You are here

All Project Updates


  1. Inquiry regarding volunteer time at Rain Garden

    Associated Project(s): 

    Community member, Karen Folk, inquired about the potential to establish the Red Oak Rain Garden as an official volunteer location for the Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners to help maintain.  Eliana Brown, currently a Water Resources Outreach Specialist, asked Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch.  Ryan indicated that he would be willing to approve the volunteer program, and the first step is to define a Memo of Understanding (MOU) describing the volunteer work to be done.  He said, "I am agreeable to this, as long as the work is done strictly by volunteers and there is a MOU for the maintenance responsibilities between F&S and the Master Gardeners."

  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was uneventful—in a good way. People came, worked on their bikes and/or purchased one, and then left. We had 123 visitors. We netted $1,226.60. We sold: 5 bikes for $640; 1 Build-a-Bike for $84; 6 memberships for $180; 16 tires/tubes/wheels for $111.

    Last week we had what felt like a surplus of volunteers—and inexperienced ones at that. I think at one point there were 8 people in the shop, all staff/volunteers. I will have to do a better job of creating manageable tasks for unskilled labor.

    One longtime member of the Bike Project came by last week to bid farewell, as he got a job in Washington state. He was very thankful for what we do at CBC/TBP and expressed concern over finding a place in Washington as nice and helpful as we are. In parting, he donated some nice studded winter tires since, as he said, it doesn’t snow in the pacific northwest.

    This week I will tackle establishing a manageable system for organizing the pile of bikes in the back. I think sorting by “Starting Price” would be useful, since that is always the first question asked. It would speed up the process and save me some of the anxiety of people pawing around in a potentially dangerous pile of bikes. This week, I will also create more zero-bike-knowledge tasks that volunteers can accomplish without me having to explain the esoterica of bike “standards”. And, of course, bikes will be built.


    Jake Benjamin

    Campus Bike Center Manage

  3. Data Acquisition for Lincoln Hall

    Associated Project(s): 

    Last week, I gathered data for energy consumption in Lincoln Hall from the Energy Billing System (EBS). The total consumption was broken into three components -- electricity, chilled water, and steam. Excel spreadsheets and two graphs were created. One shows the annual consumption from 2008 until fiscal year 2016 (FY16) whereas the other shows monthly consumption of FY16.


    During the meeting with Ms. Morgan Johnston and Ms. Anna Barnes, we went through the spreadsheets and graphs. Units were modified to be BTU/SF, which is the Energy Use Intensity (EUI). We also discussed that instead of showing the monthly consumption during FY16, that of the most recent fiscal year, FY17, will be used. Data will be available in July. Furthermore, consumption for potable water will also be added in each building’s analysis.


    The next step is to develop the spreadsheets and graphs that show the annual consumption from FY08 until FY17 for the rest of the ten buildings. They will have the same unit and format as the files modified for Lincoln Hall.


  4. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was the first steadily and surely busy week we’ve had this summer. Within the first hour or so we were at capacity stand-wise all five days last week. We had 119 visitors and there were probably a dozen or so more people that we missed.

    Our sales for the week: Grossed $799.50; sold 10 memberships for $300; one refurbished bike for $50; 21 tires/tubes (new and used) for $113. While those numbers belie the visitors count, we did have a good amount of used cables/parts sales, indicating a healthy usage of the space that simply doesn’t translate into high dollar amounts. It probably didn’t help that most of our medium-sized stock of refurbished bikes has already sold out, leaving our small and large bikes only. That will be a focus for the coming week as far as shop builds are concerned.

    Last Friday we had the Full Moon Bicycle Ride, a community social ride that I heavily advertised and promoted—so much so that a few people thought the Bike Project/University was sponsoring it. Rough conservative estimates tallied 160 or so people, so it was probably closer to 200. It was an affirming experience to see so many people coming out for such an event and really speaks to the strong presence of cycling in Champaign-Urbana. I lost count of how many people I recognized as visitors to the Campus Bike Center. Impressive, too, was how many folks were not decked out in full-on cycling gear but instead riding commuter-level bikes in the same clothes in which you’d walk your dog. That speaks strongly to the normalization of riding a bicycle and a good sign for the growth of the mode share.

    The temperature is projected to be in the 90s all week and so I will bring out the big water cooler, fill it with ice and be diligent in telling all visitors to stay hydrated while here. I will build more medium-sized bikes this week as well as continue to free up space by scrapping more old and abused-beyond-repair bikes and parts.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  5. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    Last week was reasonably busy. We had 112 visitors. We totaled $638.10 in sales. We sold six memberships for $180; one refurbished bike for $80; one Build-a-Bike for $48; and $101 in both new and used tires/tubes.

    New student hire Dennis started working last week. As a longtime member, he is familiar enough with everything that he’s been able to help right out the gate, which has been great. Additionally, Friday was Logan’s last day.

    This week I will work on student worker scheduling for the summer, strip more old junk bikes that are taking up valuable space, stock all the new parts that arrived last week, attend the Bike Project meeting, and of course, build more bikes.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 


    Last week was steady and manageable. We had one or two days of almost no one coming in and days of the summer average of 20 or so people through the human door. Our visitor total for the week was 92.

    We grossed $1,243.81. We sold seven memberships for $210; two refurbished bikes for $385; one build-a-bike for $89; 16 tires and tubes for $73.

    The Bike Project has decided to add a weekday open hours shift on Wednesday evenings for their Urbana location, which was mentioned at the Monthly Members’ Meeting on Wednesday. This will in turn allow those who utilize the CBC an additional resource for working on bikes. On Friday I met Parking out at the warehouse and picked up 16 or so bikes--of which half were worth the effort to rehab or store for B-a-Bs. The rest were promptly taken to the scrap yard on Friday afternoon.

