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  1. Wassaja Hall earns LEED certification

    Associated Project(s): 

    Wassaja Hall became the campus’ 11th facility to receive LEED® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in February. The University of Illinois is a national leader in green building design with more than 2.4M GSF on campus.

  2. 2009 Gable House moved

    Associated Project(s): 

    Student Sustainability Committee and the School of Architecture worked with F&S to move the 2009 Solar Decathlon House from I Hotel grounds, where it was located for seven years. The house moved to the Energy Bioscience Research Farm on Race Street south of Windsor Road. The 695-square foot building, weighing more than 50,000 pounds, was designed by University of Illinois students and took second place in the U.S Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon. Since then it has been used by various campus units, who study the design and construction of the building.

  3. Promotion of source separation

    Content has been drafted for a PowerPoint presentation to encourage the use of separate bins for recyclables and trash. It will emphasize that separation at the point of disposal is more effective than the older system of placing all items in a single bin and will therefore help the campus meet landfill diversion targets. The presentation will be made over the summer to Campus business officers, the Staff HR Advisory Council, and student groups that can talk to other groups.

  4. Glass recycling for the Wounded Vets Center

    Morgan Johnston and Marya Ryan met with Nick Osborne at the Wounded Vets’ Center on March 23 to discuss glass recycling. Anna Barnes designed a glass recycling label for use inside the Center. Ryan is following up with CRI to discuss costs, pickup schedules, and other information. Once-per-week pickup of a 96-gallon toter service is targeted to start by mid-to-late August, when new residents move into the Center. As of mid-July, a service agreement with CRI is still to be formalized and is expected in late July.

  5. High School students go on tour of Green Infrastructure at UIUC

    Eliana Brown with the Water Resources Center and Morgan Johnston with F&S Sustainability provided a two hour tour on July 13, 2017 to six Illinois high school students through the NRES Research Apprenticeship program. Sites visited include the BIF green roof, the Ikenberry Commons permeable pavement, the First Street underground stormwater detention basin, the "square pond" (six-story deep hole near Locust and Springfield), the Boneyard Creek, and the stormwater murals in the College of Engineering.

  6. Red Oak Rain Garden Renovation Stakeholder Meetings

    Associated Project(s): 

    Specific stakeholders were invited to join a workshop on July 11, 2017 for stakeholder input to the rennovation design of the Red Oak Rain Garden.

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    You’re invited to a series of two facilitated meetings seeking input from stakeholders about the Red Oak Rain Garden.

    Red Oak Rain Garden was installed 10 years ago as part of Tony Endress’ NRES classes. As of this year, the Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists have an agreement in place with F&S Grounds to volunteer with the garden. Although the garden still performs well keeping water off of the pedestrian sidewalk, approximately 90% of the original plantings did not survive. We are working on a renovation plan that will enhance its aesthetics and multi-functionality. But, how exactly does the space function presently? What would be ideal?

    This is where you come in. As either a campus neighbor, student, volunteer, and/or stormwater-related professional, we seek your input that will inform the garden plan.

    Meeting 1: July 11 (Tue) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Monsanto Rm. Agenda: Provide background/history, ask questions, and present preliminary design direction options.

    Meeting 2: July 20 (Thu) 3 – 4:30 PM ACES Library, Heritage Rm. Agenda: Present refined design options based on feedback from Meeting 1 and seek preferences.

    IWRC intern/MLA Candidate Cameron Letterly will lead the sessions along with a facilitator to guide discussion.

    There will be an opportunity to provide input online for those that cannot be present.

    Please feel free to forward to invitation to others who have an interest in this garden.

    Thank you,

    C. Eliana Brown

    33 NSRC, MC-635, 1101 W. Peabody Dr., Urbana, IL 61801  217-265-0760

    Illinois Indiana Sea Grant  University of Illinois Extension  Illinois Water Resources Center

  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week felt on the slow side but I suspect that is a false memory, as our visitor numbers were at 102. That’s about on par for this time of year.

    Sales for the week were: $795.50 overall; one refurbed bike ($210); one B-a-B ($41); one family and three standard memberships ($155); and 21 tires/tubes ($136).  Also of note: $94 in lock sales.

    Last week I had Kameron, the high schooler, come in again. He has really taken to organizing and his efforts are paying off. The shop is overall still a mess, but the small parts are being meticulously organized which helps everyone find what they’re looking for—used parts-wise—that much faster. He will be joining me a couple days this week in the mornings as well.

    We had another Friday Community Ride organized by the student staffers. It went well; we rode to the Urbana First Friday event.

