You are here

All Project Updates


  1. suggestion from Carl Wegel

    As I have thought about this effort, I concluded that weatherization inspections would be most productive in our converted residential units on campus - frame structures and 1-3 story masonry buildings which were originally constructed primarily as residential units.  While I don't have a ready inventory of those structures, following is an extremely incomplete list meant to typify the kinds of buildings I am thinking about:

    • The two converted houses east of Uni High on Springfield, used by Uni High.
    • The converted house on the northwest corner of Green and Goodwin.
    • The converted house southeast of ISR on the north side of Illinois.
    • 608 S. Matthews, 708 S. Matthews, converted houses along Nevada between Matthews and Goodwin.
    • Converted units along Oregon between Matthews and Goodwin.
    • Converted units on the south side of Nevada west of Lincoln Avenue, etc

    These buildings fly far below the radar of our formal retro-commissioning efforts, since we have so many improvement opportunities in much larger buildings that consume significantly more resources.

    For the Student Sustainability Committee to provide funding for a students who would spearhead and manage the program, in addition to financial incentives to the surveyors, is a brilliant idea that makes this effort that much more workable during a very busy time at Facilities & Services.  That approach will also provide real world, resume quality experience for the people who step up to the challenge.

    A part of program development that such student employees should undertake would be to identify the kinds of information that would be applicable toward weatherization of the types of structures identified above.  F&S staff would discuss with the students their conclusions and would provide grounding in what weatherization remediation activities we could/would actually pursue.  That approach is preferable to F&S telling you what information we want you to gather.

    I just grabbed off the web the single quick reference below as one example of what resources are readily available to the student program managers as they work to identify what information the surveyors would be asked to gather.

    Does this give you what you need to flesh out your idea?

    Carl Wegel

    Director of Maintenance, and all-around nice guy

    Weatherization Tips For Your Home.
    ...Recommended by US DOE (1)

    -- Test your home for air tightness. A professional blower door test is the best option, however you can find major leaks yourself. On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weather-stripping.

    -- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows that leak air.

    -- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducts, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, ceilings, and over cabinets.

    -- Install rubber gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls.

    -- Look for dirty spots in your attic insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes by foaming the gap, or by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edges of the plastic.

    -- Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with double-pane windows. Storm windows may as much as double the R-value of single-pane windows and they can help reduce drafts, water condensation, and frost formation. As a less costly and less permanent alternative, you can use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Remember that the plastic must be sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

    -- When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes 24 hours a day!

    From: Jennifer Koys []
    Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:14 PM
    To: Wegel, Carl V (Facilities & Services); Henson, K Dean (Facilities & Services); Johnston, Morgan (Facilities & Services)
    Cc: Anna Franco
    Subject: Campus Weatherization Project


    Hope you're all having a good week! I was wondering if you would be able to provide a "wish list" of the data that would potentially be useful to obtain from student assessments, how you would like it organized, and what you would want to do with the data obtained? This would be very helpful to have as I move forward.

    You mentioned at the meeting having students help run the program. Thinking about this, one possibility I came up with was hiring a student worker to work under someone at F&S to run the program. In the years after the initial start-up, this student could be chosen from the students involved in the assessments during the previous year, as they would possess background knowledge and experience necessary to effectively coordinate the program. Do you have any thoughts on this idea?



  2. Update from Jennifer Koys

    I'm meeting with Brian Deal tomorrow to hopefully get a better idea of how we could get students trained and what kind of information we could get from the audit. I've also reached out to Tim Lindsey to see about possible ISTC invovlement but haven't heard back yet. If came up with any other ideas for departments that might be willing to house the program and put a staff member on it (there would be SSC compensation involved for the staff person), that could be helpful.

