Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.29
Liaison Thomas Frazer
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of South Florida
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.60 / 4.00 Thomas Frazer
Dean
College of Marine Science
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

2019
https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/green-energy-fund/projects/projects-by-year.aspx
USF Health Campus LED Project
Project Proposal
Awarded: $152,573
Completion date: Ongoing
Honoring the USF Health Missions Statement, the objective of this project is to make USF Health, specifically MDL's Group Learning space and the Shimberg Health Science Library, a more energy efficient space for students to utilize all hours of the day. The goal for this project would consist of replacing the current lighting, which are fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, to light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs. By implementing these changes, the amount of energy (Kwh/HR) used will decrease while quality of light for the students’ increases.
Project members: Mateus Inke, Melissa Fierro

Magnolia Apartments HVAC System
Proposal Details
Project Report
Awarded: $272,853
The existing HVAC equipment for all seven Magnolia student apartment buildings are reaching 15 years of service. Without the USF campus hot and chilled water loops, the equipment is a system of roof-top compressors circulating refrigerant to air handling units for each 4-bedroom apartment residence but accessed from the corridors for servicing. The replacement is required but we wish to provide more efficient equipment (16 SEER instead of the required 14) and introduce controls compatible with our Metasys system in addition to the individual apartment thermostats. Housing & Residential Education sees this as an opportunity for energy cost savings and to be in alignment with the university goals of energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint. Last year we renovated all the buildings with new insulated roofs and a new fully insulated exterior wall assembly which immediately reduced cooling and heating costs, even with the inefficient aging equipment. With the new equipment installed and the controls for operating and monitoring we expect a further reduction in operating costs of around 18%.
Project lead: Rajeev K. Gopal
Team members: Arun Kumar Narasimhan, Walter Pestrak, Tom Murray


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

The USF Student Student Success Green Energy Fund regularly funds projects to improve the efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings on the St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee, and Tampa campus.
https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/green-energy-fund/projects/index.aspx
https://www.stpetersburg.usf.edu/about/sustainability/green-energy-fund/index.aspx

Magnolia Apartments HVAC System
Proposal Details
Project Report
Awarded: $272,853
The existing HVAC equipment for all seven Magnolia student apartment buildings are reaching 15 years of service. Without the USF campus hot and chilled water loops, the equipment is a system of roof-top compressors circulating refrigerant to air handling units for each 4-bedroom apartment residence but accessed from the corridors for servicing. The replacement is required but we wish to provide more efficient equipment (16 SEER instead of the required 14) and introduce controls compatible with our Metasys system in addition to the individual apartment thermostats. Housing & Residential Education sees this as an opportunity for energy cost savings and to be in alignment with the university goals of energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint. Last year we renovated all the buildings with new insulated roofs and a new fully insulated exterior wall assembly which immediately reduced cooling and heating costs, even with the inefficient aging equipment. With the new equipment installed and the controls for operating and monitoring we expect a further reduction in operating costs of around 18%.
Project lead: Rajeev K. Gopal
Team members: Arun Kumar Narasimhan, Walter Pestrak, Tom Murray


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

The USF Student Student Success Green Energy Fund regularly funds projects to improve the efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings on the St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee, and Tampa campus.
https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/green-energy-fund/projects/index.aspx
https://www.stpetersburg.usf.edu/about/sustainability/green-energy-fund/index.aspx

Title: Projecting Energy Savings and Carbon Emissions Reduction Thru Building Metering
Principal Investigators
Diego Guillen
James Hunter Ireland
Project Summary
Existing campus metering provided data necessary to comply with the State of Florida requirements for energy performance metrics, (1) Energy Performance Index (EPI KBtu/SF/FY); (2) Cost Utilization Index (CUI $/SF/FY); and (3) energy use per student (EPI/FTE). In order to meet, manage, assess, improve, and achieve campus GHG Reduction goals, detailed building scale energy data is required, as a result of the April 12, 2008 signing of the ACUPCC (now the Climate Leadership Network) Climate Commitment (renamed the Carbon Commitment in 2015) by President Dr. Judy Genshaft, who cemented USF’s commitment to annual GHG monitoring, measurement, reduction goals, and reporting is embodied into campus sustainability goals and reporting.
According to US-DOE [1], by 2015, the building sector's electrical consumption accounts for about 76% of electricity use and 40% of all U. S. primary energy demand, which corresponds to about 30 % of associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. In this regard, The educational sector is the third-highest consumer of energy in the United States due to its control of high energy-intensive spaces, labs, classrooms, research facilities, among others [2].
At USF, existing buildings are significant contributors to energy demand and the campus carbon footprint. We report approximately 150,000,000,000,000 kilogram/year of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2) for greenhouse gas emissions derived from electricity purchase (Scope 1) and various activities under the organization's control (Scope 2). Therefore, in terms of electrical energy and water consumption, more efficient buildings are crucial in achieving sustainability. Identifying places and activities with high energy and water consumption and targeting them for retrofit projects is one of the biggest challenges due to the lack of utility metering. USF has more than 10 million gross sq ft in terms of building space, and we track individual consumptions only a few buildings.
This project aims to measure and analyze the energy and water consumption behavior following high energy usage on USF buildings thru the installation of new utility meters. Desegregating USF’s water and energy consumption and developing the actual baseline will allow 1) understanding greenhouse emissions behavior under scope one and two, 2) target facilities with high energy requirements and waste, and 3) estimate the impact of ongoing and future energy enhancement retrofit projects.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

