditioning, and a vegetation-covered roof to reduce storm water runoff.