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Sustainability

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Definition

"Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment."

United States Environmental Protection Agency Definition

Operational Sustainability Initiatives

Recycling

  • Use of recycling bins throughout campus buildings and recycling dumpster for all non-organic waste.

Renewable Materials

  • Required use of organic non-volative chemicals (VOCs) for landscaping and pest control.
  • Use low or no VOC-emitting materials in new or remodelled construction

Construction specifications

  • Requires recycling, salvage, and reuse by contractors
  • Materials affected:
    • Aluminum & plastic beverage containers
    • Corrugated cardboard
    • Wood pallets
    • Metals
    • Plastic buckets
    • Paint
    • Windows, doors, and door hardware
    • Mechanical and electrical equipment
  • Use of digital BIM (Building Information Modelling) for better operations and maintenance capabilities

Efficiency through design

  • Mechanical , electrical and plumbing systems
  • Renewable energy sources
    • LED lights
    • High-efficiency motors
    • Use of wind and solar energy
    • Lower water consumption fixtures
    • Recovery of A/C condensate for landscape irrigation

Energy Consumption

  • Reduce consumption and carbon footprint via energy reduction standards applied to:
    • Building thermal envelope design
    • Insulation
    • Glazing
    • Reduced infiltration

Water Usage

  • Reduction of water usage and reduced sanitary waste
    • Plumbing system design : low-water consumption fixtures, faucets, toilets, and urinals
    • Recovery of air conditioner condensate for landscape irrigation

Transportation efficiencies

  • Replacement of gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles