Examples of Sustainable Design
and Development Projects
on theUniversity of Oregon Campus
Prepared by the University Planning Office
In progress- February 2004
The University of Oregon has had a long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility. For example, reducing energy use on campus has been a primary focus for decades. Despite substantial construction over the past decade, the overall campus electrical use has not increased due to energy-conservation retrofit projects. All recently completed major projects (over $60 million worth of work) have been awarded the regional Energy Smart award.
The university also has been nationally recognized for its transportation innovation. All construction projects make every effort to encourage alternate modes of transportation. Fewer than 40% of all trips to and from the university are made by automobiles, compared to 74% of trips made in the surrounding community. Incentives include nearby student family housing, free bus passes for faculty, staff, and students, on-campus transit stations, and numerous bicycle amenities. Overall there are more bike parking spaces than car parking spaces on campus.
The university’s commitment to sustainable design expanded with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Plan in 2000. The Sustainable Development Plan requires the application of sustainable design principles to all new development and remodeling projects (to review a copy of the document, visit the University Planning Office web site at http://www.uoregon.edu/~uplan/subjects/Sustainability/SDPFull.pdf. It strengthens sustainable practices and the collaborative design process that began with Christopher Alexander’s The Oregon Experiment (1975).
Below are some examples of projects that have integrated sustainable design features. All of these projects, except for the recently completed East Campus Children’s Center, were designed prior to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Plan. As the Sustainable Development Plan is implemented, many of these sustainable concepts will become embedded into the typical design process.
Working in concert with the State of Oregon’s State Energy Efficient Design program (SEED), the project was modeled to test its of energy consumption. Various energy conservation measures were tested, and all feasible energy savings measures were included. In addition, the existing large laminated beams were reused to the greatest extent possible.
For several years the university has allowed the vegetation on the gravel parking lot at the stadium to grow, providing a method of lessening the amount of dust entering the air and avoiding the need to asphalt the lot. This has also lessened the amount of storm water entering the piped system. After the expansion, the lot will remain gravel.
Runoff from new, asphalted parking areas (most required for disabled parking) will be retained on site. Also, almost all of the runoff from the field and the seating areas within the stadium will be retained on site.
Early in the planning of the project, the unique nature of the Patterson Slough was recognized, and it was delineated as a wetland. Setbacks beyond what is required by wetlands protection have been established as a way to preserve and enhance this wildlife habitat.
Recently the City of Eugene granted a request to modify the land use code so that the amount of parking required by the stadium could be reduced. A transportation management plan reducing the use of the single-occupant vehicle for game-day travel by providing attractive alternatives has been in place for the last five years and will be expanded to meet the needs of the expanded stadium.
East Campus Children’s Center
This is the first project that was initiated after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Plan. Therefore, it had to integrate the patterns and concepts as described in the Plan. Sustainability was a prime consideration in the form of the building and in the selection of materials; it is designed for natural ventilation flow, daylighting, and a ground source heat pump. It also has a swale to slow down the entry of storm water into the storm sewer system.
Overall, the project achieves the equivalence of the LEED Rating System requirements.
Photo Voltaic Student Project
A student-led project to install an array of photo voltaic panels on campus is underway. The Ecological Design Center completing the first phase of this project, which focuses primarily on education and the installation of a demonstration panel project at the Erb Memorial Union. Eventually, a photo voltaic system will be installed on a campus roof that will produce 72,577 kWh/yr or a total savings of over $4,000 according to Eugene’s average yearly solar radiation and current energy rates.
Knight Law Center and Student Recreation Center
Both of these recent projects were awarded the Energy Smart Award due to the integration of energy conservation measures beyond the SEED program requirements (all State-owned buildings must meet stricter energy codes equal to about an additional 20 percent reduction in energy use).
All campus grounds are maintained using an Integrated Pest Management Program. In addition, all new landscape projects use a weather based irrigation system to reduce water use and run-off. All yard waste is mulched and used on campus. In addition, biodiesel is now used to fuel the landscape vehicles and equipment.
Plant selection and placement consider many sustainable issues ranging from: wildlife habitat, energy conservation (e.g. shade), and adaptability. The recently adopted Campus Tree Plan emphasizes the important environmental role trees play on campus. The plan includes policies for proper tree planting (e.g., provide adequate root zone space) and strict standards for tree protection during construction.
