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Projects Updates for collection: Living Lab Facilities / Programs

  1. Weekly Update: Abandoned bicycles, Sustainability Celebration

    Associated Project(s): 


    Mike, a semi-regular at the old shop, walked in on Friday for his appointment, looked around and said, “What’d you have to do to get upgraded to such a nice spot?”

    Just another positive review of our new space.

    I coordinated with Parking to do more frequent pick ups—but smaller loads—of abandoned bikes, which should allow for a better flow of bikes in and out of the bike center. This should be more manageable for myself and my staff going forward, as well.


    This week is a Campus Sustainability Celebration on Tuesday, a CBC staff meeting Wednesday evening, and warm weather to close out the week, which usually equals some more traffic, but we’ll see if that holds during a pandemic.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 14
    Sales: $178.20
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Misc parts: 4 for $40


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  2. Campus Sustainability Celebration

    iSEE and F&S are excited to invite you to the Campus Sustainability Celebration 2020! This is an annual event that is especially exciting this year with the signing ceremony of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020, (once every five years) and the presentation of energy conservation and Freezer Challenge awards. Everyone is invited and encouraged to stay afterward for a social-hour!

    Campus Sustainability Celebration

    October 20, 3 pm • Map

    Meredith Moore • Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

     This opportunity is available online.

  3. Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

    According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S. and this growth will continue to rise. At the moment, only a few states have adopted solar PV end-of-life handling policies. Thus, a lot of modules may end up in landfills. The panel discussion will be on barriers, policies, and sustainable opportunities for end-of-life PV modules.

    Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

    October 22, 9:30–11 am

    Jennifer Martin • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

     This opportunity is available online.

  4. 10/16 Zero Waste SWATeam Meeting

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat from the Zero Waste SWATeam meeting on 10/16.

    Discussed were the following topics:

    Reducing Food Waste

    • Post-consumer food waste prevention
    • Post-consumer food waste recovery

    Vending Machine Alternatives to Single-use plastics

    Plastic Recovery

    Single Use Plastics

    Illini Union Shadowbox attachment

    Food Literacy Project


  5. Weekly Update: Open hours sign, bikes pick up

    Associated Project(s): 


    Last week I had an epiphany that we should probably have a sign on the door that lists our hours, even if they are appointment only. That’s in the works, should be ready tomorrow.

    With the decrease in testing for grad/staff we’ve had to turn a few people away for not being up-to-date. They have, by and large, been totally understanding. A few people have emailed and canceled ahead of time, which is welcomed.


    Set up a secondary pegboard in the shop to better organize freewheel/cassette tools—it’s a vast improvement over the drawer and/or coffee can we’d been using before. Last week I grabbed the scrap metal bin, some miscellaneous parts, and Aquaham Lincoln. He’ll live atop the fridge.

    This week I’ll coordinate with Parking to pick up a few bikes—only space for 3 or so—for instructional/teaching purposes with the new hires, schedule a staff meeting for my team, finalize placement for wheel hooks around the shop to increase storage.


    The numbers:

    Visitors: 12
    Sales: $747
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Refurb bike: 2 for $430
    Tire/tubes: 10 for $57




    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  6. Red Oak Rain Garden Nears Completion with Award of Grants

    Please see the attached file for a recent press release regarding the Red Oak Rain Garden and their awarded grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

  7. Resilience iCAP Team Follow-Up Meeting

    The Resilience SWATeam met again on October 9th, 2020 at 12pm. The team completed the iCAP 2020 Assessment and in doing so determined the team's priorities for the year. The Assessment has been sent it to the iCAP Working Group, and the team is looking forward to advancing our objectives!

    Attached are the meeting minutes and chat log. 

    The agenda was as follows:

    1. Review iCAP 2020 Assessment (Due October 9th)

    2. Update on Hazard Mitigation Plan recommendation

    3. Plans for future meetings

    4. Announcements



  8. 10/5 Resilience iCAP Team First Meeting

    The Resilience SWATeam met for the first time on October 5th, 2020 to get to know one another other and assigned team members to specific iCAP 2020 Objectives. We did icebreakers and new student members were introduced to different faculty, staff, and community members that are leading projects throughout campus. The team will have a follow-up meeting on October 9th to discuss work done over the past week and complete the iCAP 2020 Assessment. Attached are the meeting minutes. 

