Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Jennifer Foley
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Boston College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
-- Reporter
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

During the Spring 2018 semester students in ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar are working on assessing air pollution sources from the BC campus. This project is intended to help report data for STARS, but also to go a step beyond and map out sources, look into ways to reduce emissions, and to compare BC's emissions with other schools to understand how we are doing in comparison to other schools.


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings at a poster symposium and in a paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website. These student projects, which started in 2013, have involved Facilities, Grounds, Dining, Transportation, and Libraries.

Projects that have dealt with building sustainability tend to focus on energy consumption. In particular understanding the energy use by building inhabitants as well as typical appliances or features (elevators) found in buildings. Here we include a sampling of some of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on building sustainability:

Energy Usage and Behavior of Students Living in Boston College Residence
Halls <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202017/Energy_Usage_and_Behavior_of_Students_Living_in_Boston_College_Residence_Halls_PAPER.pdf>

Building a Green Recreation Complex: Sustainable Considerations for the Future of Boston College Campus Recreation <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Building_a_Green_Recreation_Complex_PAPER.pdf>

Comparison and Analysis of Energy Use Practices in Gasson Hall and Stokes Hall with Recommendations for Improvement <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Comparison_and_Analysis_of_Energy_Use_Practices_in_Gasson_Hall_and_Stokes_Hall_PAPER.pdf>

Elevator Energy Audit: An Analysis of Elevator Energy Efficiency at Boston College <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Elevator_Energy_Audit_PAPER.pdf>

BOSTON COLLEGE VENDING MACHINE ENERGY AUDIT PROJECT REPORT <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/5_Vending_Machine_Energy_Efficiency_paper.pdf


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings at a poster symposium and in a paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects aimed at looking at energy use and efficiency have been conducted in cooperation with Facilities, The Office of Sustainability, and BC Libraries.

Here we include a sampling of some of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on energy:

A CASE STUDY: SOLAR PANELS AT BOSTON COLLEGE <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/8_Solar_Panels_at_Boston%20College_paper.pdf>

COFFEE ENERGY AUDIT: AN ANALYSIS OF COFFEE ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND EFFICIENCY AT BOSTON COLLEGE <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2015%20project%20paper/paper-1.pdf>

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GROWING NUMBERS OF E­-BOOKS IN LIBRARIES <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2015%20project%20paper/paper-2.pdf>

WATER COOLER ENERGY AUDIT <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2015%20project%20paper/paper-7.pdf>


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings at a poster symposium and in a paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects aimed at Food and Dining have been conducted in cooperation with BC Dining Services and BC Concessions for sporting events. The topics have addressed reusable containers, food waste, composting efforts, and meat substitution at the Dining Halls. An outcome from one of these projects is that McElroy Dining Hall now has a front of house composting system with beautiful bins and a monitor to help students learn about where to place the organic food waste (recommendations made by students in that project). Another outcome has been the adoption of Grateful burgers and meatballs which are a 50:50 beef:mushroom blend.

Here we include a sampling of some of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on food and dining:

Food Waste at Boston College Sporting Events: Report of the Waste Audit of Conte Forum and Possible Solutions <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Food_Waste_at_BC_Sporting_Events_PAPER.pdf>

“TO GO” CONTAINERS: IMPROVING BOSTON COLLEGE’S CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH DINING SERVICES <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/4_To_Go_Containers_paper.pdf>

FEASIBILITY OF STUDENT-RUN COMPOSTING AT MCELROY DINING HALL <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/9_Student-run_Composting_at_McElroy_Dining.pdf>

The Protein Flip: An Environmental Analysis of Beef Substitution at Boston College <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202017/The_Protein_Flip_PAPER.pdf>


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings in a poster and paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects aimed at Landscaping have been conducted in cooperation with BC Grounds. The topics have addressed managing trees on campus, assessing the campus habitat for pollinators, and making the campus more bike friendly.

Here we include a sampling of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on Grounds:

A MORE BIKE FRIENDLY BOSTON COLLEGE: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE BICYCLE CULTURE AT BOSTON COLLEGE AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE IT <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/6_Biking_at_Boston_College_paper.pdf>

A ROOFTOP GARDEN AT 129 LAKE STREET: A FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE INSTALLATION OF A GREEN ROOF ON BRIGHTON CAMPUS <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/3_Rooftop_Garden_at_129_Lake_St_paper.pdf>

BRANCH OUT: LINDEN LANE TREE ALTERNATIVES <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2_Linden_Lane_Tree_Replacement_Alternatives_paper.pdf>

Exploring the Aesthetic Benefits of Arbor Landscaping at Boston College <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202017/Exploring_the_Aesthetic_Benefits_of_Arbor_Landscaping_at_Boston_College_PAPER.pdf>

Assessing Pollinator Habitat at Boston College <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202017/Assessing_Pollinator_Habitat_at_Boston_College_PAPER.pdf>


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:

BC Dining has two sustainability interns that work with Dining each year to advance their sustainability projects. Student Sustainability Interns have been involved with looking at ways to source food from local farmers and processors. Students were instrumental in bringing local eggs to the campus.