The use of on-site drainage to reduce and cleanse storm water drainage into the Millrace and the Willamette River is now becoming a standard approach whenever possible. For example, a series of student design-build projects lead by Stan Jones, Landscape Architecture Department, have created bioswales on either side of the Millrace to cleanse and reduce storm water from the adjacent parking lot and Franklin Blvd. Other examples include a small bioswale in the lower courtyard of the renovated McKenzie Hall (old Law Center) that was created to solve drainage concerns in a very cost effective and sustainable manner. In addition an outside patio that was renovated as part of the MRI Expansion Project at Straub Hall uses impervious surfaces and a roof drain into the planting area. Other upcoming projects will increase efforts in this area.
Lillis Business Center
The Lillis Business Center is the university’s most ambitious sustainable project yet. The 145,000 square foot building will use about 45% less energy than state code requires and will incorporate a full spectrum of sustainable measures including:
This large indoor practice facility developed an innovative daylighting system (skylights and clerestory windows) coupled with a dimmable electric lighting system that can sense when the sun is providing enough light and reduce the electric light.
Organic Chemistry Lab Remodels
Labs consume a large amount of energy representing an opportunity to implement energy saving measures, yet they have strict safety standards that must be met that can make this difficult. Through the use of innovative measures, the amount of air required for the ventilation systems in the Onyx Bridge Organic Chemistry Research Labs was reduced resulting in substantial energy savings. More recently, the new Green Chemistry Lab was designed to allow waste air to be reused in the ventilation system without jeopardizing strict environmental and safety regulations. More information about UO green chemistry program is available at: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~hutchlab/greenchem
Retrofitting light fixtures, controls (e.g. occupancy sensors) and HVAC systems (e.g. energy efficient equipment and carefully zoned systems) in buildings throughout campus has been a common goal for decades. Such efforts were part of the substantial remodel of Mackenzie Hall (old Law Center). Simple solutions to cool buildings, such a reducing the lighting output, enhancing ventilation, and installing exterior awnings, are always the first choice. As a result of these efforts, electrical use on campus has remained virtually the same over the past ten years despite substantial increases in building square footage (over 800,00 gsf since 1990) and student population (3,000 since 1990).
Most recently, a solar water heating system was installed on Gerlinger Annex to heat the water supply for the locker rooms and bathrooms. This eliminates the need to bring steam through the building in the summer months, which had the adverse effect of warming the entire building. The cost savings generated from not having to cool the building (air conditioning) will pay for the project in two years, with benefits continuing to accrue for 20 or 30 additional years.
In addition low-VOC paint is always used in remodel projects. New environmentally friendly products are always being researched. For example, recycled-content carpeting was installed in the PLC renovation project.
The university is nationally recognized for its transportation innovation. Fewer than 40% of all trips to and from the university are made by automobiles, compared to 74% in the surrounding community. Incentives include nearby student family housing, free bus passes for faculty, staff, and students, on-campus transit stations, and numerous bicycle amenities. Overall there are more bike parking spaces than car parking spaces on campus.
For more information, contact:
Christine Taylor Thompson e-mail: email@example.com
University Planning Office web site: http://www.uoregon.edu/~uplan/subjects/Sustainability/SDPFull.pdf
1276 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403 (541) 346-5572, Fax: (541) 346-6197
University of Oregon and Sustainable Campus Practices
The University of Oregon has been pro-active in all Sustainable Campus practices. This is demonstrated in the Comprehensive Campus Environmental Policy implemented in 1998 through the Administration. To view the document, see listed web site and click on policies: http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/office-sustainability/environmental-issues-committee
INTEGRATES ENVIRONMENTAL KNOWLEDGE INTO ALL RELEVANT DISCIPLINES:
Many classes at the University of Oregon address Environmental Issues through class projects, guest speakers and class lectures. There are many opportunities for students to do internships and attain research credits for projects involving environmental issues. Many students get involved with research or internship projects directly relating to the University of Oregon Campus, while others gain internships in outside organizations, government offices or businesses focusing on environmental issues. Of note: the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon, is an interdisciplinary program that integrates environmental knowledge into the course work. Though these courses are not specifically entitled Environmental Studies, they are applicable to the major and are available to other majors. These courses include: Anthropology, Chemistry, Business, Management, Biology, Geography, Planning Public Policy and Management among other courses. All incorporate environmental issues into the curriculum.
