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All Project Updates


  1. Campus Bicycle Shop_Funding Award and Acceptance

  2. Glass Filler Retrofit_Funding Award and Acceptance

    By providing convenient bottle filling stations at water fountains in several heavily-trafficked campus buildings and libraries, the goal of this project was to wean the student body off of plastic water bottle consumption, lower campus waste generation, and encourage students, faculty, staff, and visitors to adopt environmentally-conscious habits. A marketing campaign called “Tap That” was coordinated to publicize the project and educate the campus community about the numerous benefits of reusable water bottles. In total, the project expenses were $15,160.

  3. Don't ditch Diesel Yet

    When most people think about clean energy, many just think wind and solar. However, the truth is that with the rapid increase in technology and innovation within the last few decades, the possibilities for renewable energy have increased exponentially. Biodiesel, for instance, is one that many people are not familiar with but should be because it is leading the way in clean fuel production. Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats.

    In addition to the club, the team working on this project found that an education component would be very beneficial to spreading their overarching goals of sustainability across the campus. Because of that, they created a class that students from all disciplines can take and piloted it this semester. The objective of the class competent is to educate students on the project and hopefully increase student and campus involvement in sustainability. I had the opportunity to check out the class earlier this week. I got to see the entire progress that the oil goes through first hand, and it was incredible. The SSC plans to follow up again after they are moved into their permanent location so stay tuned for further progress and innovation updates.UIUC is participating in the development and expansion of biodiesel in many ways. On campus, there is a registered student organization dedicated to it called The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI). Their primary mission is to produce biodiesel and soap from waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected from campus dining halls in an effort to reduce emissions and promote sustainability on campus. The Student Sustainability Committee initially voted to fund the Illinois Biodiesel Initiative during its 2012-13 funding cycle; however, due IBI being forced out of their old site at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, SSC funding was put on hold. While they wait for their permanent site in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, IBI is currently running scaled-down production in a space in Roger Adams Laboratory.

    In the meantime, aside from the class, there are several other opportunities to get involved with the initiative and in the club. Students can join any of the four subgroups which include production/testing, Soap (production or research), Finance, and Special Projects. They are always looking for new members from all grade levels.

  4. Educating Future Leaders_Funding Award and Acceptance

    This is a two-part project. Part 1 is the development of a K-12 sustainability education online resource, probably in the form of a website. There are many existing online educational resources for teaching about sustainability in K-12 education, but they are scattered and some of the information is poor quality and some is difficult to find. Part 2 is a proposal for funding “new” course development and delivery. The course would cover both content information related to sustainability and methods for teaching it. Students would complete a major project that could involve either K-12 education or on-campus UI student education.

  5. Medicine Take-Back Program_Funding Award and Acceptance

    Background: Pharmaceutical chemicals have been documented in rivers, lakes, groundwater, soil, and treated drinking water across the country. Despite occurring at very low levels, the chemicals are known to cause changes in behavior, reproduction, and growth in fish, frogs, mussels, and other aquatic wildlife. Unused medications stored in the home may also be sources for drug misuse and abuse.

    Goal: To help tackle these environmental and social issues, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is working to establish a medicine collection program for the University of Illinois Campus and the C-U community that would properly dispose of expired or unused medications via EPA-recommended incineration.

  6. Orchard Downs Sustainable Landscape_Funding Award and Acceptance

  7. Solar Farm Funding Award and Acceptance Letter

    The 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm will increase the generation ofrenewable energy on campus and help meet goals outlined in the IllinoisClimate Action Plan (iCAP).The Solar Farm will produce an estimated 7.86 million kilowatt-hours (kWh)the first year or approximately 2% of the electrical demand for the Urbanacampus based upon usage projections for fiscal year 2015.

  8. Sustainable Agricultural Food System_Funding Award and Acceptance

  9. TBH Lighting Controls_Funding Award and Acceptance

    $62,900 was awarded to instill occupancy sensors and lighting timers in various locations within Temple Buell Hall. This was intended to encourage awareness of energy use among design students and faculty, and to reduce lighting and cooling energy use in the building.

  10. Perennial Polyculture Production_Funding Award and Acceptance

  11. Bridge to China Allerton Project_Funding Award and Acceptance

    Allerton Park, located in Monticello, Ill., was previously the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton. In 1946 Allerton Park was given as a gift to the University of Illinois by Robert Allerton as “an educational and research center, as a forest and wildlife and plant-life reserve, as an example of landscape architecture, and as a public park”. Today, the park is used for various purposes, such as business meetings, hiking, and weddings.

