Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.26
Liaison Stephanie MacPhee
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Ryerson University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" 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:

The Ryerson Urban Farm (UF) Living Lab is supporting two student led research projects. One of the projects conducted in 2020 is going to be measuring the ecosystem services of a green roof and rooftop farm compared to a conventional roof. The ecosystem services that are being aimed to monitor are stormwater management, carbon sequestration and ability to mitigate urban heat island effect.
The UF also hosts weekly farmers markets on-campus in the spring and summer, increasing students' access to local, sustainable foods on campus.


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 recently constructed Daphne Coxwell Complex (DCC) contains an energy tracking board, enabling Facilities to advance and improve building operations. This building also uses a greywater collection system: water collected from showers, taps and rain is treated and used to flush toilets. The building is the first Ryerson-owned structure to use chilled beam technology, which helps to regulate temperature in offices, reducing electricity and fossil fuel use. The mechanical systems have been designed to be very energy-efficient as well, reducing the environmental impact of the building.
In BL8104 Energy Efficient Design studio students developed a comprehensive retrofit strategy for the Architecture building. The students in this course proposed a design for a new low carbon building on Campus. In the past in this course students have worked on other buildings on campus.
In BL8102 Ecological and Resource Efficient Design course students examine how a building could achieve the Living Building Standard (see https://living-future.org/lbc/ this is a very demanding green building standard). Some students choose Ryerson buildings and propose a strategy for renovation to try to meet this standard.
In ARC720 Architecture Option Studio Dr. Mark Gorgolewski has worked with students to propose designs to bring in urban agriculture to the campus.
Also we have run other ARC720 and ARC820 option studio courses in 2018 and 2019 that have examined the design of a new sustainable building on campus for the Department of Architectural Science. These were taught by external instructors.
Dr. Umberto Berardi with the Architectural Science Department, runs the BETOP Inc. Canadian based building material research laboratory powered by the Science Discovery Zone at Ryerson University. In “BETOP Inc.“ they perform testing in addition to research and development on innovative building materials for the building envelope with focus on enhancing the energy efficiency and durability of buildings, having evaluated materials of Ryerson buildings in the past.


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:

For the class GEO702, Technology and the Contemporary Environment, students were asked to conduct a personal energy audit that allows them to obtain an understanding of the amount of energy each individual consumes in a given week - both on campus and at home. Students were asked to cumulate their survey and research in a final essay. For information see here: https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/wp.wwu.edu/dist/4/774/files/2016/08/Handouts-Personal-Energy-Audit-utw2u9.pdf
The Sustainability Office Energy Intern helps with evaluating energy consumption and Ryerson's carbon footprint in terms of HVAC systems, electricity systems, steam steams, lighting uses, and natural gas. Additionally, the student conducts research for improvements to Ryerson infrastructure to minimize the environmental impact of Ryerson. This position supports the energy management program with data analysis and reporting requirements. The engineering intern works closely with the energy management team to ensure accuracy of data as well as to upload data from external sources to an internal database.


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:

Ryerson’s Centre for Studies of Food Security managed a faculty and student led study in 2018-2020 conducting a social network analysis of Canadian food insecurity policy actors, assessing Community-based food projects, organizations, and networks and more specifically what they are, what they do and what makes them successful in Canada and on the Ryerson campus.
Nutrition Communication students in the Master of Health Science conducted a research project exploring university athletic departments’ sports nutrition education programs, partnerships and policies: An environmental scan that explored dietary regimes and food security, among other variables, of university level athletes.
The Ryerson Urban Farm (UF) Living Lab is supporting two student led research projects. The first is a study (2019) of the Urban Farm's irrigation system in the last 5 years, looking at the evapotranspiration, water retention capacity and plant health of various green roof layers and growing media. The second project being conducted in 2020 is going to be measuring the ecosystem services of a green roof and rooftop farm compared to a conventional roof. The ecosystem services that are being aimed to monitor are stormwater management, carbon sequestration and ability to mitigate urban heat island effect.
The UF also hosts weekly farmers markets on-campus in the spring and summer, increasing students' access to local, sustainable foods on campus.


