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  1. News about Christopher Hall winning

    Saving energy pays off for Christopher Hall

    Clayton Glazik3/5/2014

    Since we were little our parents have told us to turn off the lights after we leave a room. That is just what the Christopher Hall residents at the University of Illinois did in 2013. By shutting the lights off in rooms not in use, switching their lights to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, as well as other sustainable practices, the building was able to cut back its energy usage by 30.6% from the previous year.

    The campus Facilities & Services (F&S) hosted a reception at Christopher Hall on February 14 to celebrate the building’s accomplishment in the F&S Energy Conservation Incentive Program (ECIP). A campus-wide sustainability effort, ECIP provides building upgrades to facilities that produce top energy conservation results in energy advancement and occupant action categories. ECIP calculates how much money the buildings are saving in energy reduction and gives it back to the building to pay for upgrades.

    Christopher Hall, which houses the Family Resiliency Center (FRC), the Autism Program (TAP), several classrooms, faculty and staff offices, and a family research home, saved nearly $22,000. According to FRC Director Barbara Fiese, a building committee recommended investing the funds in a bike rack since so many people cycle to work, as well as other items that can further reduce energy usage.

    In 2010, the University of Illinois published a climate action plan that set aggressive timeliness for reducing energy consumption on campus. Currently, there are more than 300 such active projects, which can be tracked at

    “At the end of the day, if we really want to meet ICAP goals, we have to do more,” says Al Stratman, F&S executive director. “That is why we came up with ECIP, which mirrors the campus goals.”

    At the award ceremony, faculty and students pledged to continue reducing energy in their lifestyles by taking public transportation, using natural light in their offices rather than electricity, and shopping more at local food markets instead of commercial grocery stores. With their current sustainable practices and these recent pledges, Christopher Hall will continue slashing their energy consumption, making the Illinois campus a greener place.

    (from Family Resiliency Center news

  2. Game Day Event

    Wednesday night marked the first ever involvement with RecycleMania on this campus, and our Illini basketball team were not the only winners that evening.  The event at the Illini-Nebraska basketball game was successful for all involved.  Over 100 student volunteers partnered with various campus organizations and departments to raise awareness about reducing our environmental impact, and to help divert recyclable materials from landfills. Our first attempt, encouraged by the competitive atmosphere of the game, enabled us to divert 31.5% of the waste from landfills. 

    By weighing all of the event’s trash and recycling, a baseline data point was established and areas for improvement were identified.  While Illinois' ranking in the national RecycleMania competition won't be known until after March 30, the impact made on the community left many participants feeling like they made a difference and that our Basketball team were not the only winners that evening. 

    If you have any questions contact Bart Bartels at

  3. February 2014 meeting notes from first Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) meeting

    The first formal meeting with the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) under iSEE's guidance was an introductory meeting about iSEE and the proposed iCAP SWATeams. 

    The meeting was called by and coordinated by:

    • Ben McCall – Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, iSEE
    • Madhu Khanna – Associate Director for Education and Outreach, iSEE
    • Nishant Makhijani – iSEE Intern, Vice - Chair Student Sustainability Committee

    The key points discussed included an overview of iSEE's goals and structure, education and outreach plans, and an overview of the SWATeams.

  4. Conference program related to digesters


    Early Bird Discount Expires
    Friday, February 28

    Early bird registration fee of $495 includes sessions, exhibit hall, continental breakfasts, lunches, refreshments on April 8 and 9. Plus American Biogas Council Reception & Awards Ceremony on April 8.


    Agenda Highlights

    • How To Finance AD Facilities

    • Codigestion of Food Waste At Wastewater Treatment Plants

    • Integrating Composting And Anaerobic Digestion

    • Lobbying Boot Camp


    • Digestate Management And Markets

    • Biogas To Low Carbon Fuel

    • Food Waste Diversion Tips & Tools

    • Building California's Digester Infrastructure

    Tuesday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    More than 80 Presentations on:

    Over 60 Exhibitors View list

    Keynote Speakers
    Plenary session, April 8


    Caroll Mortensen


    Janea A. Scott



    California Energy Commission

    AgSTAR 2014 National Workshop Monday, April 7, 2014
    Navigating the Biogas Maze:
    Learning from the Leaders
    This one-day AgSTAR event will include experiences and insights shared by members of the biogas and livestock industries, policy makers, and others. Registration for the AgSTAR 2014 National Workshop is free. Attendees have the option of having lunch on their own or participating in an optional luncheon for $25. AgSTAR is holding this one-day workshop in conjunction with BIOCYCLE REFOR14 WEST.

