The Altgeld Hall renovation project is expected to include a green roof.
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The iCAP 2020 objective 6.3 is to "Launch an undergraduate Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) that includes two week-long residential intensives, pre-professional workshops, visiting speakers, and field trips to Springfield and Washington, D.C." The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is iSEE.
The iCAP 2020 objective 5.6.1 is to "Implement Food Literacy Project by FY24 by tracking carbon, nitrogen, and water footprints for food items in campus dining halls." The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is University Housing.
The world’s food, energy, and water systems are tightly connected. Sometimes, they work seamlessly together, but often they are competing for the same pool of resources, namely fresh water and clean energy.
In everyday life, we think of heat as a measure of temperature. To engineers, however, heat is actually a signal of energy transfer — the “heat” you feel is energy being transferred from a warmer thing to a cooler one.
An Illinois Energy Farm building with a geothermal exchange system will test a new, unique building material in the floor slab. Geopolymers, concrete-like alternatives, are a more eco-friendly building material. This research will assess the geopolymer-based construction materials performance in a structure using geothermal energy.
A geothermal exchange system heat and cools a structure. Illinois is studying the use of geothermal energy in other areas of campus as a viable power source (see project at top of page).
Purpose of the Work: Campus Connection
A large body of research exists on robots and autonomous technology, but still little understanding of how to integrate them into everyday life. While people seem relatively comfortable with a Roomba vaccum, a subservient robot, they might be less willing to let technology assist in other areas of their living space. However, adapting technology into the home could have significantly positive benefits for the occupant.
Global demand for food, energy, and water is increasing, which poses the challenge of how to meet these demands in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. At present, energy production is dominated by carbon-intensive fossil fuels; however, renewable energies are being integrated into the energy sector at an increasing rate. Bioenergy crops reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but the efficiency of crops converting sunlight to stored energy is low — and the water requirements from agronomic and industrial perspectives is high.
As different generations of individuals change and evolve, so may their transportation habits. However, it’s still an open question as to why younger individuals are shifting to driving less and owning fewer cars. On a college campus, students learn how to depend less on cars and more on public transit, bicycles, and walking.
Geothermal energy is stored in the Earth that humans can extract, process and then use. It is cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable. Capturing heat from the Earth to run a college campus would lower the U of I’s reliance on fossil fuels and help the university meet the goals set out in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP).