Spotlight on Green Schools
Schools are focusing more and more heavily on cutting back on the energy they use and trying to reduce their impact on the environment. The articles on these pages spotlight individual campus energy conservation programs, energy initiatives, solar installations, energy-related technology, HVAC, research, grants, policy, and other topics related to green campuses.
The University of Toledo has just installed solar and wind power at its Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation in Toledo, OH. This particular campus serves as an alternative energy laboratory for teaching, research, and demonstration, as well as to generate energy and reduce the university's carbon footprint.
Until the ‘Star Trek’ transporter is broadly available, higher ed will have to settle for telepresence, a combination of real-time video, audio, and interactive technologies that gives people in distributed locations a collaborative experience that’s as close to being in the same room as current technology allows.
That great sucking sound you hear may be the immense flow of energy required to support 21st century campuses: students, equipped with laptops and assorted handheld devices, expecting ubiquitous connectivity; lecture halls wired with projectors, electronic whiteboards, plasma video walls, and videoconferencing systems; energy-gobbling data centers that perform calculations 24/7 for research projects.
Congratulations! The data cener consolidation project is a wild success. The refresh of the main computer lab is complete. Your work is done—or is it? What will happen to the equipment that’s no longer needed?
Fujitsu has introduced a new line of "Zero Client" devices that need only LAN and power connections to provide computing services to users.
The Hank Greenspun School of Journalism now has one of the most noteworthy homes on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. Brand-new and beautiful on the outside with a full array of industry-standard production technology inside, Greenspun Hall is more than just a stunning building--it represents a new era of journalism education...
California State University, Chico has saved an average of 23,000 kWh monthly in its computer labs with the use of a network-based power management tool.
A new series of environmental challenges, led by Carbonrally, is pitting universities against one another in an ongoing online competition to see which can be the most "green."
Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI has renewed an agreement with Veolia Energy North America that will continue reducing the institution's energy requirements.
The University of Maine in Orono will be using a governance model from 4tell Solutions to track sustainability efforts. The company sells a number of reporting systems that draw data from multiple sources to provide a dashboard view of performance in specific areas. The university will be using iPlan Sustainable Performance Governance.
Brown University in Providence, RI recently signed the Sustainable Campus Charter. The charter pushes universities to follow sustainable practices in development, construction, and operations campus-wide and to include sustainability in its teachings.
American University in Washington, DC is the latest university to announce its participation in a new self-reporting sustainability program launched by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the same organization that created the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
The University of Colorado at Boulder, which has installed solar panels on the roofs of three buildings, said it expects to produce 140,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year--enough to power 20 medium-sized houses.
Florida A&M University has signed a $2.4 million contract with Siemens to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings. Work has already begun in areas such as lighting upgrades, pipe insulation, and steam trap replacements at the campus' central plant, with expected savings of at least $4.1 million.
Like many institutions of higher education, Purdue University is dealing with its fair share of economic challenges right now. Balancing those hurdles with the need to remain progressive and in touch with student needs isn't always easy, as the university's board and administration have come to realize.