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Projects Updates for collection: Student Sustainability Committee Funded Projects


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  1. Information about the occupancy schedule and Air properties of the ATMS Building

    According to F&S, Management Engineer, Mike Halm:

    1. Currently, this unit is in occupied mode on weekdays, 6AM to midnight.  Normally the occupancy schedule will more closely follow the hours the building is open, but runtimes were extended across campus as a precaution during the pandemic.

    2. When the building was originally designed, there likely wasn’t a set amount of air changes per hour applied to every classroom.  Typically for classrooms the heating and cooling airflows are determined based on the specific loads in each room, rather than applying a flat rate based on the volume of the room.  If it would help, we could share the original ventilation drawings from 1989.  Regarding the ASHRAE standards, any new construction or renovation work on campus should have mechanical ventilation provided in accordance with ASHRAE 62.1.  However, there were different codes and standards in place when this building was constructed 30 years ago.  The current version of ASHRAE 62.1 may have slightly different requirements than the codes in place when the building was built.

  2. Key Steps Supporting Vision Zero in 2021-2022

    During the falls semester Stacy Gloss met with campus and community stakeholders to discuss Vision Zero in our community. The attached report provides recommendations for campus to update and modify Transportation policies, support and advocate for community traffic safety efforts, provide leadership and support to local transportation departments, expand and create new student engagement and project opportunities, and develop a relationship with the Vision Zero network.

  3. Weekly Update: Winter is coming; Kids' bikes donations

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slowing down a little now that it’s getting legit colder. Visitor numbers held a little longer than expected—maybe hinting at a tectonic shift in our community’s biking habits? I hope so!

    Last week I got a count on all the Kids’ Bikes we have at both spaces and started my staff (and volunteers) in on rehabbing the ones we have here at CBC. Once we’re done with those, I’ll move what’s at Urbana over here. We already have around 40 bikes and we haven’t done an honest push for donations yet. I’ll meet with Campus Rec marketing this week to work up a plan for how best to publicize the event.

    We’ve got a couple staffers moving on at the end of this week but have 3 new staffers in the hiring process. Coupled with less demand, we’ll be able to train up and onboard our new hires nicely. Winter is always my preferred season for onboarding.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 31
    Sales: $845.50
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $600
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $22


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  4. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met on Thursday, November 11 to review some data related to vending machine quantities and pouring operations, analyze the initiatives of some other universities, and begin discussing our campaign strategy. As some initial steps, the team devised some questions for a campuswide survey on drinking water behavior and discussed a recommendation to begin tracking drinking water filter stations on campus. Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  5. STARS award finalists

    The University of Illinois has two submittals that are recognized as finalists for the 2021 Sustainability Awards:

    More information can be found at 

  6. Dhruv and Ali provided the following answers to Sterling with SafeTraces


    This is an example of what the format used below.

    Q#: What is the answer to this question?

    A#: This is the answer to that question.



    Dhruv and Ali provided the following answers to Sterling with SafeTraces:



    Q1: Please provide PDFs of the full floor plan layout drawings for the entire building. Be sure to include 
    square footage for each room and common areas. It is also very important to identify operable windows, if any? 

    A1: Floor plans with room areas attached. 
    Following files are attached for floor plans 
    B0300-01-11X17 Astronomy Building-(1st floor plan)-2021 
    B0300-02-11X17 Astronomy Building-(2nd Floor plan)-2021 
    (current/anticipated occupancy assumptions would be helpful) 


    Q2: What are the Astronomy Building's normal hours of operation?

    A2: Monday to Friday (0800 hrs-1700 hrs.). Saturday and Sunday the building is locked. 


    Q3: What is the air filtration rating for the spaces?

    A3: MERV :: HEPA Filters at AHU, currently MERV-13. 


    Q4: What is the Make/Model, age, specs and replacement/upgrade history of the existing HVAC system?

