Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Furman University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Yancey Fouche
Associate Director
Shi Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 66616580 Gallons 110637900 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 64905680 Gallons 108959.70 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 2439 2361
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 2769 2971
Full-time equivalent of employees 848 841
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 2432286 Square Feet 1548245 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 745 Acres 745 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:
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Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
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Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

One of our biggest projects is the closed-loop solar/aquatic waste water treatment system in the Charles Townes Science Center. The living machine uses natural processes to clean the building’s water. It’s then re-circulated into the building as grey water, which can be used for non-potable water demands like flushing toilets.


A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

The dashboard allows Furman community members to view energy use in real-time through an easy-to-use website. We’ve made the data available to faculty and students for use in the classroom and in research, making it easier to build connections between the coursework and university operations. The dashboard was partially funded by a gift from The Duke Endowment. For more information on Furman's dashboard contact the Shi Center.


A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

On a smaller scale, we retrofitted our dormitories with low flow shower aerators and sink aerators and switched our iconic fountains from a 24-hour operating schedule to an eight-hour operating schedule, reducing the amount of water lost to evaporation. We’ve also upgraded our irrigation efficiency by using water from Furman Lake. That change alone covers 30 percent of our irrigation needs.


A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:
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A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

In the past decade, Furman has used a number of different LID practices and products on a multitude of projects – both new and renovation. These include: structural grass pavement and gravel pavement, porous concrete pavement, pervious brick pavement (with underdrain filtration), rainwater harvesting and storage for irrigation, detention ponds, grass filtration strips, buffers on both sides of Little Creek, and manufactured structures such as catch basin inserts, cyclone separators and offset bay separators. And, of course, the new Synthetic Turf Football Field that catches and slows the runoff rate, cleans the stormwater of sediment, and does not require the use of nutrients that damage the environment.

Some areas of campus are maintained with xeriscape landscaping techniques, including drought tolerant and native species as appropriate. The area surrounding Cliffs Cottage, the Susan Shi ornamental garden, is a highlight of the university's xeriscaped landscape. Other areas of campus which employ xeriscape techniques include the landscape at Farmer Hall, our new Child Development Center, Tennis Center, Track Infield, and several recreation fields on campus.

At the Shi Center, we harvest rainwater coming off of the high-pitched roof into gutters, which flow into downspouts and then proceed through underground pipes headed for the 12,000 gallon capacity cisterns. In addition, any excess water flowing from the gutters flows down 2 water chains on each side of the porch, which flow into successive bog (rain) gardens before finally reaching our lake.

The water collected from the cisterns is used primarily to water the Susan Shi garden. The water from the rain chains flows into 3 small bog (rain) gardens (6 total) located below the porch. From there, they are directed underground into the large bog before reaching our lake (after filtering impurities). Various water loving plants are sustained in our bog gardens which create an environment for numerous bugs, insects and wildlife (plants such as iris', grasses, hibiscus, dwarf horse tail, cat tails, rush, etc.) In essence, a bog (rain garden) mimics a marsh, which is nature's way of filtering dirty water into clean water for the environment, while at the same time providing food and habitat for all of earth's inhabitants.


A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

See above


A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:
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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.