You are here

All Project Updates


  1. Week 3 Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good morning,

    Week 3’s meeting was a very informative and productive with the help of Mike, who is the director of budgeting and resource planning for the energy services division. Mike was able to help confirm and teach us about what is exactly happening at the chiller plants. He caught us up to date on what is being metered and where to find certain information. Together we brainstormed ideas on how we can determine a metric to measure the water consumption of each chiller plant. This included the metered water going into the cooling tower, water going into the chiller loop, and comparing that number to the total chilled water produced. Alongside this comparison the BTUs will also be monitored to see how much energy is being used to produce all of this.

    There are a couple of tasks that I will be getting done for week 4’s meeting. These include and not limited to:

    • Creating a list of resources needed to be collected to determine the efficiency of the chiller plants and how much water/energy they consume
    • Email other combine heat and power and chiller plants to see how they track or measure their water consumption
    • Email Ashlynn Stillwill to see if she knows any good places to look for national and industry averages and standards
    • Look into BIF’s grey water meter to determine how much water could be saved if grey water system was enabled

    This week was successful and looking forward to the information that will be collected in the following weeks. The attached document is some notes on UIUC cooling towers, Abbott, chiller plants, CHP plants, and our meeting.


    Thank you,
    Austin Jung

  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, As one student staffer pointed out, we got a taste of summer last week. We had a few swells of genuine busyness. Odd for this time of year—but very welcome!

    I had a training session last week with a new hire and will have an interview today and another training on Friday this week. I made some progress on the shop builds that the students have been building. I’ll tackle some more of the wheel pile this week in addition to working through the builds.

    I am working with my student staff to get Friday Rides revived in time for spring/summer. Student staff will also lead a Fix-a-Flat class in partnership with F&S Sustainability. More updates on both next week as I work through logistics and planning for each of those events.




    Visitors: 54

    Sales: $384

    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $200


    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  3. Weekly Update for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 


    Hi Pete and Shawn—

    Zero waste activity this week was catching up on emails. Morgan OKed my proposed updates to the glove recycling page of the iCAP portal (and the PDF flier with parallel content). I had intended to make the updates yesterday but fell ill. I’m better this morning, so I’ll plan to get them wrapped up early this evening.

    Best regards,
    Marya Ryan

  4. Natural History Building recognized by U.S. Green Building Council

    Associated Project(s): 

    Natural History Building recognized by U.S. Green Building Council. Historic classroom and research building receives LEED Gold status after renovation. See attached or follow the link to read the whole article.

  5. Week 2 Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good morning all,

    Austin here and yesterday’s meeting with Morgan White and Sarthak Prasad went well. I reviewed articles on how power plants use freshwater and the ways to reduce their consumption. The biggest factor in water use at power plants is their cooling system. The metric for measuring this is gallon per KWh and it’s categorized by their withdrawal, consumption, and discharge. The different types of cooling systems have their own pros and cons. For example wet recirculating cooling is good because it doesn’t withdrawal a lot of water but it consumes more than the other methods. Then an example of an advanced cooling system is a hybrid system that used air and a cooling tower to combine the advantages of a cooling tower and the resourcefulness of using a dry system. The draw backs of using only air is it makes the thermal conversion efficiency go down and increases operational costs. More details can be found in the attached file.

    We proceeded to continue research on how our power plant and chiller plants operate by looking at the water and energy consumption of the billing logs. We plan on meeting with Mike next week to gain more insight on the chiller plants and their water consumption. Then we looked at the piping layouts for the Universities potable and cooling water pipelines.

    To further our research I will finish reviewing some more articles on cooling tower water consumption. Then find articles with more detail on how cogeneration plants work and what metrics are used to measure their energy and water consumption. There should be more data on this from different European studies because they have similar systems like ours at Abbott. Lastly I will familiarize myself with our systems by researching the chiller plants and Abbott information given on the Facility & Services webpage.

    Austin Jung

  6. 18F Semesterly Report - Beginning bike maintenance classes


    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.


  7. SSC Funds Hillel Micro Grant

    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.

  8. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, This past week was an uneventful one. We closed on Wednesday due to the cold and the rest of the week wasn’t much better. Had a meeting with Morgan and Sarthak on Monday about Sustainability with regards to CBC.

    This mini heat wave we’re experiencing might help visitor numbers this week.

    At worst, I’ll be able to make some inroads on the backlog of safety checks. And along those lines: as useful as the safety checklist has been the student workers are still failing it on the regular. This week I’ll run through the checklist again with the staff for a refresher.

    On Tuesday a guy came in looking for a couple broken frames for a non-bicycle related project. I was surprised and kind of happy to notice we didn’t have any junker frames left in the shop. Just about everything in here is buildable. I will spend some time this week culling the wheels we have.


    The numbers:

    Visitors: 33
    Sales: $436.01


    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  9. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Sustainability is: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) outlines a path for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2050. The campus committed to this ambitious goal when in 2008 it signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) — later to be renamed the Second Nature Carbon Commitment for its emphasis on emissions.

    In 2016, Illinois took on an even greater leadership role when Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson signed its sister pledge, the Second Nature Resilience Commitment, which charges campus to examine the vulnerabilities of its landscapes and infrastructure in the face of an already changed climate. Together, these two commitments form Second Nature’s comprehensive Climate Commitment. As a charter signatory of the Climate Commitment, Illinois continues its dedication to being on the forefront of sustainable future planning.

    This site is a repository for summary information about each iCAP project, both to share the information publicly and to assist in collecting information for reporting purposes. These projects are organized into ten themes: Education, Energy, Funding, Land & Space, Outreach, Procurement & Waste, Reporting Progress, Research, Transportation, and Water.

    The Objectives page is a dashboard of 2015 iCAP metrics. Each Project page provides details and background information. The Map page can be filtered by associated theme. If you would like to recommend a new project or are aware of an existing project that is not listed on this site, please use the “Suggestions” tab to let us know.

    Read the approved 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan.

  10. RightCycle End of Year 2018 metrics

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello Shantanu,

    Congratulations on your outstanding waste diversion accomplishments in 2018!  By participating in the RIGHTCYCLE* Program, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign has diverted 10,086 pounds of glove waste from landfills. Thank you for your commitment to corporate social responsibility and your continued efforts to reduce your impact on the environment.


    University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign





    University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign





    University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign





    University of Illinois Urbana- Chemistry




    Please remember to email to request a release number prior to shipping your waste and to clearly display this number on your shipment.

    It all adds up to zero landfill and a more efficient workplace. 


    Thank you,


  11. Week 1 Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good evening everyone,

    My name is Austin Jung and I am a senior in chemical engineering with a minor in the iSEE Fellows Program. I will be helping Morgan White and Sarthak Prasad with the 2015 iCAP objective #5.3 water audits for my SEE Fellow’s senior capstone. After the first successful meeting, the following will be addressed through the semester:

    • Create a water audit program/process for an existing building that will be the basis for the campus wide water audit.
    • Quantify and reduce the distribution and line losses for steam by measuring the steam/condensate loss. Then compare this to the national and peer averages.
    • Develop a list of buildings that have and need to have their water fixtures upgraded.
    • Find out a metric to measure the water consumption of our power plant and water cooling plants to develop a way to record this data for further analysis.
    • Continue support to help F&S meet their water consumption goals.

    These will be the main objectives focused on during the capstone and any changes will be stated in one of the following weekly updates. I am excited to do my part and begin my investigations.


    Austin Jung


  12. Final Report submitted to SSC - Speech and Hearing Solar


    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.