The President’s Committee on Sustainability (COS) approved Student Green Fee funding for fourteen new projects that will advance the goals of the College’s Sustainability Policy first announced by President Reveley in the spring of 2008. Twenty-eight separate proposals were submitted this spring, totaling $263,000. Last fall COS announced the first round of awards with five projects totaling $53,000. Green Fees have also been allocated to the Green Endowment ($40,000) and four Student Summer Research Grants ($20,000). This spring COS had approximately $96,000 to allocate to sustainability projects.
“We had a diverse group of proposals that came from faculty, students and staff in several different units of the College. All of them addressed areas needing improvement as we continue to address the College’s sustainability needs. We were only limited by the amount of funds available,” said Lynda Butler, Co-Chair of COS and Interim Dean of the Law School.
Projects addressing the need to improve energy efficiency and performance of existing facilities include:
- Swem Library Towel Dispenser Replacement ($4500): From Swem Library Staff. Retrofit will save approximately $1,756 in paper towel costs during the first year of operation and $4,455 in each subsequent year. The amount of paper waste will also be drastically reduced resulting in a lowered carbon footprint.
- Tyler Hall HVAC ($27,000): From Facilities Management. HVAC replacement will improve energy efficiency, yielding a projected payback of 5.3 years and continued savings thereafter with a lowered carbon footprint.
- Washington Hall HVAC Phase I ($23,000): From Facilities Management. Installation of variable speed drives on supply fans will improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and produce annual savings of $7600.
- VIMS: Fluorescent Light Upgrades in the Hargis Library ($18,000): Replacement of existing fixtures with enhanced energy efficient fixtures will reduce energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint.
Other projects that include pilot studies and education/outreach programs include:
- Eco-House Energy Use Monitoring ($5300): From Lauren Edmonds on behalf of Eco-House. To provide energy metering for the Eco-House. One of the goals of Eco-House is to learn how changes in resident life can improve energy efficiencies in the W&M residence Halls. Metering will allow for a variety of test cases and competitions among residents that will yield useful data on best energy practices.
- The Reduce Your Use-athon ($150): From Sarah Baum on behalf of SEAC. Support for the SEAC Energy Campaign in the Randolph Complex. COS provided Green Fee support to install electric metering in the Randolph Complex last fall. This support will allow SEAC to utilize that metering capability to run energy savings competitions.
- The Campus Kitchen ($225): From Jessica Kim on behalf of Campus Kitchen. To support replacement of Styrofoam food containers with the biodegradable containers currently used in Dining Services.
- Eco-Ambassadors Program ($3150): From Pat van Zandt (Swem) and John Kirn (student). To support an Eco-Ambassadors pilot program whose purpose is to enlist and educate student and staff volunteers (Eco-Ambassadors) to work cooperatively in teams of two to initiate and promote sustainability efforts in units, departments or divisions across the university. The ultimate goal is to introduce better environmental practices into buildings and offices around campus. A secondary goal is to bring students and staff members together to strengthen the W&M community, as well as to develop a culture of stewardship (per Grand Challenge 3 of the strategic plan).
- Green Roof Pilot Study ($1900): From Amanda Anderson (student) and Mark Forsyth (Biology – faculty project advisor) To provide a green roof testing facility to support student and faculty research aimed at evaluating green roof design and maintenance characteristics. Project will provide support and knowledge that will aid determination of an optimal design for a green roof on campus, and allow projections of cost and continuing maintenance requirements needed to evaluate feasibility.
- GreenBoard Training ($2500): From Tom Linneman (Sociology) and Michael Blum (Information Technology). Support to develop and offer a series of workshops geared toward the needs and interests of individuals and departments who wish to utilize electronic media for a paperless classroom.
- Reusable Takeout Container Pilot Study ($75): From Sarah Will and Ian Fuller (students) and Rowan Lockwood (Geology – faculty advisor) on behalf of Eco-House. To support a pilot study with the residents of Eco-House that replaces disposable take-out containers with permanent, re-usable containers. If the study is successful the objective is to extend re-usable containers to all incoming freshmen.
- VIMS: Green Team Lighting Motion Sensors ($3040): From Heidi Geisz (student) on behalf of the VIMS Green Team. Support to install motion sensors and two motion sensor controlled lights in high traffic areas. Project will significantly reduce energy use in these areas.
- Waste Receptacle Pilot Study ($1000): From Brittany Fallon (student) and Dave Shepard (Facilities Management – advisor). Support for a single dormitory pilot study to ensure that students are provided with both waste and recycling containers in dorm rooms so that recycling containers are used to increase recycling and not misused for other non-recyclable waste. If effective the program will extend to other residences.
- Student Life Signage ($2000): From Melody Porter (Student Volunteer Services) and the COS Student Life Working Group. Support for a Signage Project to encourage increased sustainability habits among students. Signage will educate students about the savings that could be realized in environmental imprint and cost by making simple changes, like reducing shower times, turning off water, recycling properly, and turning off lights when not in use.