Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Rachelle Haddock
Coordinator, Campus as a Learning Lab
Office of 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?:
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:

Solar Energy vs. Heat Recovery: The aim of this mechanical engineering capstone project was to assess different solar power and heat recovery alternatives to design and recommend to the University of Calgary, under the sponsorship of SES Consulting, the best energy alternative in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions, utility cost savings, energy output and the payback period. To deliver on the project’s objectives, a heat recovery loop was designed for the Olympic Oval’s refrigeration system that is meant to reduce the heat being supplied to the Oval by the heating plant. As for solar power, an array of PV panels was designed for the rooftop of the Kinesiology Complex to add energy to the University’s grid. Both designs are meant to reduce the consumption of “dirty energy” by instead inputting “clean energy” into the University’s grid. The two designs have been compared to one another, such that the better design will be recommended to the University.


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:

MacKimmie Library Tower Redevelopment: Mehdi Zahed Zahedani (a PhD candidate in Environmental Design) is focusing his dissertation research on the life cycle assessment credit for the redeveloped MacKimmie Library Tower's LEED version 4 certification.


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:

Gray-box modeling: Saeed Ahmed (a Master of Engineering student) is completing a gray-box model for the Mechanical Engineering Building on campus. Gray-box models allow engineers to investigate what-if scenarios to save building energy. This project can help reduce the energy consumption of buildings on campus.


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:

Wild caught salmon vs. farmed salmon: the goal of this ENE 503 course assignment was to conduct a change oriented life cycle assessment (LCA) of salmon production methods. Specifically, it wishes to aid in the decision making process to choose which salmon product, wild or farmed, the university will purchase for consumption on its campus and during its events. Salmon products are served as part of many of the university’s food services which are primarily run by Aramark. The university’s Food and Conference Services is another organisation which could also benefit from such information when planning their events.


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:

Pollinators and Educational Ecosystems: Dylan McLernon (a Master of Fine Arts student) carried out research on pollinators and created art installations that provide habitat for pollinators on campus and beyond; one of these installations is situated in the University of Calgary Campus Community Garden. Dylan used materials (e.g., downed trees, harvested reeds) provided by Grounds as materials for his work. The sculptures created by Dylan will aid in bolstering Calgary’s solitary bee populations, increase community garden pollination and provide the basis for collaborative research with Dr. Ralph Carter in the Department of Biological Science.


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

An In-Depth Examination of Beer Sourcing and Sustainability at the Last Defence Lounge (LDL): this research was completed through a group project in SUST 401. The students examined: 1) the entire chain from product sourcing to waste management and 2) whether there is a more sustainable source of local beer that could provide a similar cross-section of beverage options and at a similar price-point.


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:

Fleet Replacement- Parking Enforcement Drones: This ENE 503 class project study seeks to quantify the impact of assimilating UAV (i.e., drone) based technology to monitor the university’s multiple parking lots versus the traditional parking enforcement method. The research focused on the following question: does implementing a UAV based monitoring system reduce both the overall carbon dioxide emissions and economic impact of the University of Calgary Parking Services as opposed to the conventional gasoline powered vehicles?


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:

Food Waste and Composting- A review of procedures in place at the LDL and strategies from industry to reduce food waste: This SUST 401 course project focused on what strategies (or software) could the Last Defense Lounge incorporate to maximize menu offerings while at the same time, minimizing ingredient requirements? What are industry best practices?


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:

Motives for Water Bottle Usage on the University of Calgary Campus: The goal of reducing the campus’ environmental footprint and supporting healthy water intake prompted SUST 403 students to take a closer look at the deeper implications associated with plastic water bottle usage. Several measures were considered such as completely banning or partially phasing out the usage of plastic water bottles across campus. To assess this decision, the students' research provided further insight into the underlying motivational factors that promote plastic water bottle intake and evaluate the different plans of action that could be taken to address these issues. Three different factors were identified as perception on water quality, taste, and convenience. Students also completed a comparison of water bottle policies in different universities.


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:

Data-driven Design for Wellness: This doctoral research looks at multiple data-driven methods for using volunteered personal location histories collected from student smartphones as a resource for understanding student behavior on a commuter campus in Calgary. It then evaluates these findings in terms of wellness using data collected
from a student survey and focus groups. The research uses statistical modeling, participatory mapping,experimental simulations and data visualizations to explore the use of these data for understand human behaviors as they pertain to wellness and the built environment.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
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 Diversity & Affordability:
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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?:
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 Public Engagement:
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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:

Through an innovative experiential learning class, kinesiology students are paired annually with University of Calgary staff. The students conduct health and fitness assessments that include measures of body composition and musculoskeletal and cardiovascular fitness. Each client then receives a program designed specifically for them, based on their assessment results. The plan also reflects the needs of their work environment and their specific, personal, health and fitness goals.


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)?:
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 other areas:

Campus 3D Interactive Energy Use Model: Carmen Hull (PhD student in Data Visualization) has created a 3D model to provide advanced data visualization for engaging campus community members in considering their energy use and potential behavior change. This data visualization research will support efforts to update our Climate Action Plan and Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management Strategy.


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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