    American Biogas Council Events
    Tuesday, April 8, 2014
    Noon — 2 PM: ABC Working Groups & Committee Meetings
    6 — 8 PM: ABC Reception & Awards Ceremony
    Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    7:30 — 8:30 AM: ABC Member Meeting
    Noon — 2 PM ABC Working Groups & Committee Meetings

    All Day site tours See details
    Thursday, April 10, 2014
    • California Center For Algae Biotechnology
    • Encina Wastewater Authority Energy Recovery Plant
    • San Diego International Airport: Food Scraps And Materials Recycling

    Network and Connect
    BioCycle REFOR14 WEST is where to network and connect to the growing organics recycling sector of the Renewable Energy Industry. Generators of organic waste streams need solutions that provide multiple benefits for capital investments — environmental compliance, reducing power and fuel costs, climate-friendly practices.Processors need the facts, figures, case studies, equipment that will turn organics into renewable energy. Developers and investors will get key industry data to move projects forward.

    Who's Attending
    • Project developers and operators
    • Public officials and permitting authorities
    • Organic waste generators and managers
    • Utilities and biofuel suppliers
    • Investors
    • Industry executives
    • Equipment providers
    • Researchers

    BioCycle REFOR14 WEST — where participants get the latest on technologies and practices to turn municipal, agricultural and industrial organic waste streams into power, renewable natural gas, vehicle fuels and high-value digestate and compost products.



    Monday, April 7

    AgSTAR 2014 National Workshop

    Tuesday & Wednesday,
    April 8 & 9

    Conference Sessions &

    Thursday, April 10

    All Day Site Tours







    Current Exhibitors



    Over 80 Presentations:










    Town & Country Resort

    San Diego, California 92108
    (619) 291-7131

    Take advantage of the Special BioCycle Conference Hotel Rate: $118 Double/Single (plus tax)
    (special rate expires March 13, 2014)

    Click here to reserve your hotel room at this rate




  5. resolution to project plans

    From: Ben McCall
    Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 6:18 PM
    To: Sealine, Alma R
    Cc: Wolz, Kevin James; Lovell, Sarah Taylor; Ricci, Marcus Enrico; Nell, Marika Ruth; Tousignant, Teresa Marie Giardina; Johnston, Morgan B; Lage, Stephanie M
    Subject: Re: Orchard Downs Multifunctional Landscape - Repackaged


    Can you make arrangements for this reimbursement?



    On 02/25/2014 01:31 PM, Kevin Wolz wrote:


    Sorry for the slow response. We appreciate your thorough and firm response. Our group will desist pursuing any project at Orchard Downs. 

    We appreciate Ed's willingness to reimburse sunk costs. Total sunk costs (the amount of our grant that we spent under the assumption that everything was a go) for the project are $7,650.10. This amount can be reimbursed to the following CFOP: 



    Kevin & the OD Team

    On Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 5:01 PM, Ben McCall wrote:

    Hi Kevin,

    I'm afraid I do not have good news for you.  Ed seems to be firm in his position that this site is not acceptable because it may be needed for another purpose in the future, and the administration does not want to be "the bad guy" tearing out something that people have grown to love.  He remains open to consideration of other sites, but I understand that neither you nor the other involved parties are interested in pursuing other sites.  Ed did agree to reimburse any sunk costs.

    You certainly have the prerogative to escalate this issue to higher levels of the administration, but my hunch is that such an effort is not likely to succeed.

    I wish I had better news for you, and I am really sad to see this project evaporate.  One lesson I think we can learn from this experience is the importance of establishing a more thorough process for getting campus approval for SSC projects before they are funded.  I intend to discuss this with the SSC leadership and see how the Institute can be of service in preventing this sort of terrible situation from recurring.



  6. Chancellor Blog: Sustainability at Illinois

    Dear Colleagues,

    In the midst of a cold winter, it may seem ironic to discuss our sustainability efforts on campus. But it seemed like the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to see where we have gone and where we are going. In the quest to become a pre-eminent research university with a land-grant mission and global impact, integrating sustainable practices in our research, classes, and buildings - every facet of campus – is a necessity and has been identified as a priority by our students and faculty.

    We were excited to take another major step in that effort with formal establishment of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment – iSEE - and the appointment of a permanent director, plant biology professor, Evan DeLucia. This is one of the first recommendations that came out of last year’s Visioning Future Excellence conversations and was also identified as a goal in the campus strategic plan. The institute will serve as a research and educational hub for environmental and sustainability initiatives for the entire campus community.

    As a campus, we have long been active in new initiatives to promote sustainable practice, both in our own activities and in research that translates to broader impact beyond our walls. From a campus-wide effort that has cut our annual energy costs by millions of dollars and has rewarded buildings with high energy reductions through the Energy Conservation Incentive Program, to the RecycleMania Game Day event February 26 and efforts in University Housing that have reduced daily food waste by hundreds of tons – thinking about ways to preserve our world and to steward our resources is a part of our community identity.

