Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.81
Liaison Chad King
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.20 / 4.00 Chad King
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainbility
"---" 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 No
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No
Public Engagement No
Other No

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:
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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:

Residence Hall Energy Competition – Nagel, Nelson, J-Mac, Halls and Towers all compete in an Energy and Water Conservation Competition for one quarter each year (either fall or winter), promoting a variety of conservation measures including turning off lights and appliances when not in use, taking shorter showers, using natural lighting when available and washing clothes in cold water. The FY13 winner of the competition was J-Mac with a drop in utilities of 2% Electric, 14% Gas and 17% water over the prior year.


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:

The Real Food Challenge has linked food services, the curriculum, and student projects, as students have become involved in completing audits of purchasing by our food service provider, leading to a baseline value for the amount of real food served on campus.
Community and permaculture gardens on campus have also linked the local production of food and courses, successfully integrating students and the community, and involving students in projects such as rates of insect biodiversity in permaculture plantings compared to the rest of campus.


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:

Student sustainability participation and funding has been leveraged to add eCube's ot all of our walk-in cooler evap fans, install vending misers on all vending campus vending machines and lighting occupancy sensors in our Centennial Towers residence hall common area corridors. Students have also conducted lighting use studies to help target building lighting systems where opportunity exists for efficiency upgrades and/or behaviorial change. Class projects have also included reviewing and proposing solar PV arrays for campus.


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:

The arboretum exists to curate and maintain a recognized collection of woody plants (trees, shrubs and groundcovers) that enhance the campus environment, provide research and educational opportunities and promote sustainability. The arboretum is used in botany and ecology classes for plant identification and assessment of the value added by these trees to ecosystem function, adaptability, and resilience on campus.
Insect ecology course used gardens for research into insect biodiversity.
Introduction to biology courses focused on food systems incorporated student projects in garden development.
Gardens were used in class demonstrations of soil microorganism biodiversity.
Grounds projects have included grass plantings to test for the ability to reduce irrigation rates. Changes in irrigation approaches have led to dramatic reduction in water use for irrigation.
Utilization of gardens has led to a plan for more alternative plantings and a strategy for adding gardens to campus.


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:

Student projects in a sustainable business undergraduate course worked with Staples (preferred office supply contractor) and campus purchasing agents to identify best practices for purchasing of common office materials and paper products, leading to reporting on campus-wide purchasing and education for purchasing agents.


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:

Campus commuting practices have been an area of study at the University. Geography classes focused on sustainable transportation have examined student transportation behavior, and a class in the Emergent Digital Practices department of the Art program developed a tool for visualizing routes to campus. Both classes contributed to a better understanding of transportation on campus. Use of bicycles and walking in commuting increased.


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:

Student interest has led to student led projects focused on was diversion and minimization, and education on these topics. This has included writing classes and individual projects, and has led to zero waste hockey games that successfully diverted nearly 70% of all waste from the landfill, as well as numerous surveys about student understanding. A one day waste audit also led to the establishment of a baseline of diversion rates for several buildings, and contributed to building level education.


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:

Graduate student sustainability groups in the Daniels College of Business and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies collaborated with each other and with Denver Water to conduct water audits on their respective buildings. This led to some basic cost benefit analysis of improvements, which were vetted through building managers, and led to basic upgrades that should conserve water.


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