    The agenda was as follows:

    1. Introductions

    2. Evaluation of current progress on completing iCAP 2020 Objectives

  9. Weekly Update: Refurbished bike swap, low numbers, signage

    Associated Project(s): 


    Another week in the books! It’s definitely still an adjustment to be open only by-appointment. We’re still getting phone calls and emails about user error and whatnot when scheduling and we’re only seeing 4 or so people per day. But hey, it’s a pandemic. People are still going to the old shop—some internet search engines are not up-to-date but we do have signage over there. Ironies of all ironies since people couldn’t seem to find that tucked-away garage before and are now flocking to it, it seems.


    Had a refurb-swap of a loose cranked bike. Thankfully the gentleman wasn’t injured in the failure. He took a different same-priced bike. He was very understanding and that was appreciated.

    Still working on upping our staffing levels to a comfortable number.

    We’ve only done a handful of bike registrations, which either speaks to the cost-as-deterrence or that people are picking them up elsewhere. Hopefully the latter!

    Still optimizing the layout and functionality of our new space but everyone who’s visited that was familiar with the old space has been blown away by the across-the-board improvements. I discovered a closet here that I didn’t know existed which now is storing the Bikes at Work trailer and the smaller kid-sized one. Aquaham Lincoln will likely migrate over here this week.


    The numbers:

    Visitors: 21
    Sales: $562.70
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Bikes: 3 for $360
    Tires/tubes: 1 for $1



    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  10. Weekly Update: First week open, Light the Night

    Associated Project(s): 


    Last week was our first full week of being open since the pandemic-induced shutdown. We are by-appointment only and making do with that. Visits, sales, and the like are—compared to normal—way down for this time of year.

    We also had Light The Night last week and hosted one of the sites here at the Bike Center. It wasn’t as great a turnout as hoped but it was a new location for LTN and it’s a pandemic. We weren’t able to do our normal word-of-mouth publicity during open hours to the degree we’re accustomed. Thankfully we got some signage up at the old garage alerting people to our new location.


    This week we’ll work on optimizing the scheduling system, staff meetings, and safety checking a handful of bikes.

    Visitors: 38
    Sales: $951.50
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Bikes (refurb): 5 for $790
    Tires/tubes: 3 for $27



    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  11. Solar Farm 2.0 construction update from Sushanth Girini at F&S

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Solar Farm 2.0 construction is on schedule to be in service by 1/28/2021. Currently the project is installing approximately 4,400 posts in ground for the panel foundations. One of key objectives is to complete the Golden Row* by end of this month. Once the golden row is completed, inspected, and approved, the construction will be in full force to reach completion. The university is scheduled to perform routine inspections and capture all the underground equipment GPS points for reference. A recycling plan is in place, and the project is coordinating with F&S Transportation to collect the recyclable waste. The installation of a utility switch on the east side of the farm is complete.

    Procurement: We have received all the racking equipment and about 80% of the solar panel on site. Transformers and inverters are scheduled to be delivered by end of Oct 2020.

    ~by Sushanth Girini, management engineer at F&S Utilities and Energy Services


    Golden Row - is a single row of solar panel constructed by the construction crew. Once the project make sure all the connections are good and row is as per design, it gets approved. It's like a start of what's coming. Like a movie trailer!

  12. Design Constraint discussion with F&S and Researchers

    F&S staff met with the researchers to discuss the design constraints for installing the tensengrity structure for bike parking at Newmark Civil Engineering Lab (NCEL).  Dr. Ann Scychterz and Dr. Nishant Garg at CEE met with Stacey DeLorenzo, Brent, Lewis, Sarthak Prasad, and Morgan White from F&S on 9/22/2020. We discussed a few design constraints, such as staying out of the tree lines and height requirements for the proposed structure.  We also discussed the potential lifetime of the structure, various design shape options that may be incorporated, material selections, and maintenance plans.  The faculty will contact F&S again in early December.

  13. SWATeam charge letters


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