    A4: Original AHU from 1990, Trane Model 41A, Serial K89H24684. Original AHU equipment schedule attached. AHU controls originally pneumatic, upgraded to DDC (Siemens) in 2016 to allow occupancy schedules to be implemented. Zone level (VAVs) are still pneumatic.  I believe the fume hoods are only energized when in use.  Heating in the building is hot water radiators and hot water VAV reheat (no heating coil at AHU) fed from hot water boilers. 30% glycol cooling coil in AHU, fed from air cooled chiller on site. 


    Q5: What is the Make/Model and full specifications of the portable air purifiers expected to be used or are being used in the building? 

    A5: I don’t believe any portable air purifiers are currently in use. 


    Q6: Please identify all HVAC zones in the drawings. (Note: This is a command, not a question)

    A6: See zone map drawings Paul sent previously. Please review the attached file 
    CC-0300_09_V-700_RCX-Astronomy Building-Zones plan-AHU-EFU-2017 


    Q7: How many air-changes per hour is the HVAC system currently providing?

    A7: Will vary from room to room based on VAV damper position, ceiling height, etc. Based on a peak airflow of AHU (21,200 CFM), overall building area, and typical ceiling height (9’-0”), we’d have about 11.3 air changes per hour at peak load. 


    Q8: What are the basic assumptions for outside air intake to aid in dilution/ventilation for all interior spaces? 

    A8: AHU has a minimum OA position, and runs based on an occupancy schedule. We’ve temporarily changed our AHUs to run in occupied mode from 6AM to midnight for most of our units due to COVID-19 precautions. Unit is also sized for economizer when OA conditions allow. 


    Q9: What are the weather assumptions for heating and cooling the interior spaces along with outdoor temperature and humidity estimates?

    A9: I’m not positive what conditions the original designers used in 1990, but see page 2 of the “HVAC Systems” attachment from our facilities standards for our typical OA design conditions. 

  7. Weekly Update: Uncommonly busy; Visit from Ride Illinois; Kids Bike Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, We were, again, uncommonly busy for this time of year. Beginning of this week looks bike-friendly, too (as in: warm). A couple people finished up their B-a-Bs last week. I picked up parts from Urbana so we’re well-stocked on 26” wheels, which we’d run out of, mostly—surprisingly.

    We’re still ironing out dates for our Kids Bike Giveaway event and the specifics therein. Will work more on this in the coming week.

    Last week I was visited by the Executive Director of Ride Illinois, the statewide bike advocacy group. It was a brief chat but a good one and nice to have our operation on their radar. Relatedly, our new space continues to impress.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 39
    Sales: $967
    Memberships: 9 for $270
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $380
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $90

    Tires/tubes: 10 for $56


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  8. This Week in Research

    What do giant grasses, micro grids, deep wells, and hydrogen-powered buses all have in common? They are all part of a clean energy future that is being imagined, created, and tested here at UIUC. The breadth of our energy research portfolio, across all of the campus and the broader C-U community, is truly impressive. Here are just a few examples:

    Solar Farm 2.0 will soon be home to a newly awarded, $10M project led by Madhu Khanna to optimize the design of "Agrivoltaics," or fields with both crops and solar panels to maintain crop production, produce renewable energy, and increase farm profitability. A few miles to the east, the Energy Farm boasts extensive test plots to study how to grow and use plants as biofuel. The farm is using a biomass boiler to replace propane as the fuel source for its main research greenhouse. The Energy Farm is also home to one of dozens of geothermal wells on campus that are helping scientists like Yu-Feng Lin develop better geothermal systems, while on the north side of campus, the new Campus Instructional Facility is heated and cooled with a state-of-the art geothermal system. Nuclear power is expected to play an important role in meeting our campus ICAP goals, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hosted a hearing last week to seek input on our plans to site a next-generation, micronuclear reactor near the Abbott Power Plant. Integrating renewable energy sources into the power grid presents unique challenges, and Illinois power system researchers, including Alejandro Domínguez-García, are working to develop microgrid technology to address issues of reliability and resilience. Meanwhile, researchers such as Petros Sofronis are working on a bold new vision for national leadership in the emerging hydrogen economy. (It might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the CUMTD just launched two hydrogen-powered, zero-emission buses—the first in the state!) 

    There is only one way I can wrap up a message about our campus energy research: The future looks bright, indeed!



  9. Information Needed to Establish a Framework for the Project

    The following email was sent by Sterling Laylock to Dhruvaraj Gambhire & Ali Feroz Khan.


    We greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet with you today. Please find below the list of information we'll need to establish a detailed framework
    for our pilot project and pricing for full approval.


    We've also agreed to meet each Thursday at 4:00pm central time which will serve as our weekly meeting. There will be an exception
    to next week's meeting which will be held on Wednesday Nov 10th at 4:00pm.


    Building Site: Astronomy Building #0300

    Weekly Meeting Time: Thursday's 4:00-5:00pm Central

    Tasks Prior to Test Date:

    1. Test Site Floor Plan Analysis
    2. Determine Test Site Design
    3. Develop Project Protocols
    4. Establish Sampling Method
    5. Select Sampling Types, Origin Points + Intervals

    Tasks Post Test Date:

    • Lab Testing
    • Data Reporting
    • Recommendations
    • Business Case Analysis



    Required items are highlighted in BLUE**) [note the color is not displayed on the icap portal, instead the items are starred (**)]

    Additional items are necessary, however they can be addressed later in the project timeline.

    1.     Please provide PDFs of the full floor plan layout drawings for the entire building. Be sure to include 
    square footage for each room and common areas. It is also very important to identify operable windows, if any? ** 
    (current/anticipated occupancy assumptions would be helpful)

    2.     What are the Astronomy Building's normal hours of operation? **

    3.     What is the air filtration rating for the spaces? MERV :: HEPA

    4.     Make/Model, age, specs and replacement/upgrade history of the existing HVAC system?

    5.     Make/Model and full specifications of the portable air purifiers expected to be used or are
    being used in the building.

    6.     Please identify all HVAC zones in drawings.

    7.     How many air-changes per hour is the HVAC system currently providing?

    8.     What are the basic assumptions for outside air intake to aid in dilution/ventilation for all interior spaces.

    9.     Please include weather assumptions for heating and cooling the interior spaces along with outdoor temperature and humidity estimates.

  10. Zero Waste iCAP Team Meeting

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team met on Wednesday, November 3 to prioritize recommendations for this semester and plans for next semester. The team has decided to move forward with a drinking water campaign to recommend by the end of this semester, and the committee will break out into sub-teams for the upcoming semester based on several other working recommendations. Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  11. Weekly Update: Busier than expected; Kids' Bikes Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I jinxed it. I said we’d be slower last week sine it rained a lot but then people kept showing up. Finished up a bike for Wednesday or Friday and it didn’t sell immediately, so looks like demand is waning a little.

    This week I’ll work on doing preliminary checks/sorting of Kids’ Bikes for our giveaway. I also ordered a rebuild kit for each of our truing stands, which’ll help get those back in good working order. I’ll get those installed this week as well.

    I’ll also poke around on the LGL database as to why it is not registering new membership forms.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 31
    Sales: $281
    Tires/tubes: 6 for $35


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  12. Design for America Meeting

    Meeting 10/29/2021

    Present:  Anisha, Ananya, Pooja and Stacy Gloss

    The project idea that the students would like to pursue is Making connections between pollution and people – focused on smart phones, tablets, computer e-waste generated by students. The student group may consider various technologies in their project: laptops, gaming consoles, wearable tech.

