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Breakdown Of ASU's Sustainable Advancements
The Global Institute of Sustainability is the driving force for environmental initiatives at Arizona State University, Tempe. Its goal is to continue the development of research, education and business practices that support sustainable advancement.
Below are some of the exciting sustainability initiatives in place throughout the ASU campus:
• ASU’s School of Sustainability was launched in 2007 and was the first of it’s kind in the U.S. The school “offers transdisciplinary degree programs to create practical solutions for environmental, economic, and social challenges.”
• Since 2005, all new university-owned building are require to be certified LEED Silver or higher. Currently, there are more than 30 certified buildings on campus, including the first Platinum-certified building in the state of Arizona.
• Underground Thermal Storage Tank — Under the Student Recreation Complex athletic field is a thermal storage tank containing 5.5 million gallons of chilled water. The water is chilled at night during non-peak rates and it then used during the day for cooling.
• Water from the Biodesign Institute’s air conditioning system is harvested in a 5,000-gallon cistern for landscape irrigation. This provides enough captured water to eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation.
• The Apache Boulevard Soar Parking Structure installation features a single-axis tracking system to maximize sun exposure. It generated 1,685 megawatt-hours of clean electricity in its first year of operation, which is equal to the annual electricity consumption of 123 average Arizona homes.
• The Lattie Coor Hall and Hayden Library Rooftop Solar installations produce enough electricity to supply 48 average Arizona homes. The energy produced will offset more than 844,000 pounds of CO2 per year.
• Solar recycling compactors are a big part of the waste management program at ASU. They accept trash or commingled recycling such as paper, plastic, metal and aerosol cans. The use of these compactors has reduced waste-handling costs, as well as pick-ups resulting in fewer fossil fuel emissions.
• Facilities Grounds Services composts all leaves, grass clippings and small landscape debris. The composting program diverts an average of 14 tons of material per month.
• The Wrigley Hall building is home to the university-wide Global Institute of Sustainability, its directorate and administrative functions and the School of Sustainability. Features include solar panels, wind turbines, recycled and recyclable materials and furnishings, low-emitting finishes, low-flow water fixtures and sensor-controlled lighting.
• ASU has reduced water consumption in many buildings through the installation of low-flow water fixtures. On average, these fixtures use roughly 30 percent less water than their conventional counterparts.
• The annual Ditch The Dumpster event is a year-round program where volunteers accept clothing, furniture, household goods and many other reusable items, which are then donated to Swift Charities for Children. During the 2011 fiscal year, the donation and recycling drive diverted more than 60,000 pounds of usable goods from the landfill.
• The Sustainability House at Barrett, the Honors College launched in August 2009 and provides students with a green living and learning residence. Features include ultra low-flow plumbing fixtures, graywater reuse, a roof garden, solar panels, reflective roof coatings, local building materials, efficient irrigation fixtures and energy monitoring. A dining hall promotes healthier eating options by featuring vegetarian, organic and local menu items. More than 90 percent of the construction wasted was recycled.
• The Arboretum herb garden contains herbs such as basil and mint, as well as tomato plants, bell peppers and eggplant. Students work with ASU Facilities Development and Management to manage the garden, which is part of the ASU local Foods Initiative to harvest and use edible food grown on campus.
CORINNE ZUDONYI is the editor of Facility Cleaning Decisions magazine and CleanLink.com.
Prioritizing Green Building And Maintenance Initiatives
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