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- 2.1 Net-Zero Space
- 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
- 2. Energy Conservation and Building Standards
Key Objective: 2.1 Net-Zero Space
The 2010 iCAP committed the campus to enacting a 'no net increase in space' policy applicable to all space controlled by campus. Such a policy enables greenhouse gas emission reductions through restricting additional gross square feet of campus buildings, which is directly related to the peak energy demand for campus utilities. In addition to limiting future energy expenditures, there will also be a reduction in the use of resources for construction materials and processes, and a reduction of transportation emissions associated with urban sprawl.
A net zero growth space policy has been approved by the Provost’s Non-Instructional Space Task Force. The campus should target formal adoption of this policy and incorporation into the Campus Administrative Manual before the end of FY15. According to this policy, when buildings are demolished or leases are vacated (post-2010), their gross square footage would be added to a “square footage bank” held by the Provost’s office. The Provost may “retire” this square footage in order to effect a gradual reduction in campus gross square footage, or may make allocations of this square footage to offset individual projects that would otherwise increase gross square footage. Such an allocation from the bank would represent a negative square footage contribution to the project to enable it to result in no increase in gross square footage.
Modern building standards typically require more square footage for accessibility and mechanical needs. Nevertheless, campus could prevent the need for increases in square footage by judiciously examining existing and new space requirements at a departmental level. Campus could also consider best practices from other campuses, such as a space marketplace that provides rewards for space reduction and enables efficient space swaps. The campus could develop a standardized reporting system that measures utilization of classrooms, classroom laboratories, conference rooms, and meeting rooms based on variables such as time and day of the week, average percent fill, facilities demand, etc. Campus administrators could then identify underutilized spaces and reassign them for other purposes. A comprehensive space audit of the campus could also be considered.