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Articles: Facilities

The WaterHub reduces by 146 million gallons the annual amount that Emory University drains off the Atlanta municipal water system.

The landmark WaterHub at Emory University in Atlanta is an eco-friendly water recycling plant that cleanses 400,000 gallons per day of wastewater for purposes other than drinking.

Harnessing biomimicry processes, WaterHub uses beneficial bacteria, microorganisms, plants and hydroponic technology to treat black water, gray water and stormwater for later use in steam and chiller plants, as well as for toilet flushing in a number of residence halls.

This fall, travel funded by the student government at Whitman College in Washington state will be taxed based on emissions generated in getting to and from the destination.

Passed in February as a two-year pilot program, the rule is likely the first of its kind imposed by a student government at a U.S. college.

Students traveling as part of a ski club or flying to New York City for a journalism conference, for example, will calculate the cost of their emissions, but not be charged directly.

Say cheese: Most University of Alabama students avoid waiting in line at the Action Card office for an ID by submitting their application online. For anyone unable to access that system or who needs a replacement card, the office is ready to assist.

Regardless of the size of the staff or office, efficient campus card programs share several best practices: A focus on customer service, cutting-edge technology and collaboration with the campus community and beyond.

Health insurance, along with everything from faculty recruitment to information technology, is one of the emerging areas of shared services that regional consortia are now tackling. Their success in saving money and improving efficiencies has fueled a wave of new collaborations.

Colleges or universities looking to join a higher education consortium have two major options: alliances that are regionally based or those focused on a common goal.

Schools that choose to participate in a regional consortium have the advantage of being able to easily meet with other members to discuss common issues.

Also at UConn: The La Comunidad Intelectual learning community focuses on Caribbean and Latin American cultures.

The University of Connecticut’s recent announcement of a planned learning community intended for first- and second-year African-American male students has reignited a decades-old debate regarding ethnically themed living spaces on campus.

Pending decisions in Georgia and Tennessee decisions, eight states currently allow concealed carry on college campuses. Twenty-three states leave the decision to each individual college or university, while 16 states and the District of Columbia prohibit concealed handguns on campus.

Adding nearly 69,000 square feet to Eastern Wyoming College, the $23 million Career and Technical Education Center will be home to the welding and joint technology, machine tooling, cosmetology and health technology programs.

The University of Scranton has established a home for its departments of exercise science, occupational therapy and physical therapy—key components of the Panuska College of Professional Studies. The new facility is in downtown Scranton, providing easy access for surrounding community members who depend on the college’s services.

O’Neill Graduate Center

Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Located near the heart of the Bloomington campus, this new $12 million, 28,000-square-foot addition to the the School of Public and Environmental Affairs building will provide technologically advanced learning and meeting spaces for graduate programs in public affairs, environmental management and environmental science.

What’s the biggest misconception administrators outside the facilities department tend to have related to heating and cooling campus buildings?

Stanford’s solar solution: Joe Stagner, executive director of sustainability and energy management at Stanford, has led the university through a solar power-based strategy. By 2030, 75 percent of the university buildings will be powered by solar.

How colleges are getting creative about energy supply to save money on heating and cooling, and to boost building comfort for occupants

Since 2007, U.S. institutions of higher education have primarily reduced carbon emissions by increasing the use of natural gas. (Click graphic to enlarge)

Despite higher ed’s progress in reducing energy use and making facilities more sustainable, it turns out that the biggest factor in the drop has been due to a change from coal and oil to natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel.

Between 2007 and 2014, emissions per square foot have declined 13 percent, found a recent study of energy use and carbon emissions data at 343 U.S. colleges and universities from Sightlines, a university facilities cost-analysis provider, and the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute.

C. Kevin Synott is a professor in the Department of Business Administration at Eastern Connecticut State University.

How many alcoholic drinks do you think the typical female or male college student consumes each week? Clarifying misperceptions may result in fewer alcohol-related problems on our campuses.

A risk of fire may be less dangerous than the chemicals used to prevent it, and Harvard is adapting accordingly.

The Healthy Green Campus project—an initiative to improve student health through sustainable practices—grew out of a collaboration between Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, researchers from the university’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, and the Silent Spring Institute.

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