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Projects Updates for Topic: Uncategorized

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  1. 2008 Classroom Occupancy Sensor Installation

    Associated Project(s): 

    In 2008, the Student Sustainability Committee awarded $20,000 to Facilities & Services for installation of occupancy sensors to control lights in three campus buildings: Loomis Laboratory, Foreign Languages Building, and Armory. Later, the budget was increased to $50,000 and the scope expanded to include seven additional buildings: Davenport Hall, Everitt Electrical Building, English Building, Henry Administration Building, Psychology Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Building, and Wohlers Hall. The funds were used to install a total of 332 occupancy sensors in 272 rooms in these ten buildings.

  2. F&S internal meeting to address EV charging stations

    Jack Dempsey, Pete Varney, Michelle Winters, Pam Voitik, and Morgan Johnston met to discuss options for supporting EV charging stations for public use on campus.  It is unethical to allow UI resources to be used for personal needs, so the UI power cannot be freely distributed to Electric Vehicle owners.  A public charging station will need to include a payment mechanism.  Michelle Winters and Morgan Johnston will work on a plan for implementing public EV charging stations on campus.

  3. Engineers Without Borders Nigeria Water Project

    The University of Illinois chapter of Engineers Without Borders worked on a project to find clean water sources of water for the Nigerian village of Adu Achi. Previously, residents of Adu Achi relied on water sources that were up to 3 kilometers away and struggled with contaminated water.

    The project began with a site assessment in August 2006, but project meeting have continued through the Spring 2013 semester.

    For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/ewbuiucenugustatewaterproject/.

  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

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