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  1. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week I was sick and missed work on Wednesday. Other than that, it was uneventful. I’ve kept one student worker on per day to help, as it’s been busy enough to warrant it. That has been a pleasant turn of events—being this busy—but will likely end this week with finals happening and all.

    This week projects to be slow and I should be able to make some real headway with building up bikes for the Spring rush. I’ve got 14 for sale right now but will hopefully have about 20 by end of week.

    I have staff training from 11-4 tomorrow, so the shop will be closed as I cannot guarantee that I’ll be done in a timely manner. I’ll post on the website about it.

    The numbers:
    Sales: 281.25
    Memberships: 6 for $180

    Tubes: 3 for $14

    visitors: 41 for the week

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager

     

  2. Replaced Related File Dec. 10, 2017

    Associated Project(s): 

    Replaced Glove Bin Poster.pdf file of the glove bin sign with a newer version sent from Jonathan McClintock. The newer version (UIUC KC RIGHTSYCLE BIN SIGN.pdf) includes a campus logo.

  3. Archived Project Description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Archived and replaced the following description on Dec. 10, 2017:

    In lab buildings, protective gloves can be a major component of the waste stream.  For example, at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), plastic gloves were found to be over 8% of their total waste by weight.  There is a recycling program for nitrile gloves that can be purchased through Fisher Scientific, for Kimberely-Clark nitrile gloves.  This program is being implemented at various locations across campus.

  4. ECBS SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    On November 1, the ECBS SWATeam had their fourth meeting of FY17. Representatives Doris Reeser and Brad Klein from the Deferred Maintenance Program came to talk about AFMFA and maintenance. The team also considered potential funding for energy conservation and started a discussion on a possible recommendation. The Green Labs Coordinator position is also moving along, and the team plans to establish safety guidelines and procedures for the program in the near future. Marian Huhman has also contacted the student group American Advertising Federation for a sustainability imagery project. 

    Attached Files: 
  5. Kick off meeting

    Creative Services hosted a kick-off meeting for the Bike at Illinois website.  Lily Wilcock is now working with them to schedule interviews with various stakeholders. She is using the following message:

    In efforts to improve the experience and safety of our programs, we will be reimagining the Bike at Illinois website. Our first step involves learning about our key audiences so we can determine how we can best serve them online. We’re asking for participants who are willing to give 1 hour interview to our creative team, who will be asking a series of questions and collecting some key insights. This will help us determine what services and information is available, how to best present these in a website, and how we can improve your experience with us in the future.

  6. Solar Urbana-Champaign Bulk Solar Purchase Program Finishes Strong

    Associated Project(s): 

    FOR RELEASE

    Contact: Peter Murphy, MREA Solar Program Manager, peterm@midwestrenew.org

    Solar Urbana-Champaign Bulk Solar Purchase Program Finishes Strong

    Urbana, IL– November 20, 2017. Claire Johnson and Jill Houser have just finished installing solar panels on Andy Robinson’s roof as part of the Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 program. They are  members of New Prairie Construction’s solar installation team, and part of a mostly female crew. They and other teams from New Prairie Construction will be installing 446.95 kilowatts of solar on 58 properties across Champaign County as a result of the program, which helped people save on solar through volume purchasing. Robinson not only went solar through the program, he also helped to lead it.

    Please find the full story below, along with installation photos of Andy Robinson's system. Photo credit Andy Robinson.

    Kaitlyn Kohl

    Communications Coordinator

    kaitlynk@midwestrenew.org

    Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

    7558 Deer Road, Custer, WI 54423

    www.midwestrenew.org

     

    Learn from the leaders in our year-round, professional courses.

    Become a proud member of the MREA! 

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    November 20, 2017

    Contact: Peter Murphy, MREA Solar Program Manager, peterm@midwestrenew.org

    Solar Urbana-Champaign Bulk Solar Purchase Program Finishes Strong

    Claire Johnson and Jill Houser have just finished installing solar panels on Andy Robinson’s roof as part of the Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 program. They are  members of New Prairie Construction’s solar installation team, and part of a mostly female crew. They and other teams from New Prairie Construction will be installing 446.95 kilowatts of solar on 58 properties across Champaign County as a result of the program, which helped people save on solar through volume purchasing. Robinson not only went solar through the program, he also helped to lead it.