    And the world is noticing. This year we garnered several national recognitions including a rating of Gold from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Reporting System. Gold is the highest distinction a university has been given. For the first time, we were also named to the Princeton Review Green Honor Roll, one of only 22 schools to make the list this year. We were ranked #1 in the Big Ten and 28th overall for Sierra Club Cool Schools. PETA2 named us one of the most “vegan-friendly” schools in the U.S. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Lincoln Hall project LEED Platinum certification, its highest ranking. And we also received a Governor’s Sustainability Award.

    We have a long history of innovation and leadership in environmental science and sustainability. But it is exciting to see how that hallmark is being incorporated into our strategic future excellence.

    --The above paragraphs were quoted from the Chancellor's Blog.

    Attached Files: 
  7. Press release from Chevy about other partnerships

    Ball State U & Valencia College Partner with Chevrolet

    (United States): As part of Chevrolet's new initiative to eliminate eight million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air over the next five years, the two schools were selected to use Chevy's new carbon-reduction performance methodology, which measures the "beyond-business-as-usual" carbon reductions. Chevy intends to then purchase these reductions as carbon credits. A geothermal system at Ball State University and four LEED buildings at Valencia College are eligible for the agreement.
    See also: Ball State U Press Release

  8. ISTC seminar online about SmartWay program

    Associated Project(s): 

    Professor Lavey presented a seminar through the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) last week on governments' efforts to promote cleaner trucking services.  The focus was on tools beyond legislation and regulations, especially imposing  low-emissions conditions on access to properties and applying environmental preferences in government purchases.  Here is the short description:

    Technologies to cut truck emissions are available and cost-effective, and should be encouraged by a range of government and private actions. In 2013, Chicago approved the expansion of a railroad terminal contingent on retrofitting dozens of trucks with clean diesel filters. Illinois agencies are reforming freight and package delivery purchasing programs to implement the Transportation Sustainability Procurement Program Act of 2013. Similarly, the U.S. General Services Administration is applying new environmental preferences in selecting transportation vendors and tracking their performance.

    See the video on ISTC's website.

  9. approval to investigate

    Just spoke with Mike DeLorenzo and you have the go ahead from the IAC to have discussions with the Sustainability Practitioners from Urbana and Champaign. As you might have guessed Mayor Prussing is strongly in favor of the idea. The Champaign city manager like the idea but wants to learn a little more before committing. Deb was not at the meeting, but you should be able to contact the RPC. Of course, given bill Volk’s history of commitment to environmental issues I suggest you also reach out to their people.

    Next step is to develop the pros and cons of such an undertaking.

    -Jack Dempsey

  10. Inside Illinois brief

    Zero waste

    Recyclemania kicks off Feb. 26

    A friendly recycling competition will take place during the Illinois-Nebraska basketball game Feb. 26 at State Farm Center. Fans can compete against other schools around the country by recycling with the goal of a “zero waste basketball game.”

    During the game, the university will compete in Recyclemania, a friendly competition and assessment tool used to promote waste reduction activities in college communities. Recycling and landfill materials from the game will be weighed to calculate the event’s diversion rate; the more waste diverted from landfill, the better. The weights will then be entered into Recyclemania’s national database for future benchmarking and comparison. 

    The university’s entrance into this national competition is a collaborative effort among the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics; Facilities and Services; State Farm Center; the Student Sustainability Committee; and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.  Volunteers from Students for Environmental Concerns and Teryl Brewster’s psychology class of “Social Justice Educators” will help direct the efforts at recycling locations during the event. 

    Winning schools receive national recognition and an award made out of recyclable materials. Goals of the event include motivating the campus community to minimize waste and increase recycling efforts.

    For more information and updates on the event, see or email Bart Bartels at

    --The above was quoted from Inside Illinois, Brief Notes.

  11. DCEO grant information

    Associated Project(s): 

    All I need to know is the total number you have replaced and date completed.  The DCEO grant would reimburse $15/lamp.  I need the information by May 1 so we can submit our application.  If the project isn’t complete by then it will just have to be submitted on next year’s grant cycle.

    -Eva Sweeney, P.E., LC

  12. LED detail information from Eva Sweeney

    Associated Project(s): 

    Attached are the specifics from our parking lot E-15.  We were reusing 27’ poles on approx. 90’ staggered spacing. The BetaLED occupancy sensors are operating right at their max distance, but seem to give good coverage for both cars and pedestrians.  We were targeting a low footcandle level, only about 1.0fc average.

    Another LED fixture we have used with success is the Lithonia DSX2.  Due to taller poles (37’) on that project we did not use the occupancy sensors.  Lithonia has since indicated that their sensor may be able to adequately cover motion at that height, but we have not tried it.

