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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)
This student-led project will involve the design, construction, and installation of an energy geo-structure for heating the UIUC Energy Farm, located near the southeast corner of Race Street and Curtis Road on the South Farms. This project has great potential in exploring and utilizing geothermal energy, a renewable energy alternative to fossil fuels. An energy shaft is a new technology designed to access the shallow geothermal energy (relatively constant ground temperature in the upper 30 m of the subsurface). The objective of the project is to determine the feasibility of using drilled shafts that are already being used to support structures on campus also as a geothermal heat-exchange element. Geothermal heat exchangers (closed absorber pipes) can be incorporated into underground infrastructure, e.g., drilled shafts, through which water is circulated to withdraw shallow geothermal heat (~55 °F) and transport it to the surface for structure heating or cooling.Attached Files:
Located just south of Allen Hall/LAR and west of McKinley Health Center, the Red Oak Rain Garden solves local flooding issues while providing an outdoor space for the UIUC community. This SSC grant provides support for sidewalk modifications and additions, expanding pedestrian and cyclist transportation while strengthening flood control. The project team will also install benches to encourage community members to use the space throughout the year. For outreach, the project team will host a ribbon cutting event that celebrates the upgraded rain garden. Similarly, individuals can follow the rain garden @RainGardenUIUC on all social media platforms.Attached Files:
Simon taught 15 sessions with around 100 attendants total, over the 15 weeks. The sessions were Mondays from at 6:30. The sessions began on 9/5/2017 and concluded at the end of the fall semester.
The manager of the Campus Bike Center, Jake Benjamin, will help us seek another qualified student to teach the class this spring.Attached Files:
Illini Hillel Center for Jewish Life on Campus (the Center) has been working toward creating a more sustainable Center for the last few years. Starting with a student driven initiative to purchase and install a filtered, reusable water bottle filler, the Center has been working to improve its environmental impact in more ways. We would like to prepare a locally sourced Sabbath dinner for our community, using that time together to educate the community about our sustainability initiatives.Attached Files:
This project was originally proposed by Mechanical Engineering students for Abbott Power Plant in spring 2016. At that time, the SSC members did not want to support solar on the co-generation power plant because it uses fossil fuels. They asked if we could use it on a different campus roof, and we considered all the large or medium campus roofs.
The SSC asked us to identify a building that could have solar added, so I reached out to Applied Health Sciences in 2016 for approval to use the Speech and Hearing Sciences Building. Since that time, Kristine Chalifoux confirmed that the roof is strong enough for solar panels, due to a previous change in the insulation materials. Brian Finet completed design drawings for installing solar on the full available roof, and the Architecture Review Committee confirmed the building is allowed to have solar added.
After the engineering design work, the remaining funds were about $35K. This fall, we received a construction estimate from Jeff Holt for upgrading the electrical system to handle a 70 kW solar PV array. It would cost about $42K if done in conjunction with your capital project, just to get the wiring up to the roof and ready to punch through and install panels later. Rather than ask the SSC for additional funding and an extension, I am returning the remaining dollars and putting this project on indefinite hold.
The overall campus goals for on-campus solar generation are listed in the 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), which will be updated for 2020. The current objective is to generate 25,000 MWh/year of on-campus solar, and we are currently at about 7,000 MWh/year. Per the direction received from Chancellor Jones, we are working on a second large-scale solar farm to meet the goal, rather than several smaller-scale projects.
The second solar farm is planned to be about 12,000 kW in name-plate capacity, significantly more than the 70 kW rooftop array for Speech and Hearing. Rooftop solar is still an option, and several departments continue to install them at the building scale. The design drawings are posted online through the iCAP Portal, at , for future use.
The goal of this project was to support installation of high density bike parking in an area of campus with high needs for additional bike racks, and provide an amenity for campus cyclists with a unique shelter structure protecting parked bikes from the winter elements at the Main Library. This funding purchased the bike shelter and high-density racks. The shelter will be installed at the Main Library, after completion of the MCORE construction work on Wright Street and Armory Avenue.
The most significant development to date is that two buildings have been identified in which the material the team is work with will be installed, one is a single-story building of approximately 400 sq/ft the other has a double height space and a footprint off approximately 1,600 sq/ft that will be enclosed using the material in development.Attached Files:
Zero waste coordination semesterly report submitted to the Student Sustainability Committee.
On March 1, 2018, Morgan White, Pete Varney, and Shawn Patterson met with capital planner Trent Beane, a representative of the engineering firm, and a manufacturer’s rep from Dehart Recycling. We discussed the project needs, and the current status of the WTS equipment. Some notable points are listed below:
- The existing baler was installed in 1996
- Design of balers has changes a lot, with lower labor costs and alternatives to the perforator currently used at WTS.
- The power supply is probably similar to the existing power demand.
After the meeting, the engineering firm was asked to provide a formal proposal to F&S to approve and begin the design work. Unfortunately, this process was delayed due to emergency family medical issues for Mr. Beane.
In August 2018, a new planner was assigned, Chris Anzelmo. Anzelmo finalized the agreement with the engineering firm and arranged a kick-off meeting. In November 2018, the engineer visited the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to examine the Styrofoam densifier and gathered additional information from the WTS.
Then on December 13, 2018, preliminary drawings were shared with F&S. At that meeting, discussions included the needs for modifying the “pit” at the base of the baler entry system, adjusting the pathway width between the baler and the north wall, and recognition that locating the Styrofoam densifier at the WTS would require a building addition. Information about the HVAC system and required code updates were also reviewed.
On January 2, 2019, a baler vendor representative met with us at the WTS. They are going to look at an alternative baler that could provide the needed walkway space on the north end and use the existing pit.Attached Files:
The target dates listed in the original application have become irrelevant as two years have passed since the application date. However, this year the team built a new carbon fiber chassis and body for the first time in multiple years which was one of the major goals listed in the original application. The car was named EV-1. Because many of the project leads graduated, the team went through drastic leadership changes and lost most of its knowledge about carbon fiber work. Tremendous efforts were made by the remaining members, which ultimately led to our team relearning how to work with carbon fiber. This allowed us to create our first new and completely customized carbon fiber chassis. This year’s chassis design allowed for a decrease in weight and higher structural strength compared to prior designs. The team also switched fuel categories to keep up with the growing focus on battery powered vehicles. Doing so entailed manufacturing a battery powerful enough to power the concept car as well as designing a safe battery management system. The battery successfully passed the official Shell Eco-Marathon safety inspection. Switching to the battery electric fuel category reduced the overall weight of the vehicle as there is no longer a bulky hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen cylinder in the car. The team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon 2018 competition on the Sonoma Raceway. EV-1 passed the technical and safety inspections which are a set of rigorous tests performed to ensure the safety of the driver and other participants. Many teams do not make it past these inspections. While last minute technical difficulties disabled the team from qualifying to compete, EV-1 was featured in the front row of Shell’s family portrait.Attached Files:
Most of the incandescent lamps in the General Assignment classrooms have been replaced with LED lamps at this point. Several classrooms have also had new dimmers installed to properly control the lights. Four more buildings have been started and need to be completed.
The Bevier Café is a learning laboratory where FSHN students to get hands on experience running a food service establishment. This project will reduce the carbon footprint of the Bevier Cafe by installing a new, energy efficient, ventless dishwashing machine. The café will showcase the improvements to students and the general public. Students will get experience planning and purchasing equipment that matches the university’s sustainability efforts. Additionally, students will be exposed to the process and improvements through facility lectures and educational tours.Attached Files:
The Sustainable Student Farm (SSF) was started in 2009 with a grant from the SSC. The goal of the SSF is to provide fresh, locally grown food to University Housing to reduce the carbon foot print of food service at the U of I, and to show students the health benefits, quality, and superior taste and flavor of locally grown food. This SSC grant supports the Department of Crop Sciences as they plan to move the SSF from its current location at the Fruit Research Farm to the Landscape Horticulture Research Center (LHRC), adjacent to the arboretum. This new location is closer to the campus core, so students can better access SSF. Additionally, this new site is larger, allowing SSF to increase production output. To maximize this move’s efficiency and sustainability, SSF will hire an external firm to complete a feasibility study that identifies the most economical and space-efficient approach to construct the wash/pack/storage facility and space for equipment storage.Attached Files:
The Registered Student Organization, Illini Eco Concept, will design and build a battery powered concept car to participate in the annual Shell Eco-marathon. In doing so, the team hopes to promote the use of sustainable energy in the automotive field and educate UIUC students about the technology behind electric vehicles. The automotive industry is predicted to greatly decrease its carbon footprint if society shift towards the use of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine vehicles. However, there is often backlash against the use of electric vehicles due to misconceptions about their abilities. This student team will educate its members to design and manufacture an energy efficient electric vehicle and the ecological advantages it can offer.Attached Files:
The Gable Home was designed and built by students to compete in the 2009 US Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon Competition. Following the competition, the house returned to campus and was located at the I Hotel until Spring 2017 at which point it had to be moved due to the expansion of the research park. Since then a team of students and faculty have been working on finding a new permanent location for the Gable Home. A suitable location was found at the Energy Farm on Race St. in Urbana. The house is a valuable educational tool for students from many units on campus to visit and experience occupying a space that is powered solely by the sun and uses passive and active systems to create desirable thermal comfort throughout the year. This SSC grant provides support for the installation costs to make Gable Home a permanent fixture at the Energy Farm, so it meets building codes.Attached Files: