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  • Getting to Green

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

SCUP-43 Monday noon
July 21, 2008 - 12:38pm

The second half of the morning was split between topic-oriented "round table" sessions and meetings of the various regional constituencies. The regional meeting went through a bunch of appropriate ritual, but also spent maybe 20 minutes generating a list of topics of interest for future programs and, perhaps, blog discussion. A straw poll of those in attendance broke the suggestions into about four categories based on pervasiveness of interest. If we call the categories A (almost universal interest) through D (almost none), sustainability-related topics ran the gamut from C- through C+.

The round table discussions, on the other hand, were quite encouraging. Sustainability and the PCC, taken together, attracted enough interest to fill five tables of 10 or so people each, plus a double handful of standees. There may have been even more interest than that, but the room got pretty full and uninviting.

The PCC, as a topic, seemed to attract mostly folks with only an initial understanding of sustainability, and an over-riding concern on the level of "omigod, what do we do now?"

"Sustainability", as a more general issue, however, served as the basis for a much wider discussion, including a large number of participants -- both higher ed staff and consultants -- with substantial experience and expertise. None of us was familiar with every topic of duscussion, but most of us could contribute to a good portion. For myself, I learned most when I was in a position to contribute least.

In that category, things I need to check out when time permits include

  1. The Association of Governing Boards, and its commitment to sustainability
  2. The ASLA/Audubon Society sustainable sites initiative
  3. The number of state legislatures or boards of regents who have come out categorically against LEED or the ACUPCC
  4. Low velocity fume hoods

Other topics of interest included the possibility of university campuses serving, collectively, as a laboratory to develop and test metrics for building performance management, particularly as it relates to improvement of performance in older buildings (of which we have many).

And so to lunch.


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