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Projects Updates for Student Sustainability Committee (SSC)

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  1. Solar Decathlon 2011 Funding Agreement

    This proposal seeks to provide funding for student education centered around the University of Illinois’s participation in the 2011 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition. Each student team participating in this prestigious, international competition is required to build an entirely solar-powered 800 sq. foot house with innovative design features. This grant will provide funds for the development of new courses and enhancement of existing courses, provisioning of course materials and software, and the sponsorship of guest lecturers and consultants ($25,000), the employment of graduate students in coordinating roles for education and volunteer engagement activities ($15,000), and student travel associated with the competition ($10,000). The last UI entry in the Solar Decathlon competition engaged hundreds of students and was the highest-placed US finisher in the Competition; furthermore this participation will require the team to raise $700,000 at a time of severe campus budget constraints. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding this proposal in the amount of $50,000.

  2. Prairie Project Instructional Workshop Funding Agreement

    The Prairie Project is a faculty development workshop with the objective of preparing faculty (and aspiring faculty) to teach on issues of sustainability and to introduce such material into existing campus coursework. The project will reach an interdisciplinary group of 18 faculty members who teach courses reaching thousands of students, and helping achieve campus objectives around sustainability education. This workshop will also serve as a pilot project for larger workshop activities in future years. Committee funds will be used to provide a modest honorarium for participants, who undertake to make modifications to a course that they will teach next year. This workshop is being hosted by the campus Office of Sustainability, and funding support in equal amounts is also being provided by the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Change Institute. Thus the Committee recommends funding this program in the amount of $5,000.

  3. Occupancy Sensors Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to install occupancy sensors in classrooms, hallways, restrooms, lounges, and other public areas in twenty heavily used campus buildings, chosen according to the number of student contact hours. This project will reduce energy usage by 30% in affected areas, saving the campus approximately $18,000 per year in energy costs (based on a $0.0689/kWh rate), and reduce emissions by nearly 440,000 lbs of CO2 equivalent. This highly visible effort is expected to increase student and community awareness of the impact of reducing lighting usage. These sensors will serve as a lasting and permanent public statement of campus commitment to responsible sustainable behavior. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $50,000.

  4. Course Development and Enhancement (ECI) Funding Agreement

    For FY2010, the Student Sustainability Committee chose to solicit proposals for the development or enhancement of courses related to sustainability jointly with the Environmental Change Institute. Such a program allows the Committee to select proposals to support, while leaving project management and administration to a better-suited entity. The program received ten proposals for consideration, out of which the following six proposals were chosen for funding:   ENGR 298 – LINC Bike Sharing – Prof. Bruce Litchfield - $5,000   LA 390/590 – Landscapes, Sustainability, & Human Health – Prof. Bill Sullivan - $2,420   PHYCS 150 – How Nature Works – Prof. Scott Willenbrock - $4,790   GEOG 130 - Social Science Approaches to Environment-Society Relations – Prof. Tom Bassett - $5,000   ME 470 – Senior Design – Prof. Stephen Platt - $4,000   BADM 532 / 533 – Sustainable Product and Market Development for Sustainable Marketplaces – Prof Madhu Viswanathan - $5,000   The ECI is committing $13,420 in support of an additional course and matching SSC allocations to two of the above courses. All courses participating in this program will meet program requirements established by the ECI and SSC, submit materials to the ECI for archiving and participate in the ECI’s annual symposium. Thus the Committee recommends funding this program in the amount of $26,210.

