You are here

Projects Updates for iCAP Working Group (iWG)


  1. Energy003 Energy Master Plan - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that F&S commission an Energy Master Plan for the U of I campus that contains at least 4 scenarios under which the campus meets the iCAP goal of 0 GHG by 2050.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy003 Energy Master Plan with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  2. Energy002 Building Envelope - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We recommend that Building Envelope Inspection, Testing and Maintenance be performed as a method to improve building energy conservation to support the iCap 2050 goal of zero GHG emissions. Building Envelopes should be commissioned for all new construction projects. Existing Buildings should be inspected, tested, deficiencies addressed and maintained to achieve the best energy conservation possible for the building envelope. 

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy002 Building Envelope with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  3. Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study - Submitted

    The Energy SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    The College of ACES should conduct a Feasibility Study to construct and operate an anaerobic digester on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The College of ACES should then proceed in accordance with the results of the Feasibility Study.

    Recruit qualified faculty and staff and/or hire a contracting engineering firm to undertake this study and use the 2014 “South Farms Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study” and David Rivera-Kohr’s “Anaerobic Digester at the U of I” presentation as references. This new feasibility study should help the University:

    1. identify the optimal location for the digester considering transportation of feedstocks (e.g. COW pipeline from 2014 study), proximity to the natural gas (NG) pipeline and campus fleet, and the College of ACES’ plans for future construction (e.g. new Dairy Farm);
    2. determine feedstock options (i.e. food waste from dining halls, campus buildings, restaurants and industrial partners, agricultural waste, animal manure and carcasses) and quantities from both on-campus and off-campus sources and projected monthly and annual outputs of biogas (cubic feet) and solid/liquid digestate (tons). This should include a breakdown of chemical constituents in biogas and digestates with specific focus on the monthly and annual outputs of valuable molecules (e.g. methane, nitrates, phosphates, potash);
    3. evaluate optimal biogas and digestate end uses for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and for best return on investment with particular focus on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) production for the campus vehicle fleet or MTD buses, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) injection into the NG pipeline, biogas Combined Heat & Power (CHP) to meet parasitic energy load of digester and associated machinery, and applying digestates to agricultural fields as fertilizer. Include a recommended course of action for meeting the University’s sustainability goals;
    4. determine the optimal location for a CNG facility if the recommended option for biogas use is found to be RNG pipeline injection or CNG considering the most feasible CNG use scenarios (campus fleet trucks, cars, or MTD buses);
    5. determine prospective economics for implementation scenarios including life cycle costs of construction, equipment, transportation, etc., prospective savings from reduced expenditure (e.g. natural gas, vehicle fuel, fertilizer, waste transportation and disposal) and projected profits from energy credits (RECs, RINs, LCFSs), sale of digestion and upgradation byproducts, charges for facility use, acceptance of outside waste, etc.;
    6. evaluate mechanisms for integrating the recovered energy into campus’ energy generation and distribution system, e.g. determine the feasibility, economics and emissions associated with RNG pipeline injection, converting 8-12 campus fleet vehicles to CNG annually, using an Internal Combustion Engine to meet electricity needs of the host facility and dumping excess electricity onto the local grid, using biogas CHP with renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar, Deep Direct Use geothermal) to meet parasitic energy loads;
    7. determine potential sources of funding and evaluate the feasibility of owning and operating the system considering different partnership scenarios including the University alone and partnerships with private entities (e.g. GESS International, Inc., American Biogas Council, CR&R Environmental Services, EESI) or surrounding cities or counties—include other parties’ willingness to participate;
    8. compile a list of environmental, economic and other benefits associated with anaerobic digestion and utilization of biogas and digestate byproducts including those mentioned in the references. Include whether global water consumption will be reduced if digestate is used for fertilizer as opposed to generating an equal amount of traditional fertilizer and estimate time for return on investment given different biogas use scenarios;
    9. address and/or update the “recommended next steps” from 2014 feasibility study;
    10. investigate reasons why the previous feasibility study did not lead to digester construction and, if not already addressed by the previous criteria, collect information or take necessary steps to address those concerns.

    This study should be completed by FY22 (June 30, 2022).

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Energy001 Anaerobic Digester Feasibility Study with comments from the Energy SWATeam.

  4. ZW001 Student Sustainability Ambassador Program - Submitted

    The Zero Waste SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    We are recommending a pilot program for what we are calling the Student Sustainability Ambassadors initiative. The main idea is to have teams assigned to buildings – one team per building - on campus with student volunteers playing a central role in these teams. Other members of each team: the Building Manager, one or two Zero Waste Contacts in each building (i.e. staff or faculty volunteers in each building from a list of campus contacts that the ZW Coordinator will put together with a view to promoting ZW.)