    “I’ve thought solar was a cool way to reduce our carbon footprint ever since seeing the 2007 UI solar decathlon house in DC, but it also needed to make financial sense for our family,” said Robinson, who was hired by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to facilitate the education sessions, called “Solar Power Hours,” for the program. “Now we will offset nearly all of our electric use and it was a good financial investment.  New Prairie laid out the panels on the front and back roof in a way that looks like it is a part of the design of our 1920 house. We were especially happy to meet the diverse install crew of local women and men, and a highly qualified refugee.”

    “In the 1980’s, Jill and I got our start in construction through the woman-owned company Working Women Construction,” said Julie Birdwell, owner of New Prairie Construction. “When we started New Prairie Construction, we made a commitment to providing opportunities for women. We never regretted it. Our New Prairie women contribute more than just diversity. They help contribute to a positive work culture and maintain a high level of attention to detail and craftsmanship.”

    “When we think about the benefits of solar energy, we often picture environmental benefits, of which there are of course many,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager at Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). “But what often gets overlooked is the growing number of solar jobs, which are local and by nature cannot be outsourced.”

    “One out of every 50 new jobs added in the United States in 2016 was created by the solar industry, representing 2% percent of all new jobs,” according to The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit organization that conducts a national solar jobs census.

    “We recently had an opportunity to hire an Afghan national who worked in construction for the US military in Afghanistan,” said Birdwell. “Hiring such a refugee is a way of acknowledging the risks and sacrifices he and his family have made to support our country. In addition, he and our other employees from different cultures and countries provide positive contributions to our work culture, and we feel, our overall product.”

    “In the first day of solar production, our kids said that we were vacuuming with sunshine,” said Robinson. “And they are right.”

    “The electricity produced by the 446 kW of solar the program has contracted will offset around 639,035 lbs of CO2 being released into atmosphere in the first year alone,” said Scott Tess, Environmental Sustainability Manager at the City of Urbana. “That amount of solar energy will also save almost 10 million gallons of water from use in thermoelectric power plants that run on coal or natural gas.”

    The program was administered by the MREA at no cost to the city or the county. MREA has successfully implemented similar programs in other jurisdictions in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin as seen in Milwaukee, Cedar Rapids, Bloomington-Normal, and elsewhere. Solarize programs have taken place all over the country, from California to Maine.

    "The solar branch of New Prairie Construction Co. is a natural extension of our commitment to providing high quality, environmentally responsible solutions for homes and businesses," says Julie Birdwell, co-owner of New Prairie. "Solar Urbana-Champaign 2.0 provides an excellent opportunity for our community to use the power of bulk purchasing to get premium quality installations for a great price.  We are excited to work with our neighbors to help increase sustainability and energy independence in Champaign County."

    MREA issued a request for proposals to solar installers in January. A local advisory committee reviewed proposals based on professional certification, experience, and cost. They selected New Prairie Construction Co., based in Urbana. They were chosen as the solar installer for the second Solar Group Buy because of their high-quality solar installations, building science expertise, and emphasis on customer service.

    ###

    The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.TheEnergyFair.org or www.midwestrenew.org.

  7. NCSA includes clean energy in NSF proposal

    NCSA leadership included the estimated cost of 100% clean energy for the next supercomputer project in their proposal to NSF this month.  The budgetary number is based on pricing estimates for purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).  Based on current market estimates, and subject to availability and future market conditions, it is estimated that the total five year cost for RECs for a 3MW average load would be approximately $65K.

    If/when the NSF grant is approved, F&S Utilities & Energy Services will be able to facilitate the purchase of the RECs, through the grant funding, and NCSA will then be able to claim the use of green power.

  8. SSC Supports Red Oak Rain Garden 2.0

    Red Oak Rain Garden 2.0 restores the original Red Oak Rain Garden that was established 10 years ago to address the flooding issue between McKinley Health Center and Allen Hall. Students will work alongside faculty, staff, and community members to plant specific plants that provide multi-season flooding protection. This project aims to increase awareness surrounding horticulture and natural flooding management while addressing an infrastructural issue on campus.

