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  1. The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance: A Call for Research

    Associated Project(s): 

    In "The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance: A Call for Research" by Lindsay Baker and Harvey Bernstein (2012), authors note research results and needs about green schools.

    What do we know today? In some areas, we have strong evidence to support the notion that school buildings impact student health and their ability to learn, and we know exactly how to ensure that the impacts are positive. For example, we know how to build classrooms that minimize background noise and allow voices to be heard clearly, which will allow students to hear their teachers and protect their aural health. We have clear evidence that certain aspects of school buildings have an impact on student health and learning, such as:

    • When deprived of natural light, studies have shown that children’s melatonin cycles are disrupted, thus likely having an impact on their alertness during school (Figueiro & Rea, 2010).
    • Teachers report higher levels of comfort in their classrooms when they have access to thermal controls like thermostats or operable windows (Heschong, 2003, and Lackney, 2001).
    • According to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, when ventilation rates are at or below minimum standards (roughly 15 cfm per student), an associated decrease of 5%–10% occurs in certain aspects of student performance tests (LBNL IAQ Resource Bank).
    • In recent studies, when ventilation rates were lowered from 17 cfm/person to 10 cfm/person researchers saw a 15% increase in symptom prevalence for Sick Building Syndrome (ibid).

    What do we need to find out? While there have been studies on the impact of environments on children—and the benefits of green buildings more broadly—more research is needed. Some of the larger research questions are:

    • When prioritization is necessary, which building projects can be expected to have larger impacts on facility quality and student health?
    • What are the impacts of high-performance school buildings, above and beyond an adequate (and potentially new) school building?
    • How do high-performance design features interact with each other? Relationships such as those between daylighting and acoustical design are understood less in terms of how they interact than in isolation.
  2. How to Make Your Campus Green presentations

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan Johnston met with a delegation from Mumbai, India, to tell them how we are making our campus more sustainable. 

    Jack Dempsey has been asked to speak to two different delegations this June about the same topic.    The first group is from  a group of private universities in India, sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and is coming on a program promoted by Pradeep Khanna and his staff in Corporate Relations.  The second group is from a group of institutions in Pakistan with whom we have had a longstanding relationship:  COMSATS Institutes of Information Technology. 

  3. NCPD conceptualization mtg

    Associated Project(s): 

    Today’s meeting covered LED fixture questions and concerns:

    They presented data and layout with luminescence patterns for 2 fixtures one costing $400. 00/fixture and another $1000.00/fixture. It was mentioned that we need dimming features but no specifics on how or the criteria for that.

    Also covered were:

    • different configurations for trusses and rows of PV modules, scaffolding, and height and spacing requirements for same.
    • The module size and efficiency requirements needed to create 1600(Mwh) of power annually, along with quantities per different sq/ft
    • Drainage for the snow and rain off of the modules, along with snow removal equipment in the bay areas
    • Shading impact due to elevator towers, and overlapping rays during the winter months effecting production and how to handle these issues
    • Central inverter scheme being the most effective and the optional layouts and wiring for same.
    • DC combiner boxes layout scheme and wiring to reduce the effects of shading on power production
  4. Urbana Green Buildings Showcase June 8, 2013

    Please join the City of Urbana, Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet), area facilities, and the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois Chapter for a green buildings tour to be held Saturday, June 8, 2013. This free tour will showcase energy efficient building strategies and sustainable practices. Homeowners and green building professionals will be available on-site to discuss their projects and answer your questions.
    The program will be presented as a tour. Attendees will spend 45 minutes at each location, and they will have the opportunity to ask questions and view components. The tour circuit is within an approximate 5-mile radius. 15 minutes will be allowed to travel to the next location. Please plan accordingly.

    Agenda:

    8:00 AM - Welcome at Market Square

    8:30 AM - Hendrick House (904 W. Green Street)

    9:30 AM - Affordable Dublin Passivhaus (1302 W. Dublin Street)

    10:30 AM - Crystal View Townhomes (102 Stebbins Drive)

    11:30 AM - Vellenga Sustainable Property (704 S. Anderson)

    12:30 PM - Commencement

    Details:

    Meet at City Information booth at Market at the Square (Lincoln Square Mall, Downtown Urbana).

    The Market opens at 7:00 AM and breakfast food vendors will be available.

    For additional event information, please contact Scott R. Tess, City of Urbana Sustainability Manager at 217-384-2381 or srtess@urbanaillinois.us

  5. Urbana hosts rain barrel and compost bin sale

    Associated Project(s): 

    Discounted Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale Scheduled for this Saturday

    The Cities of Urbana and Champaign along with the University of Illinois Extension will host a truck sale this Saturday featuring deeply discounted rain barrels and compost bins.  The May 25th sale will be held in the parking lot north of the City Building at the corner of South Vine Street and East Green Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

    Rain barrels, available for purchase for $55.00, help residents store water for gardening.  This practice helps reduce demand on aquifer water while reducing runoff to the city stormwater system.  Compost bins, available for purchase for $45.00, help residents turn food scrap and landscape trimmings into nutrient-rich compost for gardening while reducing waste sent to landfills.  Associated compost products including kitchen collection containers, compost aerators, and compost thermometers will also be available for purchase.

    Interested residents should park at the City Building or other designated parking areas and line up to make their purchases on foot.  After making purchases residents can load their vehicles in the alley behind the parking lot.  For faster service on the day of the sale, residents can pre-pay for their products online at www.enviroworld.us/pre-order.

    For more information, please contact Scott Tess at 217-384-2381 or srtess@urbanaillinois.us.

    Attached Files: 
  6. Farm Stand on the Quad begins Thursday

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Sustainable Student Farm, a program of the Student Sustainability Committee, and in cooperation with the Illini Union, will begin its weekly Farm Stand on the Quad on Thursday (May 23). The Farm Stand is open every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., selling fresh produce grown on campus. The Farm Stand is located on the south side of the Illini Union.

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