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 ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings in a poster and paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects aimed at emissions from the transportation sector have been conducted in cooperation with BC Transportation as well as local non-profit organizations.

Here we include a sampling of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on sustainability challenges and solutions in the transportation sector:

Boston College Ridesharing <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202017/Boston_College_Solar_Energy_PAPER.pdf>

Zero Emissions Bus Potential Amongst Massachusetts Universities <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Zero_Emissions_Bus_Potential_Amongst_Massachusetts_Universities_PAPER.pdf>

ENCOURAGING ELECTRIC VEHICLE USE IN NEWTON <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2015%20project%20paper/paper-3.pdf>


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings in a poster and paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects on waste and recycling have been conducted in cooperation with Facilities, Office of Sustainability, and BC Dining.

Here we include a sampling of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on aspects of waste management on the BC campus:

“TO GO” CONTAINERS: IMPROVING BOSTON COLLEGE’S CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH DINING SERVICES <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/4_To_Go_Containers_paper.pdf>

RETHINKING THE MARKETING OF RECYCLING <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/10_Breaking_the_Cycle_paper.pdf>

Food Waste at Boston College Sporting Events: Report of the Waste Audit of Conte Forum and Possible Solutions <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/bc1/schools/mcas/envstudies/PDFs/Student%20Research%202016/Food_Waste_at_BC_Sporting_Events_PAPER.pdf>


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings in a poster and paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

Projects on water have been conducted in cooperation with Facilities. One of the outcomes of one of the first projects (not published) was the implementation of low flow showerheads throughout much of campus (800 replacements). This action has saved the campus water and money. There is a 2018 student group that is currently assessing the performance of the replacement showerheads and looking for ares for replacement to bring down water and energy use even more.

Here we include a sampling of the past projects, along with their papers, that have focused on aspects of water on the BC campus:

WATER COOLER ENERGY AUDIT <https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/schools/cas_sites/envstudies/pdf/Student%20Research/2015%20project%20paper/paper-7.pdf>


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

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:
---

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

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:
---

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

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:
---

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:

BC's new core complex problems courses, part of our Core Renewal, encourage faculty to develop experiential projects both on the campus and within the community. HIST/SOCY 1504: Understanding Race, Gender and Violence (fall of 2017, approximately 150 students) developed laboratory activities that partnered students with St. Stephens to work on issues related to violence prevention and safe communities. The students projects included:
- An organizer from St. Stephens provided an orientation on St. Stephen’s program for the students. The organizer returned at the end of the semester (December 7)
to discuss and reflect on the students’ role in the program.
- In order to build relationships between BC students and the students and
staff at St. Stephen’s, the BC students arranged to spend at least three 4-
hour blocks of time (including an hour for travel time) visiting, learning, and
contributing to the St. Stephen’s program and the organizing efforts. Other
work contributing to the organizing campaigns were done off-site.
- The students, in consultation with the St. Stephen’s organizer and the lab
instructor, concentrated on one or more organizing campaigns and
produced a final project (i.e., a report, a PowerPoint presentation, etc.), which they shared with St. Stephen’s and with the larger class at BC.


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:

The ENVS4943 Environmental Seminar for seniors matches student research teams to mentors on campus to investigate a real environmental problem that the mentor's organization is dealing with. Students present their findings in a poster and paper, both of which are published on the Environmental Studies website.

One of the student teams in spring 2018 is working with sustainability coordinators at Skanska, one of the companies that builds buildings at BC, to explore Well Building Certification systems. A Well Building Certification certifies that the building has excellent indoor air quality, natural lighting, biophilia components, access to healthy food, and fitness. This project is still in the early stages of research. However, the students will be looking at other Well Buildings and doing a cost-benefit analysis to see if it is a worthwhile certificate to pursue for BC's new buildings. The students will make recommendations in a report to Facilities, Office of Sustainability, and administrators in charge of building designs.


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)?:
---

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 website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.