  3. SSC student meeting with F&S Building Maintenance staff

    I'm from the Student Sustainability Committee. This year, we are interested in funding a project that will utilize students to help to achieve the University goal of weatherizing campus buildings.  Suhail Barot pointed me to you as good people to talk with to start a conversation about what F & S would be looking for in regards to such a program and getting ideas going to submit in response to the Committee's RFP.I'm from the Student Sustainability Committee. This year, we are interested in funding a project that will utilize students to help to achieve the University goal of weatherizing campus buildings.  Suhail Barot pointed me to you as good people to talk with to start a conversation about what F & S would be looking for in regards to such a program and getting ideas going to submit in response to the Committee's RFP.

    Jennifer Koys
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Business Process Management, 2011
    Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Director
    Student Sustainability Committee, Treasurer

  4. SSC progress on composting project

    Associated Project(s): 

    SSC minutes from 10/8/10 include this update:

    1. Compost-Kevin
      1. Met with Ryan Welch
      2. Completely on board
      3. Right now all they have is woodchips and leaves
        1. Used for mulch, and tons of excess
      4. Met with Joe Kunkel from vet med
        1. Director of facilities
        2. On board with anything
        3. Animal science is the hold up, but right now it is composting
  5. Sustainability Week 2010 website

    2010 Sustainability Week

    The highly attended Sustainability Week 2010 shed green light upon campus last week! The former president of Greenpeace USA, John Passacantando, and author Jeff Biggers inspired and informed students, faculty, and the community. Tours and workshops showcased some of the University’s most green spaces and initiatives, while local sustainable food events tickled our taste buds.

    Green light Let's GO

    From October 25 – 29, 2010, the inaugural Sustainability Week shed green light upon campus movements and activities.  Students, faculty and the community attended. Chancellor Robert A. Easter showed his support for the week with his opening speech on Monday before introducing Jeff Biggers, author of "Reckoning at Eagle Creek, the Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland" kicked off the week on Monday with impassioned testimony revealing the tale of the destructive uprooting of natural habitats and families in Illinois throughout history by the coal industry. His theatrical performance had the audience pinned to their seats, appealing to various emotions. After, farmers from various counties, a representative of the Champaign County Board and the Prairie Rivers Network publically brainstormed ways to combat the potential depletion of the Mahomet aquifer, our main source of drinking water, by an incoming coal company from Carlisle, Indiana.

    Thursday, John Passacantando, the former president of GreenPeace USA, met and interacted with students at a Q&A Workshop at the YMCA. Students voiced their confusions and concerns regarding environmental issues and "greenwashing"; Passacantando clarified the political hurdles and shortcomings of our system, shared his expertise and experience, and provided authentic and honest answers. Later, he presented an inspiring keynote address providing attendees with purposeful facts and lively anecdotes regarding his time as an environmental activist and leader of the largest environmental organization in the world. View videos from Keynote: Part 1 and Part 2

    In Good Green Graces

    The week also showcased some of the University's most progressive green spaces; the Business Instructional Facility, the Student Sustainable Farm, Ikenberry Commons, the Art Annex, the Waste Transfer Station, theCampus Bike Plan, just to name a few.

    The Common Ground Food Co-Op hosted a cooking class offering not only savory recipes, but also ones that cater to sustainability and budget constraints. The Sustainability Fair, held at the Union, boasted a mosaic of booths and tables explaining the latest news and accomplishments of organizations on campus and in the community. The Electric Vehicles Club showed off the newest cutting-edge models available, complete with friendly members providing information on safety, speed, and practicality. 

    The Finale Celebration, held on Friday at the Art East Annex 2, showcased the new dance floor, designed and built by architecture and dance students from the former IMPE Gym 4 floor before the ARC renovation. Chef Benjamin prepared a delectable variety of seasonal fall dishes using local foods. Guests enjoyed hors d'œuvres such as Curtis Apple Orchard and goat cheese crostinis, filet de boeuf with caramelized onions and bleu cheese, a bruschetta bar with fresh spreads, a pumpkin cheese ball with apple slices, chocolate truffles and hot apple cider as they awaited the raffle drawing. Prizes were distributed to 39 lucky winners, the grand prize being a freshly finished bike from the Campus Bike Project.

