Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Joan Pauly
Submission Date June 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Berea College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Joan Pauly
Sustainability Coordinator
Operations & Sustainability
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

The Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) House is an ecologically designed residential, demonstration and teaching facility constructed as part of the Berea College Ecovillage. The SENS House is largely self-reliant for energy, water and waste treatment, employing a wide range of technologies for energy conservation and production, water conservation, waste treatment and use of local materials in construction.

Four SENS students—the SENS House directors—live in the SENS House while developing and implementing educational programs in sustainable living and ecological design for the campus and community.

Also, the Deep Green residence hall helps students understand challenges of air and climate.
https://www.berea.edu/magazine/article/berea-colleges-deep-green-residence-hall-earns-worlds-highest-leed-score/

Finally, students with families live in Ecovillage.

Guided by intertwined educational, environmental, and social goals, the Ecovillage is an ecologically-sustainable residential and learning complex designed to meet housing needs for student families, childcare for campus children, and provide a living/labor opportunity for students interested in sustainability.

The Ecovillage is first and foremost about education. It is an example of learning by doing. Residents and children learn valuable lessons in environmentally responsible living through everyday activities and shared experiences. Other components of the Ecovillage provide educational opportunities for the entire campus and beyond.

The complex includes 50 apartments, a state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory, a Commons House, a Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) demonstration house, and the SENS Aquaponics facility.

Rigorous performance goals for the Ecovillage include: reduction of energy use by 75%; reduction of per capita water use by 75%; treatment of sewage and wastewater on-site to swimmable quality, and recycling, reusing or composting at least 50% of waste. To accomplish these and other goals, the Ecovillage incorporates a wide range of “green design” elements including passive solar heating, and photovoltaic panels. Roof-top capture of rainwater contributes to landscape irrigation and production of fruits and vegetables.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

Deep Green Dorm is a building specifically devoted to sustainability in living; numerous other campus buildings are posted with sustainability features and info stations to help student engagement in the sustainability efforts on campus.

Guided by intertwined educational, environmental, and social goals, the Ecovillage is an ecologically-sustainable residential and learning complex designed to meet housing needs for student families, childcare for campus children, and provide a living/labor opportunity for students interested in sustainability.

The Ecovillage is first and foremost about education. It is an example of learning by doing. Residents and children learn valuable lessons in environmentally responsible living through everyday activities and shared experiences. Other components of the Ecovillage provide educational opportunities for the entire campus and beyond.

The complex includes 50 apartments, a state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory, a Commons House, a Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) demonstration house, and the SENS Aquaponics facility.

Rigorous performance goals for the Ecovillage include: reduction of energy use by 75%; reduction of per capita water use by 75%; treatment of sewage and wastewater on-site to swimmable quality, and recycling, reusing or composting at least 50% of waste. To accomplish these and other goals, the Ecovillage incorporates a wide range of “green design” elements including passive solar heating, and photovoltaic panels. Roof-top capture of rainwater contributes to landscape irrigation and production of fruits and vegetables.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

SENS House includes energy Monitoring facilities, and multiple types of clean energy sources. These include solar tracking, PV, and solar-thermal hot water. A demonstration wind turbine tops stevenson building, where students can monitor energy output from the turbine.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Dining Services labels food that is locally sourced, and hosts information stations about local foods, including dairy and meats.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Many tree species on campus are labeled, plants used by grounds are typically native to the area. No pesticides are used on grounds.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

There is a Student-Staff-Faculty Fair Trade Committee that focuses on sustainability along with labor equity in purchasing.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

The College leads experimental car and ride share programs into standardization for faculty, staff, and students. Use of these programs typically beats national averages.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Recycling Bins are present and labeled in all campus buildings. Compost is labeled and available in dining services and some other areas of campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Rainwater is used to flush toilets in some main campus buildings. Water conservation methods are posted in bathrooms throughout the campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

SENS House is a 4 person communal house used as a model for shared governance and communal living. Also, students working for the office of Sustainability engage in the process of continuous improvement, helping reduce wasted energy (human and electrical) in processes.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

All Berea Students come from the lower income quarterly and Berea has a continuing commitment to interracial and intercultural education.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

There is a sustainable investment committee, which engages college financial departments to ensure sustainability in all college investments.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

We have 3 college-community partnerships, partnerships which partner between faculty and community to engage in public awareness and engagement in sustainability initiatives.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

A core part the first year experience for students on campus is a 'FRESH START" program which focuses on 8 dimensions of wellness one of which is sustainability, though each of the other 7 also tie into sustainability of lifestyle and community health.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

The Art department hosts at least 2 environment and sustainability art displays. Displays include wetland, mountaintop removal, and other local and regional sustainability initiative programs/issues.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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