You are hereCU Boulder's sustainable efforts earns gold
CU Boulder's sustainable efforts earns gold
Widespread sustainability efforts across the CU campus have recently gotten external recognition.
The Boulder campus garnered a “gold” rating under the fairly new Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
The system considers sustainability on campus across four main categories:
° Education & Research
° Planning, Administration & Engagement
CU earned an overall score of 68.77 points, just over the minimum 65 points needed for “gold.”
Sustainability Project Manager at CU’s Facilities Management, Kristin Epley, says getting the rating was an interesting process.
“It made us think about things in a way that we hadn’t thought about them, even though we’ve been doing sustainability for a number of years,” Epley said.
“So we looked at things like the energy efficiency of buildings that already exist, and how we manage those buildings. We looked at things like…food in the dining halls and how far away do we…order food from,” she said.
The STARS result isn’t the only sustainable rating CU has received. The campus has gained recognition for its LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Boulder’s ATLAS building, Wolf Law building, Koelbel building, Arnett Hall and most recently, Andrews Hall, have all earned LEED Gold ratings.
“They were rated based on the efficiency of the heating system…the kinds of windows that they put in,” Epley said.
While CU’s large-scale efforts are earning merits, one green initiative is not necessarily explicit to the naked eye on campus: paper.
“We are no longer buying virgin paper, except for special circumstances. So any handout you get as a student will be on recycled paper, which is pretty cool. Only this campus right now is doing that,” Epley said.
Campus orders must contain paper that has a minimum of 30 percent recycled content.
Looking ahead, Epley says the goal is to gain a STARS Platinum rating in the future. At least 85 points are needed to achieve that.
CU is already on track and expected to receive a LEED Platinum rating for the construction of the new Williams Village North Hall.
With sustainability a top priority as the campus moves forward, Epley says it presents an opportunity.
“I think it’s an opportunity for people to be really creative and…you know, try out new things, and see are they both sustainable and educational or operationally do they make sense, and what we’re finding is a lot of them do,” she said.
For further information about CU’s sustainability efforts, visit Facilities Management site at: http://www.colorado.edu/facilitiesmanagement) and the CU Environmental Center site (http://ecenter.colorado.edu
For a detailed breakdown of the score visit:https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-colorado-at-boulder-co/report/2010-11-09