Higher Education Webinars

Getting to Green

An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

August 5, 2008 - 10:20am
First the good news. I've mentioned before that one of the main challenges in making renewable energy, particularly wind- and solar-powered generation, mainstream is the lack of a good electrical storage solution. A "better battery". Otherwise, it's hard to keep the computer running on dark, windless nights.
August 1, 2008 - 4:04pm
Reporter Jack Stripling has an article on green computing in today's edition. I don't know Jack. It's a pretty good article (not that I'm any judge). One minor nit, though, and a couple of things to add.
July 30, 2008 - 7:34pm
Yesterday, the 2009 edition of Princeton Review's 368 Best Colleges became available. For the first time, a major college guide includes "green scores" -- ratings on campus sustainability. The minimum score is a 60, the maximum a 99. (Schools which didn't respond to the Review's survey get a starred 60.)
July 29, 2008 - 1:20pm
When it comes time to create a campus sustainability plan, I'm not expecting to be able to limit my thinking to campus. It's not realistic to envision a sustainable campus amidst an unsustainable community, or an unsustainable region. (I had thought of titling this "no campus is an island", but there's currently an "X Files" movie in the theaters, and I don't think Hollywood's planning a remake of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" anytime soon. Want to stay culturally relevant, and all that.)
July 25, 2008 - 10:38am
I don't think this falls into the category of "reflection", but one thing strikes me as a result of information gathered at SCUP-43. California is requiring LEED Silver for all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet. That's $3-5 million, depending. Harvard is at the point where it basically gets LEED Gold at no incremental up-front cost. Both LEED Silver and LEED Gold have proven to more than pay for themselves in energy savings.
July 23, 2008 - 1:45pm
To start off, a couple more points from the first session this morning, that I didn't have to to get to earlier.
July 23, 2008 - 9:46am
Up first this morning was Kevin Hydes, past president of USGBC, founder of the Canadian GBC, and current chair of the World GBC. If that weren't enough, he says he's not an expert in green building, and suggests you throw anyone who is an expert out of your office immediately. At best, we're all engaged in a "lifelong apprenticeship". To my mind, humility is convincing.
July 22, 2008 - 5:56pm
Two more sessions this afternoon. (Five today - long day.) The fourth session of the day was mostly BS. No need to go into specifics -- an 80% non-BS rate isn't bad at any conference. The last session, however, pulled together a lot of fragments, both from the earlier presentations and from life before SCUP. It was a panel on Developing Sustainable Master Plans, presented by a campus energy director and two reps from an engineering firm. A few of the key points:
July 22, 2008 - 5:55pm
From shared-use sports venues to mixed-use campuses, at least in title. The session was called "Beyond the Books: Creating Sustainable Mixed-Use College Campuses." Sounds like the college campus will get used by folks in the community, right? Well, it turned out to be useful, but not quite what I had anticipated. Subject matter was more about how the college or university can facilitate off-campus development, of which a major beneficiary will be the college or university. Cases in point:
July 22, 2008 - 11:53am
The second session this morning was more specialized, and so the information gained is less broadly applicable, than the others I've attended. It focused on the project to create the first LEED-certified baseball park in the United States, a mixed-use facility shared by Penn State and the local single-A team.

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