Articles: Sustainability

06/2013

When state funds for a library expansion fell through, officials at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., got creative by repurposing an existing facility located just a few steps away.

Function: The Learning Commons is a satellite library situated on the quad and featuring spaces for students to use technology and collaborate.

06/2013
Edna Holmes Hall, a five-story residential living community at Lewis & Clark College (Ore.) last fall, is designed to use  40 percent less water and 26 percent less energy than a typical residential building.

When Vanderbilt University (Tenn.) started its practice of building green in the mid-1990s, finding plywood without VOCs—or volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to human health and the environment—wasn’t possible in the local market, recalls University Architect Keith Loiseau.

06/2013
Colby College's biomass plant.

Colby College (Maine) is now the fourth higher ed institution—and the largest—to have gone carbon neutral. Along with Colby, which has just over 1,800 students, College of the Atlantic (Maine), Green Mountain College (Vt.), and University of Minnesota at Morris have achieved carbon neutrality.

energy efficient solar panel

Increasing numbers of colleges and universities are making a commitment to foster sustainability on campus. This strategy aligns well with university missions that include public service, thought leadership and pioneering new technologies. But at the end of the day, the most compelling reason is financial.

campus energy dashboard

Do energy visualization dashboards really save energy?

In higher ed we often find that the pace of decision making can be snail-like. While not always a bad thing, it is symptomatic of what the Higher Education culture embraces—making sure all the right data is in place before making the final decision.

The University of Connecticut ranked at the top of a list of the most sustainable campuses in the world, according to results of the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, released this month.

Quality counts: Production Supervisor Eddie Rogers inspects a large poster, one of the new products offered by Pub & Print.

The University of West Georgia’s publications and printing (pub and print) department was given a mandate in 2011 to become self-funded by 2013. Dan Lewis, director of the Center for Business Excellence at the university, used business process redesign and lean six sigma to identify areas that had the greatest opportunities for improvement.

Two years ago, Sierra College (Calif.) installed CALMAC IceBank thermal energy storage tanks to help control energy costs. The tanks create ice overnight when energy in the state is generated using natural gas, and the ice is then used for cooling during the day. Michael Kane, director of the energy program at Sierra, says the three tanks on campus save from $5,000 to $10,000 per month.

Institutions of higher learning around the globe are turning green. They are embracing sustainability for many reasons, some of them economic, some of them because their student body and faculty are requesting it, and some of them just because it is the right thing to do.

At Temple, students can charge their mobile devices while catching up with friends.

Temple University (Pa.) is the latest campus to install Solar Dok picnic tables from EnerFusion. The tables, which are made from recycled plastic and cost $10,495 each (plus shipping), have built-in solar panels that provide a place to recharge numerous types of mobile devices while socializing.

There were no ribbon cuttings to mark the opening of the largest fuel cell operating on any Northeast college campus. Connecticut Governor Dannel P.

07/2012

The University of Utah will launch a fleet of electric buses this fall to shuttle some 47,000 students, staff, and administrators around its 1,500-acre campus. Forty buses, similar to the one pictured here, have been ordered from BYD, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. The drawback to electric buses in the past has been battery weight.

07/2012

Presidents, CFOs, and trustee finance committee members will not travel too far down any paths related to sustainability until their associated costs are identified and thoroughly assessed.

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