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 team of about 10 Ryerson students, faculty and staff developed and delivered the salt reduction project to the Ryerson community and our partners (approximately 100,000 by twitter and various media channels).The Ryerson team includes academic lead, a Masters of Spatial Analysis graduate student , Facilities Services and Sustainability, Custodial & Groundskeeping staff, administrative staff, and the administrative staff at Ryerson Urban Water. RUW & Ryerson Facilities Management and Development (FMD) have partnered with WWF-Canada to create a more winter sustainable campus through the road salt reduction project. The goals of the project were:
- To evaluate the effectiveness of using anti-icing for reducing road salt usage on the Ryerson University campus
-To promote road salt reduction to the public, private commercial property owners, water professionals, and policy/ decision-makers
This collaborative partnership between facilities management, researchers, and students allowed for the implementation of anti-icing methods on a portion of the paved surfaces on campus. The metrics monitored and tracked throughout the pilot project included the effectiveness, cost and reduction in road salt usage. This project is allowing Ryerson to take action against the increasing chloride levels in Ontario urban and rural waterways.
This was the first time using the campus as a living lab. Ryerson Facilities plans to scale up the project in winter 2019-2020. The research team will predict the impact of further reductions in salt over time as the campus begins to increase brine usage over the entire campus. As well, the team will model the impact of applying brine in place of road salt to the TTC King Street streetcar line, Metrolinx GO Stations along Lakeshore east and west between Long Branch and Rouge Hill stations, and Green P parking lots. Those locations are the next point at which the project will be scaled up to further reap the benefits it presents. For more information see here: https://www.ryerson.ca/water/research/salt_project/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
No

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:

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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 primary goal of the Transform laboratory is to develop and invest in students while examining how existing and novel means of transportation influence urban systems, and how our regions and neighbourhoods shape travel behaviour and human movement. StudentMoveTO is an initiative held by the lab. StudentMoveTO is a collaborative campaign focusing on everyday travel experiences of university students, and includes a large survey of post-secondary students’ travel behaviour. The latest phase of the survey was conducted in 2019. The data was made publicly available to be used for research, in the classroom, and more importantly, to general an informed conversation between students, universities and transportation planners focusing on the challenges and opportunities relating to student travel and quality of life. For more information see here: http://transformlab.ryerson.ca


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:

During the SOC 808 Sociology of Food and Eating course, students conduct a research project and lead a waste audit and survey of our campus waste management system, and create a plan to improve waste management and diversion. The results of these projects are shared with and are taken under consideration by the Sustainability Office, having the potential to advance sustainable waste management practices on campus.
The Sustainability Office Waste & Recycling student Intern assists the sustainability engagement coordinator with data collection and waste management improvement action plan development. This is accomplished by collecting, analysing and presenting large amounts of data with attention to detail and will use critical thinking to contribute to a plan that will result in an increase of Ryerson’s diversion from landfill, effectively coordinating volunteers for activities such as waste audits and collecting and analysing large data sets. Frequent tasks included analysing waste management practices at Ryerson University, benchmarking performance with peer organizations, researching best practices, consulting with stakeholders to find relevant solutions, and preparing draft reports.


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:

