Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Barbara Kviz
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Carnegie Mellon University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Barbara Kviz
Environmental Coordinator
Facilities Management Services
"---" 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 Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
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:

Students compiled our first campus Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Carbon Footprint as a senior class project and since then, we have calculated our GHG Inventory annually. The inventory is publicly available online to be used as a resource for class projects. We have improved on the accuracy of the data we collect every year, and saw a huge decrease in our carbon footprint the year we switched from coal to natural gas in our Bellefield Boiler Plant.


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:

The Stever House, is the first LEED Silver Rated resident hall built in the country in 2003, and CMU now has 13 LEED rated buildings or projects on campus. The LEED projects have been used as learning and research opportunities for students. The Stever House is a freshman resident hall and every year continues to hold environmental programming as part of the students activities.


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:

The Department of Student Affairs (DOSA) is very supportive of the dining and food services environmental practices. They support zero waste events, food composting, and offer weekly Farmers Markets for the students. They funded the Winthrop Street Community Garden and use the vegetables grown in the garden in the campus kitchens.


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:

Carnegie Mellon has participated in the Campus Conservation Nationals for 3 years, and has designed their own live data dashboard for the contest. They work with academic departments on control systems to measure real time electric use. There are solar panels on 407 S. Craig Street Building that have been generating electricity since their installation in 2005. This data is available on line to be used for research. Also, a house built for the Solar Decathlon is located on campus and is being used as an office space and research facility.


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:

FMS is replacing most of the outdoor trash/recycling units to BigBelly Solar compactors to increase efficiency with labor pickups. We have applied for the Tree Campus USA designation and practice Integrated Pest Management on our grounds.


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:

Members of the purchasing department are on the Green Practices Committee and the Staff Council Sustainability Committee. They write contracts that require contractors to minimize chemicals and recycle their products. In example, all preferred carpeting vendors, that replace carpeting on campus must recycle the old carpeting and use low VOC glues. The purchase of 30% recycled content paper is widely used and promoted on campus and energy star rated computers and equipment are routinely purchased.


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:

Parking and Transportation has teamed up with the Green Practices Committee in the past to promote sustainable options for commuting. CMU provides a free bus pass for all faculty, staff and students, and participate in zimride and zipcar programs. We now have a newly formed Graduate Student Assembly Cycling Committee that is energized to help our campus become more bike friendly. We have been designated as Bike Friendly Employer by our local Bike Pittsburgh organization and have applied for the Bike Friendly University with the League of American Cyclists.


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:

For 11 years, Carnegie Mellon has participated in the RecycleMania contest and has conducted several waste sorts, with the help from students. During freshman Orientation we hold a zero waste dinner one evening during the week and students collect food composting throughout orientation week. The students are working with FMS to install more food composting collection bins in the resident halls. Food composting was established in the academic departments in January 2013 and is now located in over 50 locations on campus.


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:

Our campus has 35,000 sq ft of green roofs, engineered terrains, dry wells, pervious pavement, a retention pond, and bio-swales to manage storm water. Some of these projects were designed and built by students. Two of our buildings collect rain water which is used for irrigation and for flushing bathroom toilets. Our most recent storm water project will be designed to capture rainwater from building downspouts to be used as make up water for our chiller units.


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:

The Green Practices Committee and The Steinbrenner Institute have worked together to coordinate, plan and govern green practices on campus. The Institute helped to meld all environmental aspects for the campus into one web site, where environmental education, research and practices can be found in one place.


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:

The new president of the university, Dr. Subra Suresh, is in the process of developing a Strategic Plan and is holding several town hall meetings across the entire campus inclusive to all. Diversity is one of the main pillars that is being discussed throughout the strategic planning process.


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:

The presidents wife, Mary Suresh, focus is on the Healthy Campus Initiative. A committee has been formed and all Health & Wellbeing programs and initiatives can be found on one website.


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:
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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:

During any campus wide planning, Carnegie Mellon's administration is committed to giving all parties a voice in the planning process. For our recently adopted Master Plan, public meetings with the local community were integral to the process. For the university Strategic Plan, in process now, several stakeholder meetings have taken place gaining feedback and recommendations from the campus community. By including a wide range of voices, the planning for the university's future, best reflects its surrounding community.


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