Examples of on-campus academic opportunities for environmental issues: Campus Zero Waste Program, Community Internship Project, Student Environmental Groups, Facilities, Land Air and Water, among other groups and departments, offer academic opportunities (either for a class project or internship / independent study) for students to work on environmental issues. Projects from students in College of Business, Journalism, Allied Arts and Architecture, Environmental Studies, Planning Public Policy and Management, have shaped many of the University's environmental projects. Some projects have included: developing advertising campaigns for waste reduction, cost-benefit analysis of environmental practices, energy design projects, coordination of several campus environmental conferences and energy / environmental campus audits.
IMPROVES UNDERGRADUATE ENVIRONMENTAL COURSE OFFERINGS:
The University of Oregon has been a leader in developing and implementing a comprehensive Environmental Studies Program. Over the last few years, a masters and doctorate program were added in addition to an Environmental Sciences Major. Currently there are officially 4 FTE Faculty who are the official Environmental Studies Professors. There are ~100 associated faculty with the Environmental Studies Program. They collectively teach over 500 courses that are available for students to apply to the Environmental Studies and Science majors. These are spread out through many disciplines. Courses are always being evaluated and new courses are being proposed and implemented. Additionally, the number of students applying to this program is increasing annually.
Currently there are:
450 Environmental Studies Majors
100 Environmental Science Majors
50 Environmental Studies M.A/M.S.
3 Environmental Studies PhD. Candidates
PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO STUDY CAMPUS AND LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
As stated previously, many majors require internships in order to graduate. The University of Oregon provides many opportunities on and off campus for students to be involved with environmental issues through internships. On-campus was mentioned above. There are over 60 places off campus, throughout the local community, where students are placed to do Environmental Studies/issues internships.
Additionally, there is an opportunity for students to participate in any of the assorted campus committees that deal with Environmental Issues as follows: Campus Environmental Issues Committee, Planning Committee, Transportation Committee among several others.
CONDUCTS A CAMPUS ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT
The University of Oregon is continuously auditing itself on environmental issues. The Campus has remained pro-active on these issues. The Students initiated a formal audit in 1990. Through the Campus Environmental Issues Committee, an more comprehensive audit was performed in 1995 through the Community Planning Workshop (campus department) and administered through the VP of Administration. Recommendations were addressed and the Campus Comprehensive Environmental Policy and Recycled Paper Policy were created as a result. Additionally, a Campus Environmental Audit class was recommended through the Campus Environmental Issues Committee. It was taught in Fall term, 1999, and though it is supported through the committee, is has been a challenge to find a qualified person to continue to teach it annually.
INSTITUTES ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PURCHASING PRACTICES
The Campus Comprehensive Environmental Policy addresses the issue of instituting environmentally responsible purchasing practices. The University, Facilities and Print Shop Purchasing Managers, have been working hard on: integrating waste reduction into vendor contracts, considering purchase of products made from Recycled materials as well as products with low-toxicity. This is a huge challenge as the marketplace is just beginning to open up to provide materials that meet the performance specs and competitive pricing.
Here are some of the accomplishments and on-going projects regarding purchasing:
-The University Printing Department has been encouraging the purchase of recycled content paper for over 10 years. As the paper has become cost competitive and able to perform to high standards, the University has actively been eliminating use of non-recycled content paper. Currently, over 95% of the copy papers used at the University of Oregon has at least 50% recycled content. The default copy paper (chlorine-free now in white and multi-colors) is 100% post-consumer recycled content paper. Additionally, the Campus Recycled Paper Policy supports this practice.
-The University maintains a reusable office supply exchange and furniture exchange. Administration, Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students and Student Groups all can leave things they don't need anymore and take what they need. The Reusable Office Supply Exchange has averaged about $16,000 in annual savings from purchasing new office supplies, while the Furniture Exchange has give out about $75,000 in office furniture annually.
