Articles: Sustainability

07/2015
Green dining: West Side Dining at New York’s Stony Brook University is a 40,000-square-foot, $14.5 million building completed in July 2013. It feeds up to 400 with six dining platforms that function as mini-restaurants—all with green cooking features. Most commercial kitchen hoods operate at 100 percent capacity all day, even during non-cooking periods. But Stony Brook’s automated vent-hood system modulates fans based on the heat load and can result in up to 50 percent energy savings.

Adding green and sustainable elements to facilities during new construction and renovations is no longer an option for colleges and universities—it’s the expectation.

08/2015

The push for campuswide sustainability and a fresh commitment to student health drive institutions to rethink their dining strategies. This might mean buying more food from local farmers and better educating students about their dietary habits.

07/2015
A biomass plant opened on Middlebury’s campus in 2009, marking a significant step toward the college’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2016.

Fossil fuel and private prison divestment may make the biggest headlines when it comes to how colleges invest endowment funds—but it’s not actually that common a practice.

07/2015

Sitting in a San Francisco bistro before our flight home, we had a chance to listen to Golden State Warriors fans celebrate. We also heard more about California’s water conservation resources – a possible catastrophe in the making. Today, California faces daunting water challenges in the wake of one of the worst droughts on record.

03/2015
Hyperlocal food service: UMass Amherst Chef Don Sabola selects cherry tomatoes with Joe Czajkowski, owner and operator of Czajkowski Farms, which is less than two miles from campus. The university is set to invest more than $3 million in locally grown food annually.

A pair of draft horses often plows the campus farm at Sterling College. Sterling does have tractors—its agriculture students have to learn how to use all varieties of equipment—but the energy-saving horses are just one step in the Vermont school’s extensive and award-winning sustainable dining program.

03/2015
The Science Education and Research Center at Temple University has 52 research labs and 16 teaching labs.

At seven stories tall and 247,000 square feet, the Science Education and Research Center at Temple University in Philadelphia is one of the largest buildings devoted exclusively to scientific research in the city’s region.

With several high-tech learning spaces, the center promotes innovation while fostering collaboration.

01/2015
Institutions have implemented more innovative waste management practices since a major stream of recycling revenue dried up.

For many colleges and universities, there used to be gold in garbage. Or, at least, there was some revenue to go along with the recycling stream. But two years ago, the whole landfill landscape changed.

01/2015

In the 1990s, Al Gore warned the public about the consequences of global warming. Though Gore may not have been the father of campus recycling nor the Internet, he and other like minded politicians placed the environmental public policy ball in play within the executive and legislative branches of Federal and State governments.

12/2014
More than two thirds of administrators surveyed say they expect to start or complete a major renovation project in 2015. (Click to enlarge)

In many ways, 2015 will look a lot like 2014 with respect to facilities. But there are trends impacting the creation and use of physical space on virtually every college and university campus.

12/2014

At the drop of a hat, we run down to the grocery store to grab food and water - never thinking these consumables are actually vulnerable to the threat of agroterrorism. Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, put it this way "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do.”

11/2014

Taught by Jennie Stephens, associate professor of environmental science and policy, Clark University, Mass.

11/2014
Through The Pizza Box Composting Project, six bright green dumpsters with a pizza painted on them have been placed near North Carolina State's residence halls.

The order: large pizza, extra green.

To increase composting efforts on campus, North Carolina State University has been focusing on the proper disposal of a popular item used by students: pizza boxes.

10/2014
More institutions are creating energy conversation plans that cover the entire campus rather than just individual buildings.

Conservation on campus is about saving money and electricity at a time of lagging state funding and soaring global demand for power. Worldwide energy use is slated to jump 56 percent by 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, students and faculty are increasingly well-versed in energy use and are demanding sustainable solutions.

10/2014

Mercer University Bears football fans who enter the Macon, Ga., campus through the Stadium Drive entrance now pass the school’s new fountain and surrounding rain garden. The garden, which is 1.5 acres, is not only attractively landscaped—it serves a dual purpose by collecting rainwater runoff from nearby parking lots.

10/2014

Back in September, the Crough Center at The Catholic University of America (D.C.) became the first building in the world to be LEED certified by students as part of a formal course.

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