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All Project Updates


  1. Daily Illini article: Future of sustainability on campus appears positive

    Daily Illini published an article: Future of sustainability on campus appears positive, on April 3rd, 2018.

    Attached is the article as a .pdf file. Here is a link to the article:


  2. Freezer Challenge reminder email

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello everyone, The International Freezer Challenge is in full swing thru April 30th. Help the University of Illinois compete while receiving recognition, and a certificate of leadership in Environmental Stewardship.
    Registering to participate in the Freezer Challenge is a fun way to stay up-to-date with the latest in sample management, receive recognition for your efforts, and have fun while helping the University of Illinois maintain our world-class standing.
    Take 20 sec's Register today!
    All lab practices since May 2017 are eligible for points and can be added to your score card.

    Benefits Webinars, Best Practices and Resources

    • Reducing energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact of the lab
    • Learning and applying proper cold storage maintenance techniques to help avoid future failures
    • Removing unneeded or unviable samples from cold storage units, allowing space to be consolidated or eliminated.
    • Reducing costs associated with maintaining extraneous cold storage units.
    • Improving researcher access to and security for viable samples.
    • Developing ongoing cold storage management practices that support efficiency and maximize lab space utility.
    • Awards & National recognition at the I2SL conference for the winning labs in each category

    Increasing grant eligibility is another benefit according to How going green can raise cash for your lab a Nature International Journal of Science article, this quote shares an interesting perspective; Ramirez-Aguilar argues that implementing energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable lab practices can be a smart way for researchers to make their grants stand out. It might seem a small detail, but having such procedures in place could make all the difference to the success of your application. “If it makes your proposal look better,” she says, “you’re more likely to get funding.”

    For more information contact Paul Foote @ F&S Energy Services

  3. Archived Description from the Support Pollinators (Bee Campus USA) project

    Associated Project(s): 

    The campus recognizes that we need to support the pollinator population on campus.  Potential solutions include creating "Pollinator Pockets" in strategic locations throughout the campus grounds, and encouraging the use of native plants in appropriate landscape locations.

    The F&S Landscape Architect is working with campus stakeholders and subject matter experts to develop sustainable landscape solutions that support pollinator populations.

  4. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All! Happy snow in April! (Not.)

    This past week Working Bikes came down and we cleared out the last of the warehouse as well as donated 28 3-speed bikes to the Urbana shop. Thanks to student staffers Evan, Dennis, Leah, and all-around very awesome ATC Lily for helping load the bikes! It went so much faster thanks to them.

    The shop was slow most of the time and moderately busy some of the time this week.  We’ve got some really nice fliers in the works for the Maintenance Class at the ARC (4/16 and 4/24 in room MP6 @ 7-8pm!). Those should go up/be distributed soon. Student staffer Dennis has expressed some interest in helping out with one of the classes, which would be cool.

    This week I will meet with Neutral Cycle about their involvement with the Bike Rodeo, build bikes,  organize/clean, and recruit/advertise for student-staff help for the summer months.


    Visitors: 43
    Sales: $668.35
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $310
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $135
    Memberships: 2 for $60


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  5. ECONS006 Energy Conservation Funding 2017 recommendation - Assessment with all comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on November 30th, 2017, to discuss the ECONS006 Energy Conservation Funding 2017, and started the assessment of this recommendation. Their official comment was:

    "Energy Conservation is vital to maintaining our energy savings and emission reductions and has a strong payback. The Provost’s Office should consider this recommendation when reviewing Facilities and Services’ budget for FY19 and should consider this in light of the larger budget reform process."

    See the attached file for the complete assessment of this recommendation complete with official comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation ECONS006 Energy Conservation Funding 2017 here.

  6. EGen SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    On February 20, 2018, the EGen SWATeam had a guest speaker, Professor George Gross, lecture on wind and solar RECs. With his advice, the team has decided to move forward with the selling of solar RECs and purchasing of wind RECs. The excess funds made will be invested in energy generation/conservation projects. Professor Gross's presentation is attached along with the meeting minutes. 

  7. EGen SWATeam Meeting Minutes

    On November 15, 2017, the EGen SWATeam held another meeting to discuss updates on the expansion of campus solar. They discussed financial analyses, based off data from other universities. The team is also considering buying and selling RECs and putting the funds toward energy-saving projects. However, there is concern over the language of the iCap objectives. Nonetheless, a professor, who is knowledgeable in energy and economics, will be invited to a SWATeam meeting so the members can learn more about RECs. 