-There is a surplus-exchange list serve that all departments participate in. This also is an exchange of materials to reduce costs in disposal and purchasing. This has saved money for all departments, while reducing costs of treating equipment as State Surplus.
-The Campus vending machine contract includes a charge to the vendor for energy use and waste production.
-The office supplies contract was reviewed for waste reduction in packaging of materials. The company pro-actively reduced all packaging as recommended and changed from a daily shipping/ordering to weekly.
-In Facilities, packaging has been reduced in bulk purchasing of materials. When possible, packaging is eliminating through the vendor contracts.
-The University has recently started purchasing carpet made from 100% recycled materials. Additionally, when the carpet wears out, it is recycled as part of the original contract, thus saving landfilling cost and impact.
-A Buy Recycled teleconference was held in November.
-A Buy Recycled presentation will be held for all Campus Purchasing Managers on May 10. The Recycling Program Manager and Facilities Purchasing Manager will be the guest speakers.
-All copy machines on campus now do double sided copying and also contain energy saving features.
-More and more contracts are being evaluated and specified to encourage waste reduction.
-More and more purchases of products made from recycled materials are being pursued as the products become available.
The University is taking many steps to support environmental purchasing practices. As more and more companies are presenting these types of products, the opportunities will increase to take these steps.
REDUCES CAMPUS WASTE
The University of Oregon has a comprehensive Campus Zero Waste Program which services over 1500 collection sites, while employing 5 full-time staff, ~42 student employees and countless academic interns. Waste reduction and public education are fundamental to the Campus Zero Waste Program. The Campus Zero Waste Program at the University of Oregon is an award winning program that is serving as a model nationwide for other colleges. One of the cornerstones of the Campus Zero Waste Program is student involvement. Students not only have opportunities for employment which adds to their education, students also have opportunities for professional and leadership development through this program. Not only does the program function to recycle campus waste, the program has been active in all other aspects of the campus community to incorporate waste reduction into all campus practices. Recycling is the starting point for sustainability issues involving resource conservation.
The Campus Zero Waste Program Manager serves to work with the campus community and operations to incorporate waste reduction and sustainable practices into all aspects of University business. Currently, the Manager is involved in: all C/D projects and does a presentation for all pre-constructs; is working with all project contracts to incorporate waste management into all contracts; working with all contracts to incorporate recycling stations into all remodels/new construction; working with purchasing folks to provide information on environmental purchasing opportunities; working with the Resource Conservation Team on creating educational programs to reduce individual impact on campus resources.
MAXIMIZING ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The University of Oregon has been pro-active on incorporating energy conservation and efficiency into all operations and campus environmental education. As stated above, the Campus Environmental Policy addresses the issue of energy conservation in all campus practices. The Campus Environmental Policy acts as a support document for all practices that the University is striving towards. Here are some of the steps the University has taken in this direction:
-Hired an Energy Specialist to work on all new construction and remodel projects to analyze and advocate for energy efficiency and practice in all projects. Additionally, this position exists to improve existing systems, through project proposals and partnerships with local electric company.
-Working with EWEB on energy efficiency projects such as exit sign lighting upgrade, ballast and bulb replacement, maintenance projects to improve energy efficiency
-Research and acquire energy conservation rebates
-Buy energy efficient equipment
-Analyze energy use
-Examine existing energy use to determine priorities in upgrading for energy savings
-Formed the Resource Conservation Team, which includes Power Plant Manager, HVAC Manager, Energy Specialist and Recycling Program Manager. Systems and individual impact are reviewed. Goal is to additionally educate campus on ways to reduce impact and increase energy efficiency.
-Analyze emissions and develop projects to reduce impacts
-Work with purchasing to encourage purchases of energy efficient equipment such as computers and copy machines
MAKE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY A TOP PRIORITY IN CAMPUS LAND-USE,
TRANSPORTATION AND BUILDING PLANNING
During 1999, the Campus Planning Committee began creating Sustainable Development Guidelines for the long-range plan at the University of Oregon. These guidelines address land-use, transportation and building planning among other issues such as environmental purchasing in construction and incorporating sustainable lifestyles (such as recycling) into all projects. This document is currently in the feedback and evaluation process. After final approval of the document, it will be implemented into the campus long-range plan and steps will be taken to inform user groups and integrate these guidelines into all campus plans, including specs on all new construction/demolition projects.