    This week I plan to process the donations we received over the weekend here, work with Kameron in the mornings on organizing and scrapping some of the junk that is cluttering up the space, and build more bikes.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Weekly update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Last week’s zero-waste activity was:

    • Drafting the content for a source-separation PowerPoint presentation and send it to Morgan and Anna for review/comments
    • Discussing volume estimates with CRI and getting pricing from them for glass recycling for the Wounded Vets Center

    Sincerely,

    Marya Ryan

    Zero Waste Coordinator

  9. Weekly update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    Here are my updates from last week:

    • Collation of notes for source-separation PowerPoint presentation and a phone call with Anna Barnes to discuss it
    • Meeting with Dawn Aubrey at Housing to discuss the scope of their waste-reduction activity and learn their role in glass and glove recycling efforts

     

    Sincerely,

    Marya Ryan

    Zero Waste Coordinator

  10. Weekly update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    Last week’s zero waste activity was a conference call to talk about messaging and campus presentations about source separation. The immediate plan is for me to outline a presentation this coming week.

    Sincerely,

    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

     

  11. 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.

    Sincerely,

    Jake Benjamin

    Campus Bike Center Manage

  12. Weekly update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    Here are my updates from last week:

    • Answered inquiries from Fisher Scientific on progress on glove recycling; Morgan and I will touch base this coming week to get things moving on that effort again
    • Met with Morgan and Olivia Harris to discuss messaging to promote source separation
    • Contacted Dawn Aubrey to set up a meeting to discuss Housing’s role in recycling, particularly with regard to glass and gloves

    Sincerely,

    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

     

  13. Meeting with F&S Contacts

    Associated Project(s): 

    This week, Ms. Morgan Johnston, Ms. Anna Barnes, and I met with F&S contacts Mr. David Boehm (from building maintenance team), Mr. Robert Halverson (from engineering design team), and Mr. Karl Helmink (from retrocommissioning team). We presented the current template we had for the energy report card and discussed questions regarding energy systems in selected buildings.

     

    After explaining how we constructed the report cards, Mr.Boehm, Mr. Halverson, and Mr. Helmink offered advice on modifications. They noticed some word choices that could result in misinterpretations. The templates were then updated by Ms. Barnes.

     

    Meanwhile, after compiling all the energy usage from 2008 to 2016 for each of the 10 buildings, we developed a list of questions regarding how energy is utilized in each building. Even though Mr.Boehm, Mr. Halverson, and Mr. Helmink were not familiar with every system in all 10 buildings, they directed us to those with the knowledge.

     

    The next step is to communicate with contacts from Mr.Boehm, Mr. Halverson, and Mr. Helmink and get answers for the list of questions we have for each of the 10 buildings.

     

  14. 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.

     

  15. 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.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  16. Understanding spring flowers on campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, describes the difference in heat tolerance between spring and summer flowers on campus:

    "We plant the early flowers (pansies) because they provide early spring color and are one of the only annuals that prefer cooler temps and will withstand frost.  The early or cool season annuals do not like heat, so they are removed and replaced with the summer annuals.  The summer annuals will not tolerate even a light frost and should not be planted before May 1."

  17. Weekly update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all,

    Here are my updates from last week:

    • An email to Morgan to pick up on issues related to glass recycling, recycling for graduate student/family housing, and presentations to promote source separation
    • Attendance at a Campus and University Recycling Coalition webinar on recycling collection logistics on campuses

    Sincerely,

    Marya Ryan
    Zero Waste Coordinator

     

  18. Parkland College training program being considered

    Associated Project(s): 

    While Thor Peterson was working at Parkland College as a part-time grant-funded sustainability coordinator, he shared that "Parkland is in the scoping stage of developing a green infrastrucuture and sustainable landscape operations and maintenance certificate."  He further noted, "There are a lot of questions percolating regarding a Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance—whether it would start as a certificate, or as a series of business training opportunities, or what." 

    When Thor was leaving town at the end of his appointment, he indicated that Heidi Leuszler, a Natural Sciences professor at Parkland, will be a good contact for this effort, moving forward.  Thor and Professor Leuszler led a day-long workshop for Regional Planning Commission staff on green infrastructure. He said, "My hope is that the training will serve as a pilot for a more in-depth business training course that could be offered to public and private sector grounds staff charged with maintaining green infrastructure elements."

    Eliana Brown, with Illinois Indiana Sea Grant, University of Illinois Extension, and Illinois Water Resources Center, is also interested in helping this program get developed.  She has brought additional stakeholders into the discussions with Parkland, including Carol Hays, Exec Director of Prairie Rivers Network, and Lisa Merrifield, U of I Extension Strategic Operation Analyst.

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