    Gear into Green

    As the year continues, we all may find ourselves in a few traffic jams—juggling school, jobs, internships, activities and our general lives! Sustainability Week encouraged the community not to turn a blind eye to the environment in which we thrive. Keep in mind the processes behind being able to fuel up your car, take a shower, heat your room, and drink clean water. Keep track of the actions institutions like the University of Illinois take to preserve our environment. And most importantly, do your part. Get informed. Get involved. The light is green!

    Lauren Turk
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    MA European Union Studies 2012
    BA French Commercial Studies, Communication 2010
    University of Illinois Office of Sustainability, Graduate Assistant
    Student Sustainability Committee Intern, Solar Energy
    Sustainability Week 2010 Communication Coordinator 

    Photos from Sustainability Week 2010

    Videos from Sustainability Week 2010:
    - Chancellor Robert A. Easter - Sustainability Week Kickoff
    - John Passacantando - Part 1
    - John Passacantando - Part 2
    - Jeff Biggers
    - Ikenberry Dining Hall Sustainable Practices

    For the complete list of events, please click here.

  6. News article about guaranteed return on sustainability investment

    In last week of August 2010, The Daily Illini published an article focusing on the return from sustainability investment -- "Sustainability investment guarantees returns" --

  7. Archived web info - CSE Green Heroes

    Pic Tim HossTim Hoss: Our First Green Hero

    The year was 1987. In just a few hours on the Quad, members of Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) got over 2,000 signatures on a petition to encourage campus leaders to start a recycling program at the University of Illinois. Campus leaders agreed it was a good idea, and an advisory task force of students, faculty and staff was given the charge to study what it would take to set up a campus-wide recycling program. After reviewing the task force's 170-page report, campus leaders approved approximately $650,000 to start a recycling program, which was to be set up over a 5-year period. Grants from various state agencies contributed the other resources needed to cover the final $1 million price tag.

    Tim Hoss, with a lot of help from students, was able to get a recycling program that serviced over 200 buildings on campus operational in about two years. And since 1989, Tim Hoss, Coordinator of Campus Waste Management, operated a comprehensive recycling program at the University. In 1995, $1.3 million was spent on a material processing addition to the Waste Transfer Station (WTS). When it opened in November 1997, the University's Material Recovery Facility was one of the first state-of-the-art recycling-sorting facilities on a university campus in the nation.

    Fast forward to 2010. Everyday two trucks from the WTS collect waste paper, and another truck collects cardboard twice daily from around campus. Recovering recyclable material from the University's waste stream is no small job. The WTS collects waste from thousands of recycling bins and 250 dumpsters. Except for the waste from University Housing (which runs its own program), all waste on campus comes to the WTS. Once back at the recovery facility, all of the material gets sorted: equipment, construction waste, and non-recyclable materials are removed. Recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, aluminum, and plastics are all sorted out and placed into storage bunkers. Tim is quick to point out that it takes a team of people to get the job done including: 5 drivers, 2 operating engineers, 4 laborers, and 6 workers from the Developmental Services Center in Champaign who help with the sorting.

    Once sorted, the materials are compressed into large bales and sold. The WTS generated about $500,000 in revenue during fiscal year 2008, and saved the University over $200,000 in landfill costs. In 2008, the WTS recycled: 838 tons of cardboard, 1,236 tons of paper, 21 tons of plastic, 41 tons of aluminum, 625 tons of scrap metal, and 325 tons of pallets. Through these efforts, the University diverted 48.8% of our waste stream from landfills.

    Tim retired from the University in January 2010. But he still has great ideas for how the University can continue to lessen its impact on the environment. When asked what he'd like to see happen in future recycling efforts on campus he had two ideas:
    1) Start a comprehensive organic waste management program, and
    2) Restructure the way that surplus equipment is disposed.

    Tim Hoss made a tremendous positive impact while he was here at the University, and so we are happy to recognize him as our first Green Hero. Tim certainly did his part to make our campus a Greener place. And you can too. Consume less. Recycle more.


