Tag Archive for sustainability

Wood-Framed Housing Receiving Home Energy Solutions Program

In the foreground, Gary Rawlings, lead energy auditor technician at Lantern Energy, shows Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability, a gap between the register and air duct at 24 Fountain Avenue. The space allows cold basement air to seep through the vent.

In 1900, when the student residence at 24 Fountain Avenue was built, heating oil was cheap. Insulation wasn’t a concern. Window sealant didn’t exist. Hot water gushed from the shower heads.

“We call homes like this ‘balloon framed,”’ explains Gary Rawlings, lead energy auditor technician for Wesleyan’s contractor Lantern Energy. “Air from the basement flows up through the walls and escapes through the window frames, the area around plumbing pipes, doors, and attic. In this particular house, there’s a big gap around the air duct. That’s never a good sign when you can see down into the basement.”

The 24 Fountain residence is one of eight homes on the street that took part in the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program on Aug. 18. Eventually, all 150 homes on campus will receive an energy audit, which may save the university more than $200 a year, per house, explains Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability.

The HES program is administered by Connecticut Light and Power Company and subsidized by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund through a charge on customers’ energy bills. Wesleyan pays

Jacobs ’85 and Haubenstock ’84 on Renewable Energy

Michael Jacobs ’85

Two Wesleyan graduates, Michael Jacobs ’85 and Arthur Haubenstock ’84, joined five other experts in the field of renewable energy in Washington, D.C., on April 26, on a Capitol Hill panel. The seven offered a presentation to Congressional staff on advances needed to integrate renewable resources—including wind and solar energy—into the electric grid. The panel was organized by the EESI (Environmental and Energy Study Institute) and WIRES (the Working Group for Investment in Reliable and Economic Electric Systems). Jacobs, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on wind power, and Haubenstock is chief counsel and director of regulatory affairs with BrightSource Energy, a large-scale solar energy company.

Arthur Haubenstock ’84

“One of the greatest challenges in developing an alternative power source is developing a transmission structure,” says Haubenstock. “Unlike fuels in other sources, renewable energy tends to be intermittent, yet we need

Wesleyan Honored for Climate Change Efforts

Bill Nelligan, director of environmental health, safety and sustainability, delivers the opening remarks at the 2010 Climate Change Leadership Awards Ceremony June 7 in Kerr Lecture Hall. Wesleyan was one of seven individuals and organizations honored by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell for its innovative efforts to address global climate change.

Wesleyan Community Celebrates Earth Day

Barry Chernoff, the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of biology and director of the Environmental Studies Certificate Program, welcomes the audience to Wesleyan’s 2010 Earth Day Celebration titled ““Keeping Our Feet to the Fire: Joining Art and Science to Engage Environmental Issues.”

Students Raise Awareness of Clean Energy

Wesleyan students are camping on Foss Hill to promote clean energy.

Student activists involved in Students for a Just and Stable Future were featured in an April 18 Middletown Press article titled “Wesleyan students raising awareness of clean energy, camping outside a week.”

The students want state leaders to work toward requiring that all electricity in the state comes from renewable sources such as solar or wind power by 2020. They are “rejecting the dirty electricity of their dorm rooms and are instead camping on Foss Hill.”

“What we want is that anytime you are in your house in Connecticut and you turn on a switch, all that electricity is coming from clean sources,” said Dan Levine ’11 in the article. “We’re making the statement that there are people in Connecticut who really care about clean energy.”

About a dozen students are sleeping outdoors in tents, which were mostly borrowed from Wesleyan’s Outing Club.

Allbritton Center Honored with Gold Certification for Sustainable Practices

The Allbritton Center, formerly the Davenport Campus Center, was a renovation project completed in August 2009. Wesleyan considered sustainable measures throughout the redesign and construction, earning a Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

The Allbritton Center, formerly the Davenport Campus Center, was a renovation project completed in August 2009. Wesleyan considered sustainable measures throughout the redesign and construction, earning a Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Wesleyan has reached the gold standard in sustainable structures.

On March 15, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Wesleyan’s newly-renovated Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life building a Gold Certification based on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system that verifies that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

“The Gold Certification demonstrates Wesleyan’s commitment to sustainable design, operation and maintenance of its buildings,” says Alan Rubacha, construction services consultant for the center. “From the salvage and reuse of existing materials, to the design and specification of new materials and even into the site design, LEED was consulted for every decision.”

The Allbritton Center, formerly the Davenport Campus Center, was a nine-month renovation project completed in August 2009.

LEED awards points based

Wesleyan Participates in Earth Day Commuter Challenge

Between now and Earth Day in April, Wesleyan employees who seek greener ways to commute to campus will have the opportunity to earn rewards through the Earth Day Commuter Challenge 2010: “Race to the Finish.” The event encourages all forms of green commuting including carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, biking, walking and taking the bus, and is projected to eliminating more than 140,000 vehicle trips state-wide. This level of participation would result in 5,000,000 fewer miles of driving and the elimination of 2,000 tons of emissions.