  5. Thin Clients for Green Computing Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to improve the energy efficiency of campus computing by expanding the use of thin client hardware and infrastructure. The effort will build on previous successful thin computing studies, scaling up the initiative to make thin clients available to a wider campus audience. Thin clients use 95% less energy than traditional desktop computers, which can significantly reduce campus energy expense and carbon emissions. Further, thin clients have a 10 year life-span, compared to the 3-4 year useful life of a traditional desktop computer, resulting in better utilization and ultimately less e-waste. To encourage the expansion of this more sustainable model of computing, this project seeks to make thin clients available at reduced costs for campus units. $40,000 of the grant would fund thin client devices, licenses, and associated Terminal Server client access licenses (CALs) at a rate up of to $200 or 50% of costs, whichever is lower. At least 200 thin clients will be made available at discounted rates for campus units; additional funding will come directly from units’ allocated budgets for replacement computer hardware. Purchase commitments for atleast 100 devices have made made by the College of FAA, and additional commitments have been made by Swanlund System Services and Campus Recreation. The remaining $5,000 of the grant would compensate Webstore/CITES for server/virtual machine investments. As more and more locations will have thin clients visible, students, faculty, and visitors will realize the benefits of this sustainable computing solution. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $45,000.

  6. IUB Retrocommissioning and Occupancy Sensors Loan

    Program Background:

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) is tasked with the allocation of the proceeds of two student environmental fees – the Clean Energy Technology Fee and the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee, to improve the sustainability of our campus. The committee has established a program to make funds available for efficiency projects that will be later returned for reinvestment in future projects.

    Committee funds will be made available to the Office of Sustainability which will carry out an inter-departmental transfer to the Receiving campus unit. The Receiving unit agrees to return the transfer to the Office of Sustainability, in installments, as described on the next page, for reuse by the SSC.

    Project Description:            

    The Illini Union seeks funding to retro-commission the Illini Union Bookstore building, and to install Occupancy Sensors in the Illini Union building. The Illini Union Bookstore building contains both academic and auxiliary units, and the SSC loan will allow for complete retro-commissioning of the building. Retro-commissioning is expected to cost $113,000; the RCx process identifies defective components within the HVAC systems, reconfiguring and controlling them to function more efficiently, decreasing wear and tear and extending their service life by 20 years (as part of a regular preventative maintenance program), as well as reducing building energy consumption.

    The SSC loan will also provide $67,000 to install lighting occupancy sensors in the Illini Union, in food service preparation areas, restrooms, office areas and meeting rooms, which will reduce energy and lighting use.


    The Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of the Office of Sustainability transferring an amount of $180,000 to the Illini Union completion of this work. These funds are to be drawn from the Sustainable Campus Environment Fee account managed by the SSC, as needed to complete the project. All funds requested from the SSC must be expended before 30th September 2010, else the unit must apply for an extension.

    The Illini Union agrees to return the funds provided by carrying out annual transfers to the Office of Sustainability due on the 15th of August of each year in the following manner:

    $20,000 – Due 15th August 2011

    $40,000 – Due 15th August 2012

    $40,000 – Due 15th August 2013

    $40,000 – Due 15th August 2014

    $40,000 – Due 15th August 2015

    The Office of Sustainability will direct them back to the Committee’s account. The Illini Union will provide a close-out report about the project after installation. The Illini Union will also appropriately publicize the Committee’s support of these projects.

    All funds provided by this transfer will be used in a manner consistent with University of Illinois policies and procedures.

  7. Student Sustainability Committee award application

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) applied for (and later won) the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2010. 

    SSC is a sub-entity of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with the primary purpose of bringing potential sustainable projects to fruition on the campus of UIUC. Students on the committee, advised by University administrators and faculty members, evaluate and select sustainable projects to fund through a comprehensive three-step project approval process. Through its selection process, the committee exercises its enormous potential in seeding and developing novel and innovative sustainable practices in construction, building and grounds management, and energy production.

  8. Vet-Med Prairie Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project would to be to plant a tallgrass prairie garden that mimics the natural prairie growth of Illinois.  The garden would go in two locations front of the Basic Sciences Building and be about 10200 sq ft.  The garden would consist of 40-50 different plants and consist of around 10000 seedlings. This project will create an area of native habitat on our campus, help educate and engage students about the prairie landscape, integrate with educational opportunities and serve as a pilot for future initiatives of this kind. Therefore, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the project for $21,700.

