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Biomass Boiler at the Energy Farm

For many years, the UI has grown significant quantities of biomass plant products at the Energy Farm on South Farms. There have been a few preliminary attempts to identify a post-research use for this material, including the cancelled Vet Med Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project and a study of the compatibility with existing boilers at Abbott Power Plant.  Meanwhile the biomass material continues to be stockpiled at the Energy Farm. This project is looking to convert the existing (and future) biomass from the Energy Farm into power for the on-site Energy Farm facility.

USGBC IL Higher Education Sub-committee

Mission:  Serve as a state-wide resource to promote sustainability at both the individual building and campus level for colleges and universities throughout the USGBC Illinois Chapter’s geography.

Vision: Sustainable and responsible buildings and campuses that enhance the quality of life for Illinois’ students and employees of higher education institutions, current citizens and future generations.

Goals :

Zero Waste Gameday Challenge Spring 2014

The Climate Action Plan includes a commitment to adopt a Zero Waste Policy campus. Campus is working toward Zero Waste with the report done by Marcus Ricci last year, waste characterization audits through the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and hiring a Zero Waste Coordinator under the Waste Management Coordinator, Tracy Osby.  However, ultimately the only way to really achieve Zero Waste is by getting behavior change in individuals.

DIA Green Team

The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) has started a green team.  This team is looking at options for improving sustainability practices within DIA and opportunities to incorporate sustainability into major DIA events.

Urbana-Champaign Energy Star Challenge

The Urbana-Champaign Energy Star Challenge invites commercial building owners and managers to benchmark their 2013 energy use, then track and improve energy use throughout 2014, all with US EPA’s free online tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager.   Participants can access free in-person assistance using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager program to manage their building’s energy use.  Additionally, participants will be connected with financial incentives to move their projects forward and technical support to help pinpoint building energy savings.  

NRES 285: Sustainability Metrics and Evaluation Techniques

Professors Warren Lavey and Jodi Endress are developing a course to teach students how to evaluate the holistic impacts of various sustainability projects.  They are considering projects that have been done on campus, in town, or even globally.  There are often multiple dimensions of returns from these projects, which are not always captured in a financial Return on Investment analysis. 

Annual International Sustainable Electronics Competition

Ever wonder what happens to your electronic waste?

Electronic waste, or "e-waste," including computers, TVs, cameras, printers, and cell phones, etc., is a growing global issue. Through the International Sustainable Electronics Competition, participants are asked to explore solutions to remediate the existing e-waste problem, prevent e-waste generation in the future, and foster a more sustainable system for electronic device development, use, and management.

CEE 598 SUS with Barbara Minsker

In this course, students will explore fundamental concepts of sustainability and resilience in urban systems through case studies, videos, panel discussions, and a hands-on team consulting project in Chicago or Champaign-Urbana. Projects have been solicited from governmental and non-governmental organizations; planned topics are:

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