    Allerton Park is 4.7 miles away from downtown Monticello and has three entrances to it. One of these entrances is a North Entrance that leads from Old Timber Road. Allerton Park wishes to construct a pedestrian pathway which runs alongside Old Timber Road, connecting the Visitor Centre of the park to County Farm Road, which is connected to downtown Monticello. However, a quarter mile north from the visitors center the path is obstructed by a creek, which is difficult to cross. Allerton Park needs a solution that would help connect the two ends of this path over the creek. They wish to construct a bike path that would connect all three entrances of the Park and be a form of transportation within the park. Allerton Park wishes to draw visitors towards the park via a safe and sustainable transportation method and to promote a positive relationship between users and the natural environment. Also, this bridge project will assist the student organization, Bridge to China, to build sustainable bridges in future bridge projects in China.

  12. scope change approved for purchased plants

    The project team has plants that will need to be planted, but the location at Orchard Downs is not yet approved.  The team asked for approval to plant these plants elsewhere on campus, possibly the Arboretum or the Sustainable Student Farm.

    • Current Student Members: Marika, Katie, Olivia, Nishant, Sean, Suharsh, Wei, Rachna, Maria, Marlon, Jessica 
    • Quorum (60% of student members plus 2 faculty/staff): 7 students required, 2 faculty/staff
    • Nine of the current student members voted "In Favor" and 4 faculty/staff members participated via email
    • Quorum was met and the motion to approve the scope change passed
  13. Updated Video

    Our spring field day that took place at the end of May was a huge success! Many great collaborations have already evolved out of the conversations that took place among the many visitors that came out.

    Check out the video below that summarizes the field day, participants, and the general outreach focus of the WPP Research Site. You can also view our Media page for photos from the field day as well as our other recent activities.

    If you missed the spring field day, please join us for one of our summer field days on Friday August 23rd or Saturday August 24th!


  14. Planning meeting to implement project

    Associated Project(s): 

    Teresa Tousignant, Paul Foote, Morgan Johnston, and Eva Sweeney met to discuss the implementation steps for this project.  Eva will obtain the CFOP from Gaines or Mckenzie.  Morgan will submit an engineering work order for the daylighting and occ sensors.  Teresa will set up a kickoff meeting for about three weeks from now.  Eva will initiate engineering design.  Later, a work order for inhouse implementation of the daylighting will come from the SSC account and a work order for occ sensors will come from the RLF account.

    overview of discussion:

    Gaines Hall received the award letter, and Teresa is going to oversee the implementation as the "customer."  Teresa will get the CFOP, then Morgan will submit the work order for Engineering Design.  Eva and Teresa discussed holding a kickoff meeting.  It will include Gaines, David Chasko, Teresa, Eva, Robert, the facility manager, Paul, and any anyone else needed.

    Eva needs a copy of all the documents, and Teresa will set up a meeting for about three weeks from now.

    Perhaps the SSC will want to include a representative.   Eva mentioned that in some cases the SSC rep can add tangential conversations, and Teresa said that she believes the rep would most likely be an observer, getting trained.

    One work order now for engineering.  Later, do work orders for occ sensors and daylighting implementation later.  The budget was reviewed.  It included Eva's rough estimates for the cost of the project, engineering costs, and contingencies for unknowns.   The potential for connecting the HVAC occ sensors as well needs to be explored, so Eva will touch base with Karl Helmink.  The RLF funding could cover the HVAC connection, if that is the best use of the RLF funds.

    The proposal includes "publicity plaques" engraved and mounted on the wall in studio spaces near the light switches.  These were signed off on by Gaines with the acceptance of the funding.  Teresa can get the school or a class to do a design competition for the plaques.  This could be anything that fits the design standards for the campus, and has Dr. Chasko's approval.  The sign shop can most likely produce and install these signs, based on a second phase for the construction work order with the daylighting.

    Eva anticipates a single review submittal for this project.  We would like to get the design done during the summer and the construction done during the fall.  The funding is only available until next summer.  A lot of this work can probably be done while school is in session, as long as they work around the classroom and event schedules. 



  15. IMEC Tracking Presentation

    Morgan Johnston met with Seth Rients and Luis Rodriguez to hear a presentation about the IMEC waste tracking system.  The system could be installed on campus dumpsters, along with corresponding scales on the garbage and recycling trucks.  This would be an automated data collection method for tracking the waste stream inputs at a macro level.

  16. update from Joyce Mast

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Mast, Joyce C
    Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:32 AM
    To: Beverage, McKenzie; Johnston, Morgan B
    Subject: RE: ECE Solar Installation Status Update


    Thank you for checking with me about the status of the Solar Installation on the North Parking Garage. I expect that no funds will be spent on the SSC account before the end of the fiscal year. We need results from the feasibility study for placing the panels on the North Parking Garage roof before we will be spending money on the panels or installation.  The study is to be officially completed by September 6, 2013, but we expect to  have drawings and plans by July. This will give us enough information to seek more matching funds so that the panels may be installed in time for the July 2014 completion date for the new building.  

    Best regards,

    Joyce Mast