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All Project Updates


  1. Inaugural Stormwater Public Meeting

    Keith Erickson, Morgan Johnston, Jason Jones, and Stephanie Cash attended the first annual Urbana Stormwater Public Meeting on February 15th, 2017. The City of Urbana Engineering Staff led a discussion with community members on the stormwater management practices required for the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The City of Urbana owns and operates a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) which is required by the US Environmental Protection Agency to implement minimum control measures to target and improve stormwater quality. The minimum control measures include public outreach and education, public participation and involvement, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post-construction runoff control, and pollution prevention and good housekeeping.

    For more information:

  2. MAster Naturalist intern notes

    Associated Project(s): 

    "I walk by that rain garden almost every day and have been picking up trash, etc.  It would be great if we could get the original plan from Dr. Tony Endress that shows what was planted.  From my observations, the rocks need replenished, possibly removal of fabric underlayment, and, if we had the plan, we could do a census of surviving plants.  The Native Plant sale is coming up in May and if we had a plan by then, we could buy and plant replacements.  I am willing to monitor when students aren't available and work with them in whatever capacity they are anticipating.

    Karen Folk"

  3. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week we grossed $506.80. We sold one build-a-bike for $35 and two memberships for $60. We had 60 visitors to the shop.

    We were inundated this past week with volunteers, which isn’t a bad thing but is difficult to come up with enough unskilled jobs in a very skill-demanding environment. Thankfully, the organizing never ends! I made some good progress on the wheel storage rack in the back corner of the CBC and it will be completed by the end of the day today. While not the best built thing out there, it will get the job done and allow us to store more wheels safely out of the way and off the ground.

    This week will be truncated since I was sick over the weekend and did not work on Monday or Tuesday. But good news: Lily has secured funding for some basic maintenance classes for the spring! Way to go Lily! I will meet with her next week and discuss the details. This week I will start recruiting again for more hires since four of the current CBC staff are graduating in May and at least one more will not be around to help in the summer.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  4. ECBS SWATeam meeting minutes

    On the agenda at the ECBS SWATeam meeting:

    1) Discussion of recommendation process as developed and described in the iCAP;

    2) Illini Lights Out final planning for 10th of February;

    3) Update on fume hood work;

    4) North America Laboratory Freezer Challenge update; 5) Planning for Earth Week.    






  5. Pipette Tip Recycling at Vet Med

    The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL) at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) functions similar to a human medical institution, in that it generates waste that is not recyclable due to biosafety considerations. This is an unfortunate waste. This project seeks to begin recycling some of VDL’s plastics. This project’s goal is to capture the waste from their work that involves single use sterile pipette tip boxes, which are safe to be recycled. The VDL typically disposes of 12lbs a week of clean plastics in the form of pipette tip boxes; VDL operates 52 weeks a year, generating over 600lbs a year of recyclable plastics. With funding from the SSC, VDL can take 600lbs of plastic out of the waste stream using a clean pipette tip recycling program.

  6. special vote requested

    Associated Project(s): 

    Revolving Loan Fund Selection Committee,

    The time is almost here to select another round of projects for the Revolving Loan Fund. For this upcoming selection we have approximately $1,000,000 to allocate. However, due to a timing issue I am appealing to the committee to decide on a Retro-Commissioning project in advance of the formal selection meeting. The reason for requesting Retro-Commissioning at Memorial Stadium early is due to a deadline associated with the availability of DCEO grant dollars. If expenditures and savings are realized prior to May 31, 2017, DIA could receive $100,000 in grant money from DCEO. Our meeting for project selection is targeted for the first week of May 2017 which does not give us enough time to qualify for the grant.

    Below is project specific information that would normally be presented at the project selection meeting. We don’t necessarily need to score this project, all we need is a majority decision (yes or no) to approve this project. If accepted, the committee would be considering $800,000 for allocation at the targeted May selection meeting.

    Project Name: Memorial Stadium Retro-Commissioning

    Project type: Retro-Commissioning

    Buildings: Memorial Stadium

    Energy Cost Savings: $300,000 /year

    Funding Request: $200,000

    Project Cost: $500,000 (DIA will contribute $200,000 and DCEO grant contribution will be $100,000)

    Payback Period: Approximately 2 Years

    General Description of Work:

    Provide temperature control upgrades & retro-commissioning services for the west and north portions of the stadium. During preliminary work, many noteworthy items have been identified. Several HVAC equipment scheduling improvements have been made already.

    Project Owners: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)

    Project Execution Contact: Brett Stillwell (Athletics) / Karl Helmink (F&S)


    1-      Payback Period: The payback period is approximately 2 years.

