Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.47
Liaison Debbie Andres
Submission Date Aug. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

San Jose State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Debbie Andres
Utilities & Sustainability Analyst
FD&O
"---" 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 No
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

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 campus as a living lab module was developed focusing on the SJSU Cogeneration Plant that gives an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs using a much more efficient method and cleaner method than a traditional power plant. Classes from the Engineering and Science colleges regular tour the plant to learn about the technology used here, instilling in students the knowledge that better technology exists for making cleaner electricity.

All engineering 100w courses focus on sustainability and the culminating project is a collaborative Proposal focused on improving Sustainability. More than 500 engineers study environmental issues via a live guest speaker series, The GreenTalks. Applying knowledge gleaned from these industry experts, multi-disciplinary engineering teams design solutions to regional and campus-based environmental problems. At least 50 students per semester participate in the Campus of the Living Lab concept by studying SJSU's annual Sustainability Report and proposing solutions to specific campus issues. The majority of these Proposals impact Air and Climate through the installation of renewable energy on campus. In 2016, students used Google Maps to locate recent solar panel installations on several CSU campuses, then compared installations to those at SJSU noting that, while new solar panels on the Student Union where a good sign, SJSU needs to replicate this effort on surrounding buildings. Students designed several solar installations, using building footprint data and existing energy use information, found in the 2014/15 Sustainability Report to propose installations on the remote parking garage and Engineering building. Another design included arrays on the roof of the south and north garages that would also provide shade for vehicles. For each of these Proposals students studied the existing campus infrastructure, the San Jose Green Vision Goals, Public and Private sector incentives and Sustainability Annual Reports as well as utilized the PV Watts online calculator to complete their cost benefit analysis.


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:

A campus as a living lab module was developed using the King Library. The Sustainability at the King Library module reviews the major LEED categories that buildings applying for LEED certification are reviewed by. The goal of the module is to
provide a basic overview of criteria used for each LEED category. The module’s goal is to have students’ rate the library’s features via a physical tour and an online tour to discover sustainable features. The module asks the students to explore the building, discover how people use it, and to apply their understanding of LEED’s categories to sustainability in their own lives and living environments. The module consists of a pre-tour class session and the information for this session is found in the MLK King Library LEED Certification Research Guide at http://libguides.sjsu.edu/King_Library_Leed_certification. Next, students take a physical tour of the Library to explore its sustainability components. Then, students come together with the instructor for a post-tour discussion of what they found. Finally, the instructor can assess student learning in a number of ways through the Research Guide.

Engineering 100w students completed Proposals on Smart Buildings using SJSU's 2014/15 Sustainability Report data and Internet of Things guest speaker information to propose "Smart" building upgrades to the Engineering Building. These upgrades included several Proposals on lighting upgrades that included primary data collected from the site and extensive cost benefit analysis of existing lighting systems compared to the proposed LED sensor-based systems. Other Proposals included plumbing upgrades by replacing outdated fixtures in the Engineering Building with cost-effective, water efficient upgrades and lighting systems.


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:

Students heard from Stanford's Community Farm Representative and Green Monday's Director in the GreenTalk series and created two unique Proposals in Spring 2016 as a result. One included a "hanging gardens" concept on existing parking infrastructure to decrease "urban heat islands" and increase public awareness of sustainable food systems while also providing a free food source for the surrounding neighborhoods and homeless residents in the downtown area. Another Proposal included a working prototype of an Internet of Things based water monitoring and distribution system for maintenance of small agricultural plots planned around campus. This system removed much of the maintenance of small urban gardens, by automating the watering system and alerting gardeners to dry soil areas of the garden. This proposal also included an outreach and awareness campaign with signage encouraging passing students to volunteer in the care of the garden and a Community Supported Agricultural model of distribution where community members support the garden by pre-purchasing produce.


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 campus as a living lab module was developed focusing on the SJSU Cogeneration Plant that gives an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs using the Cheng Cycle, a much more efficient and cleaner method than a traditional power plant. Classes from the Engineering and Science colleges regular tour the plant to learn about the technology used here, instilling in students the knowledge that better technology exists for making cleaner electricity.

Through our CSU-funded Campus as a Living Lab grant, a major contest between the residence halls was initiated in saving energy by promoting the turning off of lights and unplugging unused electronic devices. The contest will take place from March 7th to April 30th. We’ve already seen an overall 10% decrease from all the buildings.


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:

One team of engineers designed Kinetic Pathways around campus. These installations in existing high-traffic walkways generate enough energy to power an upgraded energy-efficient evening campus lighting system.