  8. Green roof on Art & Design and KCPA Funding Agreement

    The goal of this project is to construct a green roof atop the Link Gallery between the School of Art + Design and the Krannert Art Museum. This project will be implemented primarily by students and faculty of the School of Art + Design and will be in a highly visible campus location. It will help reduce energy costs at the facility and provide rain water for the surrounding gardens. As Facilities & Services is expected to cover half the cost of resurfacing the roof, the Student Sustainability Committee is in favor of partially funding the  proposal in the amount of $63,900.

  9. BIF Prairie Garden Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to contribute to the campus wide effort of promoting more sustainable landscaping by creating a Prairie Garden comprised of plant species characteristic to east-central Illinois to surround the Deloitte Auditorium in the courtyard of the Business Instructional Facility (BIF). The Prairie Garden will provide carbon sequestration benefits, aid in management of water runoff, increase biodiversity, and reduce the use of carbon-intensive maintenance equipment. Replacing the current overgrown sedge meadow with low-height, low-growth, native sustainable botanicals will lead to less management needs and greater student engagement with increased access and aesthetics. The Prairie Garden will be highly visible to the thousands of weekly visitors to the BIF, sending a message about the importance of and commitment to sustainable practices. Such education will be furthered through informational signage and orientation of new students. The College of Business and College of Business Class of 2010 will provide the remaining $10,540 expense of creating the Prairie Garden. Further, the College of Business will assume responsibility for ensuring the success and continued maintenance of the project, and the grant will be paid back to the Committee if the project is inadequately maintained and the restoration effort is abandoned in the next five years. The improvements to the Business Instructional Facility courtyard will provide highly visible, 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 $10,000.

  10. Campus-wide Bike Parking Funding Agreement

    Bike parking is essential for supporting green commuters as well as raising awareness and supporting biking on campus. In 2009, the SSC funded $10,600 for standard bike parking at three popular locations on campus, Freer Hall, the Undergraduate Library, and the Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building. Later in 2012, SSC provided $225,000 in order to replace old donut-hole bike parking with U-loop parking at the Armory, the Main Library, the Foreign Language Building, and other high-traffic areas on campus.

  11. Plant Sciences Greenhouse Loan Funding Agreement

    The College of ACES Seeks funding for the installation of energy/shade curtains in the Plant Sciences Laboratory (PSL) Greenhouse. The goals of this project are to decrease the energy usage to heat and cool the greenhouse rooms, increase natural light quality in the greenhouse rooms, and decrease energy usage by the application and removal of whitewash. Additional project benefits are that the retrofitted greenhouse rooms will be of higher value for research and teaching purposes, by allowing increased use of higher-quality natural lighting, and enabling better lighting control.

    Project costs includes the installation of energy shade curtains at the cost of ~$12,000 per room (for nine rooms), in addition to electrical work and new control systems and software. Total costs for the project are anticipated at $120,000, will be financed through this loan. In addition, the Committee will provide a grant of $5,000 for an associated sub-metering project to quantify project benefits.

  12. 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.

  13. Sustainable Student Farm Funding Agreement

    This proposal looks to continue to develop a student run farm at the Horticultural Pomology Farm on thesoutheast corner of Lincoln and Windsor. As a partnership between the campus horticulture program andstudents, the farm will significantly contribute to campus food needs by supplying produce to University foodservice operations. This will allow the campus to move toward a more sustainable agricultural model andreduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with food transportation. Student volunteers and Crop Sciencesemployees will harvest, process and deliver fresh crops to University Dining Services, which will pay theprevailing market rate for the produce. This model should allow the project to bring in adequate funding in thenear future, and the requested funds will be used to propel the farm to achieve self-sustaining operations in2011. Further, a sign will inform the community of the farm’s presence and open houses will be held tointroduce students and staff to this sustainable agriculture operation. This continued and expanded project willprovide tangible evidence of campus commitment to responsible sustainable behavior. Thus, the StudentSustainability Committee is in favor of funding the fully requested amount of $25,000.