    University of Illinois is now considering bi-level LED lighting for almost all of our new outdoor installations, particularly parking lots that don’t get a lot of traffic late at night.  Between the energy savings and reduced maintenance, it’s working out very well so far.

  13. meeting with iSEE and F&S

    Associated Project(s): 

    Project advocates met with representatives of iSEE and F&S to discuss the SmartWay program.  Additional follow up information was shared from Professor Lavey.

  14. How to add a bike rack to campus map

    Associated Project(s): 

    Joel Steinfeldt in the Office of Public Affairs is the key contact for adding a bike rack to the campus map.  To add a bike parking area, you will need to provide Joel with the location for the map, a small description (eg. 15 U-loop racks at Building Name), and a picture of the bike parking area.  This information and photo can be emailed directly to Joel's attention, and he will add the information to the campus map.

  15. Strategic Instructional Improvement Program (SIIP) pre-proposal

    Associated Project(s): 

    The primary objective of this project-based learning course is to develop critical thinking and engineering problem solving skills by identifying and proposing solutions to current civil and/or environmental engineering problems facing the University of Illinois campus community. The class also includes several site visits to local engineering infrastructure facilities and multiple discussion driven case studies, which expose and deepen students understanding of current engineering facility operations and challenges. Additionally, students will understand more intimately what civil and environmental engineers do as well as the various fields of specialization and prepare them for opportunities for summer internships. Through working on a team project, reviewing other team projects, and receiving feedback from the course instructors, students will also develop necessary professional skills such as communication (written and oral) and project management. The course is primarily for sophomores and junior transfer students with a focus of engaging them into the broad spectra of challenges and contemporary issues in civil and environmental engineering, especially with regard to sustainability, design, and multi-disciplinary teamwork.

  16. Update from Paul Foote, re: DCEO representative

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Foote, Gerard Paul
    Sent: Friday, February 14, 2014 4:16 PM
    To: Helmink, Karl J; Johnston, Morgan B
    Subject: RE: Boiler tune up grant - proposal and Tom Coe conversation


    In response to the e-mail referencing Tom Coe and contacting the ERC, Brian Katamay

    I had a phone conversation with Brian (Jan16th), indicating our desire to apply for approx. $180,000 In grant rebates and explained the 12’, 13’ and 14’ year totals and referenced Mr. Coe had suggested we talk with Mr. Katamay about applying for all of them and the best way to do so.

    After discussing the numbers Brian said he first needs to see the breakdown of the numbers and his main concern was to see how it would fit into the ERP budget, he did not want to commit all of the funds to one place and was concerned about making sure it was split amongst multiple locations. I explained I could email the spreadsheet with the incentive totals, and he requested I complete the project costs column first then submit the spreadsheet to him for a review of the breakdown.

    I forwarded the spreadsheet upon completion (2/13/2014), and awaited Brians' response. 

    Today he responded and stated Ameren funds are no longer available and they are no longer taking aps for this year.

    In turn I asked about the setting aside of funds ahead of time, referencing our first conversation? Brian replied the process for this is preapproval, something he had not required in the original phone call.

    When asked what our options are now that weeks of work have been done, Brian said we have the technical work done and when the new year starts after May 31, 2014 we can visit the idea of including this work for 12’,13’and14’. 

  17. message from Jack Dempsey

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Dempsey, John Garrett
    Sent: Friday, February 14, 2014 11:01 AM
    To: Roesler, Jeffery Raphael; Mestre, Jose; Johnston, Morgan B; Schideman, Lance Charles; Schmidt, Arthur R; Liu, Liang Y; Somaratna, Jeevaka I
    Cc: Stratman, Allan; Andrechak, Michael J; Wise, Phyllis M; Adesida, Ilesanmi
    Subject: RE: CEE398

    I want to thank each of you for allowing me to be part of the first offering of CEE398. I have learned so much from each of you and developed an real appreciation for the work faculty do. I only wish I had made the connection between F&S and the academy earlier.

    Jeff’s presentation yesterday about the second offering this fall and the discussion surrounding it demonstrated just how far he has brought the concept in such a short time. There is no doubt that with Liang’s leadership, Jeff’s hard work, Al’s support and Morgan’s involvement this CEE initiative will continue to blossom. In fact, during a conversation with Ben McCall yesterday, it appears that what you have done is directly translatable to a course being developed by Prof. Madhu Khanna for iSEE. I have asked Morgan to introduce her to the team when appropriate.

    As my time here is short, I need to focus on some remaining projects so I will not be attending the bi-weekly course planning meeting, but leave you in Morgan’s capable hands.  Again, thanks for letting me be a part of this.