Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.58
Liaison Dennis Carlberg
Submission Date April 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Boston University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.80 / 4.00 Dennis Carlberg
Associate Vice President for University Sustainability
BU Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food ---
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment ---
Public Engagement ---
Other ---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A group of three graduate students used both the Charles River and Medical campus' footprints, as well as MassGIS and LiDAR data, to create a vulnerability assessment of the University due to sea level rise and storm surge as a result of climate change.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As part of a Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP) class project, three groups of students were challenged to redesign the roof on top of the WBUR building on the Charles River Campus. Rooftop issues explored included solar power, increased access to outdoor space, and green roofs.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A team comprised of sustainability@BU interns, faculty from the College of Engineering, and employees of Facilities Management & Planning were tasked with finding actionable solutions to address the issue of overheating older buildings on campus.
The project focused on the early 20th century row houses that Boston University offers as dormitory options, office spaces, etc. Their heating systems were analyzed in an investigation surrounding campus energy efficiency. The intent of the project was to improve thermal comfort and energy efficiency. Results of the testing revealed that 83% of buildings are overheated during seasons when heat is in use. A study of the heat loss distribution in the building located at 43 Buswell in particular reveals that 38% is lost in infiltration, followed by 36% through walls. The remaining heat escapes through windows, the basement, roof, and doors. Suggested tools to prevent overheating include a low cost Tstat override of the Outdoor Temperature Reset Controllers (OTRC).


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Several student organizations collaborated to plant a Reflection Garden on campus. Initially, Environmental Student Organization (ESO) club members made a request to sustainability@BU and the Facilities Management & Planning Grounds Department to create a place where the club could meet and educate members about gardening. They worked with Synerg-E, a team formed for a class project on leadership, who acted as project managers and wrote a comprehensive proposal for the garden. After receiving approval from the Grounds Manager and obtaining funding from Student Government, students from Team Synerg-E, ESO, and the Community Service Center came together to plant the garden.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

International students in three classes at the Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP) wanted to improve the recycling situation in their department with clearer bins, signage, education, and a whole-school commitment. Students engaged in project-based learning, first gleaning technical information about recycling on the BU campus through direct interaction with sustainability@BU and then implementing a comprehensive recycling program. They, in turn, used their newfound knowledge to educate their own community members on the importance of recycling. Not only was this beneficial for project-based learning among students, it also helped them develop more advanced English language skills.

In another project, students worked with sustainability@BU and management marketing professor Remi Trudel to develop signage for the Warren towers dorm to affect student-resident recycling behavior. Signs followed Prof. Trudel’s guidelines for changing behaviors using an analogous statement of benefits of recycling (quantifying a link between recycling and energy consumption) as well as a competitive social comparison (x floor is doing better at recycling than y floor). Results have informed communications techniques used by sustainability@BU.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As part of course SI453: Strategies for Environmental Sustainability, students are required to develop a group project, including an in-class presentation and written memo to sustainability@BU. The goal of the project is to provide students with experience similar to what working as a Director of Environmental Sustainability would provide. The final project is to provide a strategy for BU to increase student participation in and response to programs aimed at reducing energy consumption on campus. Student projects provided recommendations for effectively communicating with students to convey the importance of energy reductions, and to garner excitement around the energy reduction movement. Final project memos were action-oriented and emphasized analysis of the expected outcome, and a holistic comparison of expected costs and benefits that considers all important aspects of the project.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

With the support of Professor Jennifer Green, a student researched answers to the following topic: "Does LGBTQ Status Moderate the Association Between Bullying and Depression/Anxiety Among First-Year College Students?"


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

N/A


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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