    2-      Reduction of Greenhouse Gas: Greenhouse gases will be reduced by 3,491,227 lbs due to conservation of electricity, chilled water, and steam.

    3-      Fund Size Impact: While grant dollars are available for this particular submission, the grant will not be used to increase the Revolving Loan Fund balance.

    4-      Visibility: Memorial Stadium is an iconic building for Athletics on campus.  The energy savings could be indirectly visible in that it could pay for other items that Athletics desires. There is a large amount of diversity in the usage of the space.

    5-      Project Coordination: Coordination items need to be considered as the south end zone & east grandstand project approaches. There are temporary plans to be considered prior to the arrival of this particular project.

    Other Pertinent Information:

    It is proposed that Athletics provide $200k for this project. Eileen Westervelt, via DCEO funding, has provided a building energy study which has identified large energy savings in this building of over $300,000 per year. It is suggested that to secure the $100K DCEO grant, $150K needs to be spent by May 31, 2017 and evidence will need to be presented that the indicated energy is being saved.

    The campus has realized a significant amount of utility savings due to the efforts made by the Retro-Commissioning teams and the expectation would be no different at Memorial Stadium. The data the Retro-Commissioning group has provided for this application predicts a very positive outcome which is consistent with most of their projects throughout campus.

    The reason for the expedited decision is to take advantage of the possible DCEO funds that will likely not be available in the future. Thanks again for your participation in this selection process and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    I ask that you please reply with your individual yes or no votes before February 10, 2017.

    Thanks again,

    Josh Whitson

  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello, this past week saw 57 visitors come to the Campus Bike Center. We grossed $381 even. We sold one build-a-bike for $87, zero refurbished bikes, and one membership ($30).

    This past week also saw two new staffers start: Leah and Angelica. They are both capable, helpful, and welcome additions to the staff. This week David (and hopefully Zack) will start, rounding out this semesters’ staffers. I reconfigured the cone wrench station, which is now much easier to use and keep clean and efficient.

    For the upcoming week I will be contacting surplus about some furnishings, ramping up the for-sale bike quota, training new staff, and beginning to construct the wheel storage rack that I could not get to last week.


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Applications open for Sustainability Minor

    Associated Project(s): 

    Minor in Sustainability: Encourage undergrads to apply

    The Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP) is an academic minor open to all undergraduates and a great opportunity to learn to navigate the web of consequences, trade-offs, feedbacks and barriers behind environmental challenges. Students also will develop teamwork skills, broad perspective and networking ability. Info session: 4:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, NSRC Room 240.

    Tony Mancuso . Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

  9. Volunteers needed for Illini Lights Out

    Associated Project(s): 

    Volunteer for Illini Lights Out on Feb. 10 in Main Quad buildings

    Do you love saving energy as much as we do? Volunteers are needed for the first spring semester round of Illini Lights Out from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Meeting place will be announced soon; full details in link above. Bring a friend and take a behind-the-scenes tour of buildings on the Main Quad as you count and turn off lights left on in classrooms, back hallways, labs and lounges.

    Tony Mancuso . Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

  10. PWR SWATeam Minutes 2/3/2017

    At the PWR SWATeam meeting on Feb. 3, the team reviewed the status of the Illini Gadget Garage.  It is going very well, and they have hired students to help promote and market the open hours. The team also discussed the proposed recycled-content paper policy.  This policy was not approved at the System level, and UI at Chicago is working to implement their own policy for their campus.  UIUC can do the same, through an update to the existing policy.  Morgan will bring the policy to the next SWATeam meeting for discussion.  Morgan also asked about the SWATeam recommendation process and invited team members to send her comments and suggestions.  The Chair was selected as Fanxing Liu, with plenty of help from iSEE and the SWATeam Clerk, Meghan Killinger, because Fanxing just joined the team.

    Attached Files: 
  11. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (2.3.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam a meeting for the Spring 2017 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Determining Team Chair
    • Final Review of rooftop solar recommendation and Petascale offsets recommendation.
    • What constitutes clean energy usage? (REC count vs. RECs don't count)
    Attached Files: 
  12. Water & Stormwater SWATeam Meeting Minutes 2/2/2017

    Review of pending recommendations: BIF Greywater, Increase Cooling Tower COC, Design Center Greywater Piping. Discussion on possible edits to the SWAT/iWG process. Student members will submit proposal to Student Sustainability Commision for apermanent meter to measure BIF greywater use. The Water SWATeam will meet every other week and will have a joint meeting with the Agriculture, Land Use, Food, and Sequestration (ALUFS) SWATeam this semester.