Already, the Energy Specialist is working on all new projects to recommend and advocate for energy efficient systems and the Recycling Manager is working on all new projects to reduce and recycle all the waste generated, while incorporating recycling systems into new projects. Transportation issues have additionally been being addressed through a new position of a Bicycle Coordinator, who advocates for alternative transportation opportunities in all projects (such as covered bicycle parking). The Campus Planning Committee examines all the land-use issues that challenge the University as it grows.
There is a proposal to create a Transportation Resource Center for the campus community to utilize in finding alternatives to and from campus that would reduce car impact. The campus has funded bus passes for all students, faculty, staff and administration for years in order to facilitate energy, emissions and parking impact not only at the University but in the community at large.
The Sustainable Development Guidelines can be found on the Campus Planning page under projects:
SUPPORTS STUDENTS WHO SEEK ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE CAREERS
The University of Oregon has established an on-line network for internships and has a Career Center who works with students to find professional jobs in their fields. The Environmental Studies Department has a resource center and additionally seeks out and posts/networks environmental careers to all interested parties. Student groups have been working with the student population to create awareness in students seeking employment. This Earthweek, students worked with a national campaign called Ecopledge, to encourage students to think about finding positions with companies who operate sustainably and promote environmental stewardship. Additionally, the Campus Zero Waste Program works directly with students to keep them posted on job and Internships postings related to environmentally responsible careers.
EUGENE--Gov. John Kitzhaber's executive order,
signed today (May 17) and setting state agencies on a course toward greater sustainability, is in harmony with a broad range of efforts already under way at the University of Oregon.
"We are energetically pursuing an integrated approach to increasing sustainability," says Dan Williams, UO vice president for administration. "These efforts range across all aspects of our work-in our facilities and long-term planning, our academic programs, our extensive recycling program and our work in energy management and conservation."
This commitment to sustainability leaves its mark on the physical layout of campus.
"We fully integrate sustainable approaches into building design and construction-that's just how we do business," says Chris Ramey, University Planning director and university architect. "One measure of this, for example, is that there are more places to park bicycles on campus than there are places to park cars."
The university is a leader in another key area of sustainability-recycling. The UO Campus Zero Waste Program, founded in 1991, has received national recognition and was honored as the 1997 Outstanding School Recycling Program by the National Recycling Coalition.
"We are pleased to see the governor's executive order that recognizes the benefits of environmental stewardship in state business practices," says Karyn Kaplan, Campus Zero Waste Program manager. "This move is right in line with our work here at the UO, where we are very proactive in our stewardship practices."
Among the many efforts related to sustainability at the UO are:
For example, more than 95 percent of the copy paper used at the UO has at least 50 percent recycled content. The default copy paper contains 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. All campus copy machines now do double-sided copying and contain energy-saving features.
The UO maintains the Reusable Office Supply Exchange and a furniture exchange where campus groups can contribute surplus items and acquire what they need. The furniture exchange redistributes about $75,000 in office furniture annually.
The campus vending machine contract includes a charge to the vendor for energy use and waste production.
The university has recently started purchasing carpet made from 100 percent recycled materials. Additionally, when the carpet wears out, it is recycled as part of the original contract, thus saving landfill costs and reducing environmental impact.
A copy of the UO Comprehensive Environmental Policy
Make environmental sustainability a top priority in campus land-use, transportation and building planning. During 1999, the Campus Planning Committee began creating Sustainable Development Guidelines for the university's long-range plan. These guidelines address land-use, transportation and building planning among other issues such as environmental purchasing in construction and incorporating sustainable lifestyles (such as recycling) into all projects. This document is currently in the comment-and-evaluation process. After final approval, it will be implemented into the campus long-range plan.
Support for students who seek environmentally responsible careers. The UO has established an on-line network for internships and has a Career Center that works with students to find professional jobs in their fields. The Environmental Studies Program has a resource center and, additionally seeks out and posts information about environmental careers. This spring during Earth Week, students worked with a national campaign called Ecopledge, to encourage students to think about finding positions with companies who operate in a sustainable manner and who promote environmental stewardship.
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