Uncategorized22 Jun 2007 02:52 pm

Develop A Campus Master Plan
In order to achieve sustainability on the large scale, all development on a campus must be coordinated. Moreover a campus can much more effectively implement its sustainability goals if it develops an overall plan of action. In any future plans for campus development make sustainability a top priority. Create short term (3-5 years) and long term (10 - 50 years) actions plans which set specific targets and define strategies to meet those goals. Institutionalize sustainability by making it the responsibility of one or more individuals or departments to actualize sustainability on campus. One possible strategy might be to create a department of sustainability on campus

Preserve Green Space
Wherever possible, maintain existing areas on campus which are vegetated. Build on any brown fields before developing on green spaces, such as grass or forest. Forests sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and often constitute or maintain the local ecosystem. Fields and forests also diffuse solar radiation, unlike black- tops which tend to increase local temperatures. Open fields and forests on college campuses to act as recreational spaces and living laboratories.

Minimize on Campus Driving
As of 2004 33% of all green house gas (GHG) emissions came from vehicles. Reducing on campus and off campus use of fossil fueled vehicles may consequently represent a significant contribution reduction to a campus’s environmental impact. The best way to minimize driving on campus is to promote the use of other forms of transportation. Incorporate means of storing bicycles on campus. While bike racks may be cheap and efficient, bike lockers are much preferable because of added security. Maintain bike paths and greenways. Universities with multiple campuses should promote efficient shuttle operations or encourage students to use public transportation rather than their own vehicles. Greenways can also be used to link campuses and encourage walking or biking. Make walking on campus safer by locating roads and parking facilities away from major on-foot routes. Call boxes along all walkways and bike paths can also increase safety.

Maintain Indigenous Plant Life
There are several advantages to the use of indigenous plant life. Local plants have evolved to local conditions; they do not require as much, if any, watering as would some non-native species. Invasive flora and foliage can also decrease biodiversity in the local eco-systems as local vegetation may not be able to compete with non-native species. The effects of such invasion work their way up the food chain as local animals may not be able to use introduced species as food sources. Using indigenous plant life avoids these potential problems. For campuses that already use a number of non-native species, restoration of the local ecology is great opportunity to improve campus sustainability.

Preserve Solar Access
Orient all new building to take advantage of the sun through photovoltaics, passive or active thermal systems, or day lighting. When constructing new buildings and planting trees on campus, preserve necessary corridors of solar radiation to optimize the use of these systems. When using passive solar heating remember that deciduous trees block sunlight and heat in the summer and let solar radiation heat buildings in the winter. PV or heat collectors should ideally be exposed to the sun for as long as possible throughout the day. Make sure development does not significantly reduce the possible exposure of these systems by thoughtlessly building high on the horizon.

Perform Impact Review of All Expansion Plans
In all future on campus development, create an environmental impact assessment caused by a planned project. Use simulation studies to determine the level of ecological damage caused by a project. Clean Air Cool Planet’s eCalculator can be used to establish a baseline level of air pollution impact and estimate the increase of impact caused by future development. Utilize green building codes in design (LEED, CHPS, or ENERGY STAR) to reduce the impact of new projects. Plan ways to counterbalance potential impacts of buildings, roads, parking lots, and other infrastructure. For example parking lots can be designed with multiple layers of gravel, sand, and tar to filter any surface runoff before it enters ground water. When impact is unavoidable attempt to create offsets. For example, when campus electrical use results in the production of green house gases (GHG’s); consider carbon sequestering and set aside land for carbon sinks in the form of green spaces, or consider programs such as Reforest the Tropics to establish carbon sinks in other areas of the world.

Uncategorized16 Apr 2007 11:32 am

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