  9. Campus Recreation Water Conservation Funding Agreement

    Water conservation initiatives have generally taken a back seat to energy conservation at the University of Illinois. Campus Recreation has proposed a comprehensive upgrade of restroom facilities in all three of their buildings, with the potential of reducing water consumption by almost 6.5 million gallons annually. This work would be highly visible to students and in a fellow student-fee supported unit. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of proving upto $30,000 in incentives at the rate of $0.30 per $1.00 spent.

  10. Shut the Sash Model Program Funding Agreement

    Lowering the sashes on laboratory chemical fume hoods (CFHs) can result in significant energy cost savings by reducing the volume of room air that has to be heated or cooled. This project will evaluate the resources, components, and best practices required to develop a model shut the sash program and implement it campus-wide for variable air volume (VAV) CFHs. If successful, the project could generate over $250,200 in annual cost savings. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $4,400.

  11. Bike Parking Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to fund installation of bicycle parking facilities at the Undergraduate Library, the Ag. Sciences Engineering Building and Freer Hall. Cycling is a sustainable form of transportation, highly used by the student body, and inadequately supported on campus. Thus the students sustainability committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $10,600.  

  12. Prairie Restoration at Florida & Orchard Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to restore the no-mow zone at the southwest corner of Florida Ave. and Orchard St., as the campus’ first prairie planting. It will provide a site for an array of learning and passive recreation opportunities for both students and members of the extended community, while sequestering greenhouse gases as tangible evidence of the campus commitment to responsible sustainable behavior. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $40,000.

  13. Occupancy Sensors (Automatic Lighting Controls) Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to install lighting sensors in classrooms in several University instructional buildings (e.g. the Armory, the Foreign Language Building and Loomis). The sensors will switch off the lights in these areas, after 30 minutes of inactivity, which will reduce lighting consumption by ~30%. Additionally, having these retrofits take place at the same time as additional lighting upgrades will reduce overall installation costs. Given the reduction in lighting and electricity usage, the high visibility to students of the target areas and student interest in this technology, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $50,000.

  14. MechSE Sustainability Senior Design Funding Agreement

    Students in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering have been working on projects to improve the sustainability of our campus. The Department has requested support to carry out to projects (designing a sump pump water collection and use system, and assisting with the retro-commissioning of Siebel Center), which will are high-impact projects and will involve students. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding them to the amount of $6,000 ($4,000 for the water project, and $2,000 for the retro-commissioning project – with the expectation that Computer Science will underwrite the remainder).

  15. Measuring Sustainability Metrics of the Green Roof @ BIF Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to support class projects to assess the impact on sustainability of the green roof atop the new Business Instructional Facility. Students will get the opportunity to make measurements of the filtration and thermal properties of the green roof. Additionally it is hoped that these projects will help establish the roof as a laboratory for future student and faculty research projects on this topic. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $13,100.

  16. Mapping Sustainability Class Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to help inform the campus and community of sustainability related programs, facilities and organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area. This grant will pay for a student RA and GPS equipment to support a class project to map the above, thus adding an educational component to this proposal.  Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $3,200.

  17. Open Geothermal at ISTC Project Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to conduct a feasibility study regarding installing an open geothermal loop underneath the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.  The open geothermal loop would take water from one of the many nearby aquifers and only introduce heat into the system.   The project will increase awareness of geothermal systems, determine the physical and chemical attributes of the aquifer, and study integrating the geothermal system with the current HVAC system.  The ISTC hopes to decrease their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%-50%. The ISTC would test the procedure on this building, but hopes to extend it to other campus buildings.  Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of funding the full requested amount of $27,000.

  18. Power Plant Carbon Sequestration via Algae Biodiesel Production Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to construct an Algae Biodiesel Production Facility at Abott power plant. This facility will sequester some of the flue gases produced at Abott power plant while providing a renewable, carbon neutral fuel source for transportation.  The project offers potential for scaling, involves many student organizations and is also expected to be of research interest. Thus, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of partially funding the requested amount to the extent of $13,000