    They will research:

    • Material Sourcing  / ethical sourcing  (What are major parts/tech of smart phone and how they are produced? Conditions? Environmental Impact?)
    • Manufacturing / Ethical production
    • Transportation
    • Sales
    • Purchasing frequency/habits/thoughts: What do students think about environmental impact of technology when purchasing technology?
    • End-of-product-life (what happens to products after their use?) – What do people think happens? What really happens?
    • Other considerations: data centers

    Project members may reach out to people in the community who are already knowledgeable about recycling to such as:

    For the next meeting the DFA group should be prepared with the specific research questions they want to answer by conducting this research and their thoughts on research methods --- these questions should inform their approach for the project and related initiative they will want to develop. They will also review the Zero Waste  iCAP portal page for resources.

    Research Methods:

    Question:  Are there any special considerations (for example IRB) for DFA students to create a survey for campus on how often students purchase / throw away / recycle smart phones? Are there any processes that need to be followed within ISEE to do this research?

    Other questions:

    Is there a recycling coordinator on campus that has any data about e-waste on campus?

    Potential things to consider

    The group will think about how they want to visualize their project for impact. Students also are open to the audience at this point – could include campus and off-campus audience. Off campus audience members could be the Champaign County Climate Coalition.  Interactive presentation could be set up in a community location like a library. The students could present their project to an iSEE committee – like Zero Waste and Resilience.

  13. Coordinated Rainwater Management Brainstorming Meeting

    10/25/2021 11:00 am

    Present: Brent Lewis, Betsy Liggett, Lisa Merrifield, Stacy Gloss

    Updates from Stacy:

    • Resilience team identified a next step on the iCAP objective review slides: “Resilience team to recommend campus to initiate an engineered rainwater master plan”
    • NGICP training for 4 F&S staff submitted to SSC as step-1 application
    • Stacy attended the GI conference Oct 20

    Updates from Lisa and Betsy:

    • Extension receiving funds to create state-wide GI reporting platform, working with NCSA
    • Lisa is hiring an Academic Hourly intern to work through summer 2022 for the biodiversity plan - this work is complementary to coordinated rainwater management plans and so this staff person may be able to work on planning objectives for coordinated rainwater management plans.
    • Lisa is recruiting someone with planning / engineering background to work on GI or biodiversity this summer.

    Coordinated Rainwater Plan

    We discussed the fit for Extension to be involved in coordinating rainwater management plans for our urbanized areas and campus. We brainstormed ideas on how coordination can take place, who should be involved, and started thinking about special topics to address.

    Green Infrastructure Mapping

    Work together with Extension and NCSA on the GI platform for Illinois. This work is starting soon.

    Next Steps

    • Follow up and plan to meet in December or January.   
    • Define rainwater management plan 
    • Define objectives for a rainwater management plan
    • Describe process for achieving those objectives
    • Attend planning meetings with Extension on GI platform & mapping


  14. Weekly Update: Slow week; Outside event with Urbana Parks District; Kid's Bike Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slower week as per usual with the coming of fall. We’re still mostly sold out of bikes as the ones we have been getting in are finicky and in need of uncommon parts.

    Last week, I tentatively set up an outside event for the spring with the Urbana Parks District. More details as that event develops.

    This week we’ll also get to planning for our participation/role in this winter’s Kid’s Bike Giveaway. We’ve certainly got the bikes for it!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 32
    Sales: $366
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $35


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  15. EV Procurement Law in Illinois

    EO 2108, ELECTRIC VEHICLE PROCUREMENT. The executive order provides that the state shall: (1) develop and implement a program for procurement of electric and other low emission or zero emission vehicles for state purposes; (2) establish a State Fleet Working Group convened by the Department of Central Management Services and composed of representatives from the Department of Transportation, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Illinois Commerce Commission; (3) set forth the responsibilities of the working group; (4) direct the Department of Central Management Services, in conjunction with other state agencies, to develop a plan to install electric vehicle chargers on state property; and (5) direct the Illinois State Board of Education to collaborate with the Department of Transportation and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to develop tools and provide information to assist school districts in assessing the benefits and costs of zero emission bus options when replacing school buses. The executive order became effective 22 APR 21.


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