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.
According to new research, energy efficiency is more important to college and university IT managers than ever. About three-quarters of all campuses have a program in place or in development to reduce energy consumption in IT, and most of those have already begun seeing cost savings from their efforts. But barriers to more widespread energy efficiency initiatives remain.
Santa Clara University has just gone live with a new 967.68 kilowatt solar energy system financed through Perpetual Energy Systems. Perpetual, a division of Alliant, funds renewable energy projects. The system, which is the second one added to the university's solar array, is expected to generate an estimated 1.42 million kW hours of energy in its first full year of operation.
Engineering students at Stanford have a new home. The university recently dedicated the Huang Engineering Center, which will house 270 faculty, staff, and students from the Management Science and Engineering, the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.
A three-week competition will put a focus on reducing energy and water usage as well as greenhouse gas emissions in 38 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
Yale is going "all in" with a set of sustainability goals that reach into all operational aspects of the New Haven, CT university. President Richard Levin has formally accepted the recommendations of the "Sustainability Strategic Plan 2010-2013" set forth by Yale's Sustainability Task Force.
The Presidents' Climate Commitment is not exactly on track at many institutions, but IT departments' efforts are galvanizing campuses toward longer-term carbon-neutral goals.
The University of California, San Diego is enjoying dramatic payoffs from energy saving improvements completed on campus about five years ago, and one way it's doing that is by making facility energy usage data available online.
Purdue University has successfully tested out a technique for controlling operations of its computing clusters in overheating conditions by slowing down the performance of its nodes.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is trying out an "intelligent" ventilation system as part of a program to reduce electricity usage by 15 percent over the next three years.
Carnegie Mellon University has turned to crowdsourcing to develop new ideas for managing power in electric cars. Researchers at the Pittsburgh institution have announced a contest to find the most efficient methods, and the grand prize will be an electric car.
Nimbus Data Systems this week unveiled a solid state flash system for enterprises that can support capacities reaching nearly 250 terabytes within a single file system.
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment has lost 15 signatories in a recent move to prune those institutions that haven't met any of their deadlines since committing to the sustainability initiative. The move was made by the consortium's steering committee, which simultaneously congratulated the remaining 673 institutions for the progress they've made.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is adopting an aggressive, all-encompassing stance to become as green as possible, recouping expenses with long-term energy savings.
IT organizations at American colleges and universities are getting clever with cost cutting. Two IT leaders share some of the small, creative tactics they've used to save hundreds of thousands of dollars for their schools while actually managing to improve services for their constituents.