In 2019, Ryerson Urban Water (RUW) faculty researchers and Facilities Management and Development (FMD) collaborated on the Salt-Reduction Project. The team of about 10 Ryerson students, faculty and staff developed and delivered the salt reduction project to the Ryerson community and our partners (approximately 100,000 by twitter and various media channels).The Ryerson team includes academic lead, a Masters of Spatial Analysis graduate student, Facilities Services and Sustainability, Custodial & Groundskeeping staff, administrative staff, and the administrative staff at Ryerson Urban Water. RUW & FMD have partnered with WWF-Canada to create a more winter sustainable campus through the road salt reduction project. The goals of the project were:
To evaluate the effectiveness of using anti-icing for reducing road salt usage on the Ryerson University campus
To promote road salt reduction to the public, private commercial property owners, water professionals, and policy/ decision-makers
This collaborative partnership between facilities management, researchers, and students allowed for the implementation of anti-icing methods on a portion of the paved surfaces on campus. The metrics monitored and tracked throughout the pilot project included the effectiveness, cost and reduction in road salt usage. This project is allowing Ryerson to take action against the increasing chloride levels in Ontario urban and rural waterways.
This was the first time using the campus as a living lab. Ryerson Facilities plans to scale up the project in winter 2019-2020. The research team will predict the impact of further reductions in salt over time as the campus begins to increase brine usage over the entire campus. As well, the team will model the impact of applying brine in place of road salt to the TTC King Street streetcar line, Metrolinx GO Stations along Lakeshore east and west between Long Branch and Rouge Hill stations, and Green P parking lots. Those locations are the next point at which the project will be scaled up to further reap the benefits it presents. For more information see here: https://www.ryerson.ca/water/research/salt_project/
As part of the CVL601 Wastewater management course, students explore wastewater collection, sewage treatment, and wastewater microbiology. In the past, students have conducted experimental laboratory work on Ryerson campus involving sedimentation model, chemical treatment: coagulation and flocculation, nutrients, biochemical oxygen demand, and microscopic analyses of sludge.
As part of CVL Municipal Solid Waste Management, students use Ryerson as a case study in their introduction to legislation and authority; integrated solid waste management planning; solid waste generation, characterization, and collection; collection and processing; reduction, reuse, and recycle; landfilling of municipal waste, site selection, development, hydrological factors, leachate and gas collection and control, closure; solid waste incineration.


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:

The School of Urban Planning faculty collaborated with Facilities Management and Development on the following green building and sustainable campus infrastructure projects: a winterscape project; a container campus project looking at prototypes for small spaces; a green roof design for Bond; a wayfinding Plan; and most recently a public pop up park using street parking spots as parklets. This is an initiative through Park(ing) Day see more at https://www.oala.ca/event/parking-day/ and here https://www.asla.org/uploadedFiles/CMS/Events/Parking_Day_Manual_Consecutive.pdf

EUS 801 Senior Projects in EUS - A comprehensive capstone project allowing students to conduct an environmental consulting research project. Sample “clients” including the Ryerson Sustainability Office and other businesses have pitched projects to the students to identify gaps. For example, in 2019, the Sustainability Office identified the need for a Green Residence Program on campus, and students in EUS801 conducted a survey on campus, did a review and analysis of green residence guides developed by other universities, and reviewed research on innovative residence practices, contributing to Ryerson’s residence sustainability plan.


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:

Ryerson’s Diversity Institute conducted the Diversity Leads 2020 project, supported by TD via the TD Ready Commitment, analyzing the representation of women, Black people, and other racialized persons among 9,843 individuals on the boards of directors of large companies; agencies, boards, and commissions (ABCs); hospitals; the voluntary sector; and educational institutions. (Directors on the boards of educational institutions and other non-profits are legally responsible for the governance of their institutions.) The report also explores the board-related experiences of people who identify as Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and two-spirit), and persons with disabilities through a qualitative analysis.
Ryerson Diversity Institute hosts student employment opportunities and internships. For more information see here: https://www.ryerson.ca/diversity/about/team/


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:

The Social Ventures Zone (SVZ) was designed as a place where teams of students, alumni, and innovators from the community could develop viable social enterprises that positively impact social issues. The overall aim of the SVZ is to develop and incubate the next generation of innovative and sustainable solutions to Canada’s most pressing social challenges, by investing in and funding projects based on potential impact, degree of innovation, potential of sustainability, and personal capacity.
See other examples of sustainable businesses that have been incubated by SVZ on campus and demonstrate Ryerson’s commitment to the future of sustainability: https://www.ryerson.ca/svz/Blog/making-sustainability-a-priority/


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:

F.R.E.S.H, a sustainability centered student-led orientation week recognizes that sustainability is interwoven into many aspects of life. F.R.E.S.H was the result of a student capstone project from the course EUS 850, and grew into a larger campus wide event. Each letter represents a daily theme: food, recycling, energy and the environment, sustainability, and health and wellness. The organizing student team partnered with various campus groups throughout the week who are committed to sustainable operations. By highlighting their services, you can learn how to get involved with sustainability on the Ryerson campus. There was a station held in the Kerr Hall Quad to encourage students to learn more and participate in fun activities. For more information see here: https://www.ryerson.ca/facilities-management-development/sustainability/news-events/news/2019/08/f-r-e-s-h-at-orientation-week/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

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:
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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)?:
No

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:
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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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