Embracing new technologies and promoting awareness are two components of the university’s ongoing efforts to incorporate sustainability initiatives on campus.
A number of the university’s current construction projects include elements that promote sustainability, David Muzzy, the university’s energy manager, said.
These features include double-paned windows and LED lighting.
Muzzy also said the university is beginning to implement a technology known as daylight harvesting, which automatically adjusts indoor lights relative to the amount of natural light coming in through the windows.
“The technology is such that you can dim your light fixtures based on the amount of light coming in from the sunlight,” he said. “Those light fixtures need to be on a sensor so that if they sense enough sunlight coming in, they can dim or even shut off.”
The university has also made LEED certification a building priority. LEED, which stands for “leadership in energy and environmental design,” is a program run by the U.S. Green Building Council.
According to the LEED website, certified buildings are more efficient at conserving energy and help save money on utility bills.
“It gives you a level of confidence that it’s going to be more energy efficient than your standard building,” Muzzy said.
The university also promotes sustainable practices beyond the construction phase, Katie Knable, hall director for the Tom Brown Pete Wright Apartment Community, said.
Knable said Housing and Residence Life is installing recycling bins in all campus residence halls as well as trying to educate students about sustainable habits and proper practices for recycling.
“We’re getting new recycling bins for all of the residence halls, ” she said. “We’re also going to hang signs that show students what can be recycled, what can’t be recycled [and] how to recycle.”
Muzzy said the university works hard to promote sustainability and incorporate environmentally-friendly technology on campus, however, people still need to be mindful of their own energy waste.
“If they see a light on and there’s a switch, hit the switch,” Muzzy said. “You still have to take personal responsibility.”