    This week Evan, a new student hire, is going to start working (albeit not daily, due to school conflicts). While it hasn’t been too busy for just Leah and me to handle, having another person around and the chance to train a new staffer when it is slow is definitely a plus.

    This week I will also be working on creating some more wheel storage in the back garage bays. Bike builds and organization will occur per usual. One of the main tables that are home to our truing stands and our vice is falling apart. I will look into procuring a new one from Surplus this week as well.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. OMA representatives review stand-alone cooling towers

    Water Station Foreman, Shawn Young, indicated today that there are two remaining stand-alone cooling towers on campus buildings maintained by F&S: Temple Buell Hall and the Personnel Services Building.  One of these (Personnel) is scheduled to be added to the central chilled water loop in 2020, according to the Utilities Energy Production and Distribution Master Plan.  Base on that discussion, Morgan Johnston will be following up with the Water SWATeam to let them know that because there are so few remaining stand-alone cooling towers, this is not a high-priority item to pursue.

  8. New Member on the Project Team!

    Associated Project(s): 

    My name is Chen Zhang, a rising senior studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. As a new member of the project, I am excited to join the team and make contributions! This past week, I obtained access to the Energy Billing System (EBS) and created my account at the iCAP Portal. I learned how to navigate both systems and find useful information for the project. Meanwhile, I read documentations and reports developed previously for this project.


    On May 25th, Ms. Morgan Johnston (associate director of Facilities and Services (F&S)), Ms. Ana Barnes (from F&S), and I had a meeting. Ten buildings (listed at the end) on campus were picked for the energy analysis between now and December 2017. Their locations and affiliations to different colleges were taken into account during the decision process to engage more students and faculties in future presentations. Meanwhile, we discussed important information that we will include in the energy report cards to raise awareness of energy conservation.


    The first building we will analyze is Lincoln Hall. The next step is to gather data for its energy consumptions, including electricity, chilled water, steam, and gas usage, from the EBS website. An excel spreadsheet and graphs will the be developed to show the trend of energy consumption from 2008 until now.


    Ten buildings:

    a. Lincoln Hall

    b.  Admin and Records

    c.  DRES – Rehabilitation Center

    d.  SDRP

    e.  National Soybean Research Center

    f. NCEL

    g. Illini Union

    h. Temple Hoyne Buell Hall

    i.   BIF

    j.   Morrill Hall


  9. CRTs and microwaves

    Associated Project(s): 

    The old CRT TV’s and CRT monitors are routinely sent to the Surplus warehouses for disposal.  The University utilizes the State of Illinois contracted e-waste recyclers and items are sent directly vs. sent to Springfield.  FYI – starting October 1, 2016, the State and their e-waste recyclers started charging the University for the e-waste of CRT TV’s and CRT monitors.   But, based on a review of alternative paths for these e-waste items, the State e-waste recyclers continue to be the most cost-effective means of disposal of these items at this time.  UIUC can and should continue to let units know those CRT’s should be sent to surplus for processing using the standard equipment disposal request process through FABweb. 

    Because there is no longer a market for the leaded CRT glass, it’s very difficult for collectors and recyclers to sell all of the components of CRTs at this point, so fewer and fewer companies are willing to take them. See the Champaign County Electronics Recycling Guide at Goodwill accepts CRTs from residents, but there’s no reason to take them there when they can be processed through the electronics recycling system the university has in place; that way they can also be easily/efficiently counted as part of the total amount of electronics that the university is recycling.

    Fully functional microwaves will be sent to Surplus as well, while the broken microwaves will be sent to Twin-City Recycling after the Surplus Coordinator issues a scrap ticket to the unit, after the unit has submitted a disposal request through Fabweb.

  10. ECBS SWATeam meeting minutes

    On the agenda at the ECBS SWATeam meeting:

    1) Status of our recommendations to iWG;

    2) Review of Illini Lights Out over the past year;

    3) Any final thoughts, recommendations for Eco-Olympics;

    4) Progress on building energy standards;

    5) Updates on the revolving loan fund (RLF) projects;

    6) Turning off computers.  Change in policy, at least at F&S.  Implications for Certified Green Office Program? 

    7) Building level energy consumption report summary;

    8) Good-byes and thanks to departing members.

  11. Building level energy consumption report

    The report is about behavior change messaging, which lets the occupants of each building see their consumption changes over time and it will motivate them to conserve energy. The goal of the report is to display “past-current-new” patterns of energy conservation change. The result will be a paper with recommendations how to motivate people to be more sustainable.

    The data for FY08-FY2016 was used.  The scope of the project are 175 buildings at the UIUC campus. Then the pilot project was about the Lincoln Hall. After Lincoln Hall, the work was started with the Soybean National Laboratory and the Illini Union.


  12. program update

    STYRECYCLE: During the spring 2017 semester, student volunteers collected more than 500 pounds of expanded polystyrene for recycling — bringing their total collected to nearly 900 pounds. In addition, this program is saying goodbye to a founding member and longtime leader. Thank you to Marco Tijoe for your two years of steering the ship!

  13. IBI update

    Associated Project(s): 

    ILLINOIS BIODIESEL INITIATIVE: This past semester, students produced 100 gallons of biodiesel fuel and 2 gallons of soap from waste vegetable oil. The soap-making subgroup is refining its soap recipe for use at campus dining halls, and the diesel subgroup is improving the production process to make higher-quality fuels.