Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.59
Liaison Julie Price
Submission Date July 29, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Julie Price
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
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 Air & Climate:
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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:

UAB Energy Management partnered with UAB Civil Engineering to assign a Masters student to building occupancy inventories in 2013. These inventories and associated analysis informed decisions regarding possible building setbacks during typically unoccupied times (weekends and holidays) as well as the performance specs for UAB's bid for standard building automation in new construction and retrocommissioning projects.


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:

UAB Energy Management partnered with UAB Civil Engineering to assign a Masters student to lighting inventories to develop a prioritized list and associated cost analysis for transition to LED lighting in 2014. These efforts have translated into a majority switch to LED and associated reductions in lighting cost, replacement rate, and energy consumption.


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:

UAB Wellness hosted interns receiving course credit through the School of Public Health to set up farm stands throughout the campus and hospital. Students analyzed traffic patterns and selected multiple locations to maximize foot traffic from students, faculty, staff, and patient families. The students also found farmers willing to participate who also fit the qualifications required to vend on our campus. During implementation students analyzed the effectiveness of the locations and made necessary adjustments.


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:

UAB Energy Management partnered with UAB Civil Engineering to assign a Masters student to perform an evaluation of the potential stormwater runoff from campus buildings on the perimeter of our campus green, to be collected for irrigation of the green. This analysis gave cost, feasibility, and estimated ROI for the project so that it can be considered for later implementation by Energy Management.


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:

UAB Civil Engineering faculty Viriginia Sisiopiku received a grant from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, in partnership with UAB Sustainability, to perform an enterprise-wide assessment of commuting patterns and preferences. Several CE undergraduates participated, through paid internships and/or course credit, in the development of the survey, distribution and collection, and analysis.This effort is combined with a strategic planning process underway in Parking and Transportation and the results will inform many of the proposed changes in that department. In addition, the CE Senior Design class in 2015 designed a road diet strategy for a main thoroughfare through campus to transition the avenue to a "complete street." This road diet transition will begin construction this fall, and will include many of the elements proposed by students.


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:

The UAB Freshmen Honors Seminar in 2014 and 2015 included a sustainability section with 25 students. The course was a sustainability survey with guest lectures, case study analysis, and oral presentation of a sustainability problem. The service project for the class was a waste audit of a main classroom building on the campus, Heritage Hall. The students wore protective gear and pulled waste from the dumpster on three occasions during each semester, separating the waste in component recyclables, compostables, and landfill waste. This data is being used by UAB Sustainability to complete a composting program feasibility study.


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:

UAB Civil Engineering PhD student's dissertation project in 2013 was an analysis and modeling of UAB's fin and groundwater potential. The fin and groundwater collections are described more thoroughly in Innovation Credit A below. The student's contribution was to show where additional sites might be found, general model for installation and ROI, and where else in the country this kind of collection could be installed based on geology and climate.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
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 Coordination & Planning:
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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:

UAB Supplier Diversity, in partnership with the Collat School of Business, places business students at minority and women-owned businesses that apply to participate in the program. Students work on marketing, communications, standard operating procedures, bid packages, etc and receive course credit. Students learn about the path to grow a business and the avenues by which these business can successful apply for contracts at UAB and other entities in Birmingham. The business benefits from a more robust skill set, and UAB often gets new contract applications in pursuit of our supplier diversity goals.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
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 Investment & Finance:
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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:

UAB Digital Media produced a bike safety video ("How to Cycle in the City") in partnership with Regional Planning Commission, UAB Sustainability, and ZYP Bikeshare. Digital Media's work is created by student interns and fellows, managed by staff. The students met with all stakeholders to clarify the message of the video (biking rules, safety, etc) and the audience (internal and external) prior to starting production. The video mainly shows both campus and community locations and is regularly being shared by the partners who produced the video to support Birmingham's transition to a more bike-friendly community.
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/bikeuab/safety


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
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 Wellbeing & Work:

UAB Wellness utilized student support to first develop the UAB Wellness program. These students received credit through the School of Public Health and the School of Health Professions, and were charged with examining the typical structure, mission, and programs of a University/Hospital wellness program.

More recently, students from these same populations described above planned and implemented UAB's first Blazer Fun Run: setting the route, engaging partners, handling signups, and logistics. This is now an annual Wellness program and contributes to our My Health Rewards point system.


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)?:
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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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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.