“Our hope is that the Earth Day Commuter Challenge will encourage employees to get out of their single occupancy cars and use alternate green modes of transportation,” explains Cliff Ashton, director of Physical Plant. “It’s the right thing to do for the environment and hopefully it will save employees money at the same time.”

The event is endorsed by Governor M. Jodi Rell and culminates with a reception at the State Capitol for the employers who have successfully encouraged their employees to participate.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans take 1.1 billion trips a day. Of these trips, 78 percent are single-occupant trips, which clog roadways and account for about 50 percent of urban air pollution.

Several Wesleyan faculty and staff already make green choices in their to-and-from-work

Freshwater Resources Topic of Where On Earth Are We Going Symposium

Patrick Osborne

Patrick Osborne, executive director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, will speak on climate change during the Where on Earth Are We Going symposium Nov. 7.

During the last 50 years, humans have degraded rivers and lakes through excessive water abstraction, pollution and by over-harvesting aquatic organisms. River flow has been impeded by dams, and floodplains have been converted for agriculture and urban areas.

The human population has doubled to nearly 7 billion and, per capita water availability has declined on all continents. During the past 50 years, global climate change has further impacted water resources.

On Nov. 7, three climate experts will speak on “Global Environmental Change And Freshwater Resources: Hope For The Best Or Change To Prepare For The Worst?” during the annual Where On Earth Are We Going? Symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Patrick L. Osborne, executive director of the Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will look at ways climate change and global warming have altered river and lake function and the water resources on which humans rely. He has 30 years experience in tropical ecology research, education and environmental consultancy and was the head of the biology department at the University of Papua New Guinea and deputy director of the Water Research Center at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

At 10:15 a.m., Frank H. McCormick, program manager of Air, Water and Aquatic Environments at the Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Solar Panels Installed on Office of Admission

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rude '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), own and installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rudey '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Wesleyan Dining Hosts Eat Local Challenge

Sierra Bintliff '12 feeds livestock at a at a small organic farm in Standish, Maine. Bon Appétit Management Company uses food from the farm.

Sierra Bintliff '12 feeds livestock at a at a small organic farm in Standish, Maine. Bon Appétit Management Company uses food from the farm.

During the summer recess, amateur gardeners Sierra Bintliff ’12 and Nat Lichten ’09 seeded rows, weeded, irrigated, and tended fruits, vegetables and livestock at a small organic farm near St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine.

A bulk of the bounty was harvested for St. Joseph’s dining services, managed by Bon Appétit Management Company, the same business that oversees Wesleyan dining.

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to work for a company whose mission statement embodies the ideal combination of my two passions: sustainability and food,” says Bintliff, who works as a Bon Appétit catering employee at Wesleyan. “While working on the farm, I experienced the genuine enthusiasm of the Bon Appétit community for providing quality food from sustainable sources.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will raise awareness about its commitment to supporting local agriculture by participating in the Eat Local Challenge.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will participate in the Eat Local Challenge.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will participate in the Eat Local Challenge.

Wesleyan and all other Bon Appétit-managed eateries across the country will feature a special lunch prepared completely from local ingredients from within a 150 mile radius of the café, the only exception being salt.

“The meal will take ‘farm to fork’ to the next level,” explains Michael Strumpf, Bon Appétit Resident District Manager of Wesleyan Dining. “Our chefs will create a delicious, seasonal dish that highlights Connecticut’s local bounty. Everything, every single ingredient, must be bought locally. To give you an idea of what this means, if the bread is served during this meal, the flour and yeast must have come from within 150 miles of Wesleyan.”

The Eat Local Challenge

Emergency Response Studio Inspired by Hurricane Katrina Disaster

Nina Felshin, curator of exhibitions at the Center for the Arts, and Camille Parente, financial analyst/gallery coordinator, examine the Emergency Response Studio installed on the Center for the Arts green. The studio was inspired by artist Paul Villinski's visit to New Orleans, La. in August 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

Nina Felshin, curator of exhibitions at the Center for the Arts, and Camille Parente, financial analyst/gallery coordinator, examine the Emergency Response Studio installed on the Center for the Arts green. The studio was inspired by artist Paul Villinski's visit to New Orleans, La. in August 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

Though designed as an artist's studio and residence, Emergency Response Studio is an ingenious prototype for self-sufficient, solar-powered mobile housing.

Though designed as an artist's studio and residence, Emergency Response Studio is an ingenious prototype for self-sufficient, solar-powered mobile housing.

Emergency Response Studio is a transformed 30-foot Gulfstream Cavalier trailer, virtually identical to the 50,000 trailers built for FEMA.  Working continuously from April to October 2008, Villinski transformed the trailer's formaldehyde-ridden materials with green technology and building materials, including recycled denim insulation, bamboo cabinetry, compact fluorescent lighting, reclaimed wood, and floor tiles made from linseed oil.

Emergency Response Studio is a transformed 30-foot Gulfstream Cavalier trailer, virtually identical to the 50,000 trailers built for FEMA. Working continuously from April to October 2008, Villinski transformed the trailer's formaldehyde-ridden materials with green technology and building materials, including recycled denim insulation, bamboo cabinetry, compact fluorescent lighting, reclaimed wood, and floor tiles made from linseed oil.