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All Project Updates


  1. MTD Contract Renewal and Car Sharing Promotions

    Associated Project(s): 

    Continued contract renewal work for the University and MTD three-year contract form FY13-FY15.  The students approved recommended transportation fees which will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees this spring. 

    Staff held weekly conference calls with Zipcar about promoting car-sharing on campus, and provided input to the University of Iowa and Eastern Illinois University regarding their car sharing plans.

  2. Bike to Work Day and Campus Bike Project Make Progress

    Associated Project(s): 

    Bike to Work Day (BTWD) planning is underway. Staff raised $1,250 in February from sponsors, which goes to Champaign County Bikes for the event.  Three on-campus Bike Station locations were organized, in addition to several off-campus Bike Stations.  University Housing graciously agreed to provide food and drinks for the on-campus Bike Stations, as they did last year.

    The Bike Sharing key staff members met with project champion, Mike Lyon from AITS, to provide a status update on the bike sharing feasibility study.  The bike sharing intern developed a presentation about departmental bike sharing, which will be taken to Legal Counsel and Purchasing contacts for final approval.  Then Colleges will be contacted before departments are approached to encourage departmental bike sharing implementation.  

    F&S Planning staff interviewed firms to engineer road improvements, including Fourth Street bike lanes from Armory Avenue to Kirby Avenue, and Sixth Street bike lanes from Armory Avenue to Gregory Drive.

    The bike parking intern completed and submitted a proposal to the SSC to replace existing “donut-hole” racks with campus standard racks.  He also met with staff at Christopher Hall and the Illini Union about upgrading their bike parking areas.  Additionally, staff worked with a representative from Champaign County Bikes to arrange a pilot test of an alternative bike parking rack, the Varsity Rack.

    The Campus Area Transportation Study (CATS) agencies met in February and agreed that the Campus Bike Plan document should be for University-owned pathways, and it should be in agreement with the City of Urbana Bike Plan, the Champaign Transportation Plan, and the County Greenways and Trails Plan.

    The Campus Bike Project submitted a proposal to the SSC for expanded open hours with student assistants.

    Plans are underway for a bike race on May 5 in the Research Park.  About 300-400 race participants are anticipated.  There will be a community ride that morning, as well as a race in the City of Urbana on May 6.

  3. EMC^2 Proposal, F&S Steam Reduction, Virtualization

    Staff further developed the Energy Management and Control Center (EMC^2) proposal for Chancellor Wise to share with potential donors/partners.  This process included preliminary documentation of the existing energy distribution and tracking computer programs.

    F&S staff started discussions about a steam reduction project at the Main Library, which includes repairing steam traps, replacing Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV), and repairing or replacing other valves.

    F&S is moving towards virtualization for their IT servers.  That will let F&S move to a single server, which will reduce the cooling load and energy demand.  This project can be replicated in other departments for additional energy savings.

  4. Solar Farm Proposal Approved

    Associated Project(s): 

    The proposed Solar Farm was taken through the formal Site Selection process for campus, and approved by the Chancellor’s Capital Review Committee (CCRC).  Then the Request for Proposal (RFP) was published and over 30 vendors downloaded the RFP.  A Fact Sheet and Q&A were sent with introductory letters to the community leaders and Solar Farm site neighbors on First Street.


  5. Partnerships, Engagement in Local Efforts

    Associated Project(s): 

    On February 16, CCNet hosted Angela Adams, the Recycling Coordinator at the City of Champaign, to explain the proposed bag ban in the city; Pattsi Petrie, a Champaign County Board Member, to discuss local foods; Mike Monson, the Urbana Chief of Staff, to explain the Electrical Aggregation proposal; and Marya Ryan, from the Urbana Sustainability Advisory Commission to review the City of Urbana’s Climate Action Plan.

    Staff facilitated meetings with students and staff about potential letters of support for the City of Champaign Single Use Disposable Paper and Plastic Bags study item.

    In an effort to standardize emissions calculations throughout the community and county, staff met with transportation planners from the Regional Planning Commission to share information about calculating transportation emissions.

  6. Students and Faculty Work Together on Education in Sustainability

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S worked with the College of Business’ Director of Information Management to provide detailed solar data from the Business Instructional Facility to a graduate student in ECE.

    A team of MBA students in Madhu Viswanathan’s course worked with the Campus Bike Project to make recommendations about how the Campus Bike Project could become financially self-supporting.

    Scholarship of Sustainability 10-part series began.

    The Engineering 315, Learning in the Community UI Bikes (UIB) section submitted their project proposal for what the class will be working on this semester.  The UIB class has divided into three groups which will tackle three different bicycle-related projects this semester: 1.) the continuation of the bike sharing market analysis started last semester, including a campus-wide survey and several targeted focus groups; 2) the development of an online, interactive campus bicycle parking map using Google Maps; and 3) testing out various marketing tactics to encourage bike riders to park their bikes legally at designated bike parking, rather than on trees, signs, ramps, or fences.

  7. Press on U of I Sustainability Efforts

    Associated Project(s): 

    Staff continued working with the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) on the sustainability portal.  The portal will host a database of the iCAP/sustainability projects for campus, with searchable details about the projects, people, funding, and metrics.

    Staff met with Inside Illinois to develop an article about campus sustainability.  The article is online at

    The Alumni Magazine included a story about being a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly University.

  8. Abbott Power granted permit

    Abbott Power Plant was granted an IEPA permit to co-fire biomass with coal until June 30, 2013.  F&S intends to do some test burns this spring with wood chips.  Wood chips have a good track record in stoker boilers, and we are fairly confident we can demonstrate a successful trial.  In addition, wood chips appear to be one of the most cost effective sources of biomass available at this time.

  9. Energy Dashboard Presentation at Behavior Change/ Energy Efficiency Conference

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Energy Dashboard Project will be a highlighted project at the Behavior Change/ Energy Efficiency Conference.

    Illinois Energy Dashboard project, collaboration with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Department of Facilities and Services (F & S).

    This project has been in the works for over a year, with a commitment to provide clearly visible, usable and understandable information to students and staff of chosen University buildings about energy consumption (electrical, chilled water and steam).  We are working with InStep Software, Inc., the University of Illinois vendor for the management and predictive analytics software for energy use on campus.   We are now in Phase One of implementation, the design of the look and content of our public Energy Dashboard site, testing and the public launching of the first version of the Ilini Energy dashboard (Phase two will support the installation of real time meters in about 10 – 12 builings).

    This is one in many of the continuing efforts across campus to pull together and unify the significant educational (and research) efforts of departments and Colleges in reducing negative human impact and enhancing sustainability locally, nationally and globally. 

    This project is intended to have a threefold effect:

    ·         Provide real time information to develop awareness and cultural/behavioral changes in how energy is used (not only in the buildings featured but in all aspects of life).

    ·         Provide information for faculty and students in research.

    ·         Provide details for building staff to better use resources and energy, and make plans for building adaption in ways that may decrease usage over time.

  10. Jim Sims named as Planner for connection to campus grid

    Associated Project(s): 

    Because the Solar Farm is being managed by Purchasing, through the RFP process and contracts, there is not a Planner assigned to the entire Solar Farm project. However, the portion of the project that does relate to campus infrastructure is the connection to the Campus Electrical Grid. That will be under the responsibility of Jim Sims as the Planner.