    The Student Sustainability Committee provides financial support to purchase plants, signage, training materials, and hardscape. The plant species are specifically chosen for maximum efficiency and learning. Likewise, the signage will allow the passerby to identify native species. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will support the garden while students are on academic breaks and provide Red Bison, a student-led organization, with rain garden training.

    Attached Files: 
  9. Filify 3D Receives SSC Funding

    Filify 3D is a new project this semester, working to make 3D printing more sustainable and eco-friendly. This semester, the project is looking to sell fused filament ends (which are otherwise thrown away) back to campus 3D Printing labs. They will also be constructing and refining the design to a shredder and extruder to recycle failed prints. Ultimately, they hope to expand their capacity to be able to recycle plastic water bottles for use in 3D prints. This project is a cross functional one.

    The Student Sustainability Committee is providing funding for some materials and supplies.

    Attached Files: 
  10. Stay Glassy Receives SSC Funding

    Stay Glassy looks to target glass bottles, an abundant and unused resource in the Champaign-Urbana community, to create a product that will benefit the community. By working with underserved members of our community to create a viable marketplace product, Stay Glassy achieves two goals: reduce glass waste and create meaningful employment in Champaign-Urbana. This semester, the project is changing scope from educating the community through "at home'' glass up-cycling workshops to focusing on a glass repurposing business. Project associates should expect to work on aspects of business development and product innovation.

    The Student Sustainability Committee funded project supplies and workspace.

    Attached Files: 
  11. SSC Grants Funding to Supermileage

    This funding supports the purchase of an engine and other car parts to construct a highly fuel-efficient car. As a resource conservation and transportation project, Eco Illini Supermileage is training its team members and spreading sustainability awareness to students from all majors. Through social media and showcase events, Eco Illini Supermileage engages the CU community. The Eco Illini Supermileage experience springboards students’ career development and automotive innovation after graduation.

    Attached Files: 
  12. Local Grains and Locally Processed Foods for Dining Services

    The Student Sustainability Committee funded Local Grains and Locally Processed Foods for Dining Services in October 2017.

    This project aims at developing methods that promote locally processed grains for U of I students. This project connects to the Vegetable Crop Farm, FSHN Pilot Plant, and Sustainable Student Farm, offering the final puzzle piece required to offer campus grown grains to UIUC community members. This project will purchase reusable containers to transport grains, and other campus products, between campus farms and campus processing facilities. Moreover, project leaders will analyze both taste and nutrients for Vegetable Crop Farm product.

    The SSC funding will go directly towards:

    1. Reusable storage containers
    2. Analysis equipment
  13. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was predictably slow. I cut back almost entirely on student staff since long stretches of open hours were completely vacant of visitors. Thankfully a few student staffers wanted to work on their own bicycle projects and were able to jump in and help out when it got too busy for me to handle everyone on my own. Those instances were rare and brief, presenting a problem from a staffing prospective: not busy enough to keep someone there the whole day but busy enough that a second person is needed. Something to consider for the future is having something like an on-call staffer for the winter months to pitch in the very few times it gets busy.

    Last week we had a TBP/UIUC/CBC meeting that went well. We discussed the forthcoming Bike@illinois website and brainstormed other participants for their research/interviews. Barry and I talked afterwards about potentially implementing some better inventory-tracking ideas to get a better handle on sales/stock.

    This week I only work today (Monday) and then the shop will be closed until Tuesday, Nov. 28th.  I’ll post on the door and on the Bike Project website (and social media pages).

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 55
    Sales: $396.49
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $70
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $105
    Memberships: 1 for $30

    Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  14. ECS Bike Share Completed

    Facilities and Services division Engineering and Construction Services (ECS) has three bikes for employees to share for campus business. Check out is easy and the same as checking out a department car or truck. Two helmets are available for borrowing and lock keys are color coded to the bike they go to.

    Two of the three bikes were purchased through the Campus Bike Center, with locks and front baskets. The helmets came from Neutral Cycle. The whole project cost less than $750 and will have minimum maintenance each year.

    For questions about use please contact Lily Wilcock, lwilco2@illinois.edu.

     

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