    The focus of each team: all aspects that are relevant to whether a building is being operated sustainably with attention to the actions of people in the building. This includes reducing waste, increasing recycling, sustainable purchasing, natural landscaping, energy use, amount of printing that is done, and so on. A large focus will be placed on relating these components to the iCAP goals and objectives.

    Student Sustainability Ambassadors will speak with people who work in the building about issues they notice and about how they use the building. They will work to quantify waste/energy/resources used/etc. in their assigned building. They will help to inform people in the assigned building about all matters pertaining to sustainability including issues at the campus level, in particular the goals of iSEE and F&S. They will also work to provide solutions to problems they identify in their buildings.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation ZW001 Student Sustainability Ambassador Program with comments from the Zero Waste SWATeam.

  5. LW001 Data Repository - Submitted

    The Land and Water SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/2/2020: 

    The Land & Water SWATeam recommends that a single data repository and online dashboard should be established to ingest, archive, and disseminate data from various sustainability related monitoring on and around campus. This could potentially be a dashboard included on the iCAP Portal.

    Currently, there is a need to keep permanent records of original data and measurements from a variety of sensors and applications and in a variety of formats.  The university should be able to provide reliable, secure online access to sustainability-related monitoring data, to manage all monitoring network locations, to integrate data acquisition systems and external databases, and automate continuous data importing. Data such as water quality, soil moisture, green roof monitoring, nitrogen content will be tracked. Data can be input as public or private (such as data from research papers before publication) and entered manually or pulled from other platforms and software. The goal is to be able to provide online tools to visualize, analyze, and download data.

    The SWATeam has identified two potential options to develop this system, such as the College of ACES Soil Diagnostics proprietary software. Additionally, personnel from the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Lab in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering have developed a natural-resources data-management system that is able to assimilate and store data from a wide variety of sensors and provide online access to user-selected data streams (described in Explanation and Background section).

    The Land & Water SWATeam recommends that iSEE provide support to make this system the repository and dashboard for all sustainability-related monitoring across campus.  This would provide a single portal that would enable students, faculty, University staff and administration, and the public to access these monitoring data.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation LW001 Data Repository with comments from Land and Water SWATeam.

  6. Trans013 UI Ride Survey - Submitted

    The Transportation SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    When UI Ride resumes, F&S will hand out a survey that has already been developed by SWAT team member Julie Cidell regarding riders' motivations for taking UI Ride. Surveys are electronic and will not need to be physically collected; members of the SWAT team will carry out the analysis of the results.  

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Trans013 UI Ride Survey with comments from Transportation SWATeam members.

  7. Trans012 Carpool Survey - Submitted

    The Transportation SWATeam made the following recommendation on 4/3/2020: 

    The Transportation goal on “reducing single-occupancy vehicle usage” is promising in terms of addressing a number of sustainability objectives such as reducing traffic, congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. One of the possible avenues toward this goal is a campus faculty/staff ride-sharing program for those with steady work hours who are looking for a cost-effective way to commute. This recommendation will

    1. conduct a survey to examine the key factors influencing commuters’ decision to participate, policy and incentive mechanisms that properly address the interests of the commuters and other stakeholders (e.g., Parking, F&S);
    2. develop a model to support the design and operation of the system (such as pricing, service frequency), and
    3. long-term, implement a pilot program on campus.

    Attached is the SWATeam recommendation Trans012 Carpool Survey with comments from Transportation SWATeam members.

  8. Trans010 Mode Switch Survey - Successful

    The Transportation SWATeam made the recommendation below, which was transmitted to iSEE and approved at an iSEE Management Meeting. Meredith Moore is in communication with Julie Cidell regarding moving forward with this initiative. 

    "The Transportation SWATeam kindly requests the creation of a survey which would question faculty and staff who travel out of town for conferences or other university-sponsored activities on their decided mode of transportation. This survey would be voluntary and facilitated by the Transportation SWATeam. An example of a question would be something like: 'In the past year, what has been the main reason for the travel you selected?'"

    See the submittal of Trans010 Mode Switch Survey here.

    See the recommendation for the Trans010 Mode Switch Survey here. 

  9. Trans011 Carbon Credit Fund - Returned

    The Trans011 Carbon Credit Fund recommendation was returned to the Transportation SWATeam on 2/21/2020. 

    Dr. Ximing Cai writes, "For a recommendation submitted by your team last spring, iWG discussed it in the summer of 2019. Attached below please find the main points regarding the recommendation.

    a. Continue looking into incentives and NOT punishments

    b. Make a suggestion for how this could work with TEM

    c. Find more data on who this would affect and how it would affect them

    d. Find out how we would calculate the incentive for travelers and get an estimate on total cost per year

    e. Maybe set the incentive for trips outside of a 3-5 hour driving radius

    If you have any questions about these suggestions, please feel free to let us know. After addressing these points, you’re welcome to re-submit the recommendation for further iWG discussion."

    See the submittal of Trans011 Carbon Credit Fund and the original recommendation here.



Subscribe to