    Attached Files: 
  8. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Spring Break was slow—as expected. Not many visitors. Made some good progress on builds, but also sold a bike, as well. I cleaned up the back end of the shop and am still working through a surplus of junk parts. The shelves are working well to keep the floor clean of debris and tripping hazards. By last count we have 42 bikes that are For Sale/ B-a-Bs and 36 as unclaimed stock.

    This week I will be prepping at the warehouse for the last of the bikes to be moved out of there. Working Bikes is coming on Friday. They are bringing 25 3-speeds for us, as well, which I will campaign to be dropped off at the Urbana shop before they head to the warehouse. Consequently, I may have reduced hours on Friday. I’ll know more after I make a final tally of the bikes at the warehouse.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 39
    Sales: $389.80
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $190
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tire/tube: 7 for $31


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  9. SSC Funding Agreement - Hives for Beekeeping Club

    As a new student organization on campus, the Beekeeping Club will install and maintain two new bee hives located at the Sustainable Student Farm (SSF). Any honey produced will get sold at the SSF weekly stand on campus. Students will learn beekeeping skills as well as an appreciation for honey production. In addition, having the bees located at SSF will increase crop output, bettering local food production. The allocated funding will go towards the bee hive installation as well as the bees.

    This proposal directly funds:

    1. Fencing
    2. Bees
    3. Beekeeping personal safety equipment
    4. Beekeeping supplies
  10. SSC Funding Agreement - Pollinator Signage

    This student-led project provides awareness about pollinators around the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Students will design and install signage inside and outside of campus buildings, giving facts about native plants and pollinators. This signage will be approved by the University Board as well as Facilities & Services. This project contributes to the campus goal of becoming Bee Campus USA certified and meets Illinois Climate Action Plan objectives. Students will learn more about pollinators and pollinator efforts on campus. The allocated funding will go towards the signage costs.

    This proposal directly funds:

    1. Signage
  11. SSC Funding Agreement - Off Grid Solar Kiln

    This student-driven project provides an alternative drying source for slabbed and dimensional lumber as opposed to industrial kiln drying. The goal is to recycle an air and water tight shipping container to create a de-humidifying kiln powered by passive solar energy. In a joint venture between the School of Architecture and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, students will develop a knowledge of drying characteristics of various wood species. Students will learn about the moisture peaks in the drying process as well as how wood may become compromised structurally under pressure. The allocated funding will purchase the retired shipping container, solar panels, as well as other kiln materials.

    This proposal directly funds:

    1. Shipping container
    2. Solar panels
    3. Kiln materials
  12. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, spring is coming! We’ll be open during Spring Break, I’m sure we’ll get lots of inquiries to that effect. We were busy on Friday and the visitor numbers are creeping up each week, with last week’s total sitting at 59—almost to 60!

    This week projects to be a little warmer but it is Spring Break, too so hopefully if there’s a lull we can push out some more refurbished bikes for when everyone gets back.

    As of writing I just got off the phone with a representative from Working Bikes who has confirmed a date of 3/30/18 at approximately 11am for picking up the remainder of the warehouse bikes. I’ll coordinate with Parking to get the doors opened and then it’ll be cleaned out. Hopefully  it shouldn’t hamper open hours but we’ll see. In the coming two weeks I’ll double check the number of bikes over there and add or subtract as I see fit. I quoted WB around 60 bikes in the warehouse but they were fine with us knocking that number up or down a little.

    This week I will build bikes and cull bikes from this shop for the warehouse as well as recruit for the open student worker positions that start this summer.


    Sales: $331
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $140

    Tire/tube: 3 for $20


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  13. South Farm Management Plan recommendation - Assessment Started

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on March 14th, 2018 to discuss the ALUFS004 South Farm Management Plan recommendation. We were joined by Bruce Branham and Colleen Williams from the ALUFS SWATeam to explain the objectives behind the recommendation.

    The iWG started the assessment on March 14th, 2018, and their draft assessment of the recommendation was:

    The iWG recommends that the Dean of ACES charges a committee to develop a management plan (as described by the SWATeam) to promote sustainable practices on South Farm. Committee should include Farm Managers, faculty experts including ACES, PRI and water scholars, and students. The plan should include the assessment of the current status, evaluation of operational and financial impacts, and impediments to Best Management Practices.

    See SWATeam recommendation ALUFS004 South Farm Management Plan here.

  14. PWR011 SmartWay Union recommendation - Submittal

    The PWR SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We recommend that Facilities and Services and the Illini Union become certified as an EPA SmartWay Logistics Company Partner, following the example set by University Housing and Dining Services in 2013."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation PWR011 SmartWay Union complete with comments from all the PWR SWATeam members.