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:

Many Proposals are written on the topic of Transportation each year in the College of Engineering's 100w program. A brief sample of those proposals include: upgrades to the existing bike infrastructure to better connect campus with safe and reliable biking routes as well as provide solar-powered bike lockers on campus. Another Proposal team designed an aero-dynamic, incumbent, solar-assisted electric powered, incumbent bike with a hard shell to improve speed and safety for the rider. One Team designed a solar-racking system that fits onto roof racks of a traditional vehicle and offers a power assist mode. Another team designed an expansion of existing regional bike pathways that include improved mapping, safety features and an app for how to connect with regional transportation. Another student group designed a ride-sharing App for students to travel to and from campus. One Proposal designed and automated parking system and proposed this new parking structure on the existing remote lot using case studies from Japan and Australia for design.


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:

Several Engineering Proposals have designed systems using bio-waste to convert a portion of the natural-gas based campus energy plant to renewable energy. In Fall 2016, a group used plastic water bottle collection as the source for energy. Another group studied the existing recycling effort and proposed an improved system for electronic waste collection. In Fall 2015 one group proposed an education-based, hands-on, mechanical lab for repairing and recycling broken electronics.


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:

​A campus as a living lab module was developed focusing on the SJSU Central Plant that gives an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs. The central plant includes cooling towers that was the first in the Bay Area to convert to recycled water from potable water. Being the first to pilot this process has contributed to the acceptance of many in California and Silicon Valley to also convert their cooling towers as well as educate new engineers that the technology is viable.

The Central Plant will be converted the steam make-up water from potable water to recycled water, piloting again a relatively new process. The plan is to show the surrounding industries that the process is viable and to increase usage of recycled water in non-potable uses.

Engineering courses regularly tour the Cooling Plant every semester to see how the process works and to highlight the recycled water usage.

The department of Facilities Development and Operations regularly host students doing semester projects on how the campus is saving water by converting many non-potable water uses to recycled water such as 100% recycled water usage for all landscaping and using recycled water for toilet flushing in new buildings (starting from the construction of Martin Luther King Jr. Library).


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 King Library as a LEED building module was one of three developed to teach students about sustainability funded by the CSU Chancellor’s Campus as a Living Lab grant. Dr. Consavari adopted the module for use in the Art 72 curriculum to provide students with the background to understand LEED concepts. For the project, students divided into groups based LEED categories and toured the King Library searching for examples of building design and features that illustrate the category. Post lecture and tour, students are assigned to formal groups to continue their research drawing upon their experience touring the library, and adding research from the academic literature on sustainable features and design. Groups presented final projects using powerpoint slides and videos to share their topic, instances of sustainable features, building design, and their final analysis of the library’s use of the category. Dr. Consavari and Ms. Cabrera have modified the final project to include a comparison of the features of the King Library to the newest LEED buildings on campus, the Student Union, and the Student Health Center so students can learn to identify these features in other buildings. Final projects are assessed using the students’ abilities to identify sustainable building features and apply design theories as part of their analysis.
The Planning, Government and Coordination effort started in March 2016 when Dr. Consavari and Librarian Peggy Cabrera, who was the original CLL module creator, surveyed students enrolled in Design in Society/ARTH72 (Spring 2016) will participate in lecture by listening, and asking questions. Students in these sections will be asked to participate in the subject study which document the efficacy of the curriculum. The study will be divided into two parts: a pre-survey to learn what students know about sustainability and design concepts in buildings before visiting the King Library; and a post-survey to measure how much students learned from the combination of the lecture, field research, library research about sustainability, LEED, and design concepts in buildings.
Before students present their final research project, a post-test will be given to the students to determine their understanding of sustainability, LEED categories, and building design concepts. The duration of the study is 2.5 months. Beyond the pre-survey, the lecture, informal tour, and the post-survey, no other intervention will occur. The surveys will be collected and analyzed to understand students’ comprehension of the content. The survey tool will be administered in the course classroom. The study results will be reported to the Sustainability Board and shared with other campuses who also use these CLL learning modules and contribute to the coordination and planning of future uses of the CLL learning modules.


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:
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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:
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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:

We created a student team in DB&H Communications to promote sustainability to both the campus and the surrounding community. The team is comprised with six individuals who report their efforts on a weekly basis to the entire class. The project this past year (August-May) has two phases, with the first phase being the promotional campaigns and the second phase being the designing of the campus sustainability annual report submitted by FD&O.
​Budgets were proposed and approved. A variety of contests, campaign awareness materials, promotional giveaways and behavioral changes were implemented.
​During the development of these campaigns, the team has had numerous meetings with the campus sustainability board, FD&O, PG&E, Sustainability Circle, the campus marketing team and campus housing.

​During this promotional period, the team has made weekly updates to SJSU’s sustainability website. This entire program has been structured to be an ongoing multiyear program. That will be executed by DB&H Communications as funding permits.
​A new team is being hired for 2017/18, which will develop and implement additional ideas and campaigns.


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:

A sustainable agriculture garden module was developed for campus as a living lab that not only teaches about the garden itself but also about what makes food sustainable. It teaches students that not only is farming possible using sustainable methods but economically and physically feasible.


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

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.