Whitney Fung Uy and a team of students including: Kara Panesar (M.S. in environmental engineering, class of 2020), Naheed Perez (B.S. in cellular and molecular biology, class of 2020), Mitchell Jaskela (MPH), Zuleika Abueg (B.S. in cellular & molecular biology), James Hunter Ireland (electrical engineering), Alec Brumfield (environmental science), Michele Olive (environmental science), Fabricio Escobar (civil engineering), and Josiah Saneda (environmental science), are aiming to divert food waste from reaching landfills and reduce methane gas emissions.https://hscweb3.hsc.usf.edu/health/publichealth/news/campus-food-waste-recovery-project-co-led-by-cophers-earns-usf-student-success-team-collaboration-award/


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

19,000 trees on campus were mapped with Tree Mapping software (such as Tree Plotter). The information mapped are included but not limited to tree species, tree diameter, tree height, tree’s planting date, and also tree’s removal date. These information will help us manage the campus tree forest in a sustainability way, for example, balance and increase species varieties, and plan maintenance for these trees, etc. The software also automatically help us calculate the environment benefits of trees, such as energy conserved, storm water filtered, air quality improved, carbon dioxide removed, carbon dioxide stored. These information are critical when reporting USF sustainability efforts to support the university’s commitment to reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emission from the Tampa campus.
Tampa Tree Map Website
The primary focus of this project is to maintain and support the Tampa Tree Map website that the City uses as the basis of its tree inventory, tree risk assessment and other Urban Forest Management related efforts. The deliverable product is the maintenance and upgrades of a fully functional web site for a period of two-years from the initiation of the project, renewable on an annual basis.
https://tampatreemap.org/
https://waterinstitute.usf.edu/projects/details/162/tampa-tree-map-website/

"Students conduct digital inventory of campus trees to document environmental benefits" https://www.stpetersburg.usf.edu/news/2021/students-conduct-digital-inventory-of-campus-trees-to-document-environmental-benefits.aspx


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

GREEN EVENTS PROJECT
Project Proposal
Nelly S. Orozco Martinez, Carolina Paez Jimenez, Justin Silnutzer
Project description
The University of South Florida has a great potential to become a regional leader in sustainability. The Green Events Project seeks to make sustainability accessible and understandable to stakeholders by creating green guidelines with tangible and achievable targets. These guidelines would serve as an easy-to-follow innovative tool for university-held event planners that could set an example across the OneUSF community while engaging students in the university’s commitment to sustainability.
Sustainability benefits
University-held events provide a great opportunity for the OneUSF mission to reduce its environmental impact. The Green Event project represents the first set of guidelines that would allow event managers to plan every aspect of their events thoughtfully while ensuring best practices in terms of resource consumption, minimization, and disposal. This project aims to reduce the overall OneUSF carbon footprint by reducing and diverting waste, preserving water and energy, encouraging sustainable means of transportation, and recovering sub-utilized resources.


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

SGEF Grant to collect commuter data. Parking and Transportation Services Parking Portal Alteration

Project Description:

This project aims to alter the existing Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) parking permit portal for additional data collection. This data will be shared with USF Facilities Management and Planning in order to report Scope 3 emissions; in particular estimates on round trip commute distance and vehicle type. The grant will pay to modify the existing PATS platform to add two dropdown fields. The two dropdown fields will collect data on (1) estimated commuter roundtrip in mileage and (2) estimated days per week traveling to USF. Data is collected from USF Tampa student, faculty, and staff at the time of their parking permit purchase.

The collected data for shared purposes is strictly as follows: Vehicle Make, Vehicle Model, Vehicle Year, Average Distance Commuted, Average Days Commuting, and Permit Type. This data will be used for USF’s annual Green House Gas (GHG) emissions scope 3 reporting. A better estimate of USF’s scope 3 emissions will help guide USF in achieving goals stated in its Climate Action Plan (CAP) and carbon neutrality as outlined in the Second Nature Climate Commitment [formally known as the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)}. Along with the usage of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) resources, the collection and modeling of this data, will better allow USF to understand and gain insight into GHG emissions.. Future projects for higher efficiency vehicles incentives and carpooling can more accurately be tracked. This project will encourage the collection of additional forms of emission producing data across other university campuses.

Sustainability Benefits:

Capturing the Scope 3 data allows our university to analyze the largest contributors and allocate advertisements or incentives accordingly. Breaking down the estimated emissions by university involvement in tandem with on campus surveys could increase the effectiveness of on campus transportation schedules. Offering increased electric vehicle parking spots and in the future a SGEF grant for discounted permits for USF students, faculty, and staff commuters with hybrids.

Project Implementation Plan:

This project will be implemented by USF PATS current website vendor, T2 Systems, over winter break to begin collecting in time for Spring of 2021.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Graduate student Project Managers on the Recycling Bin Signage and Food Waste Recovery Program Student Green Energy Fund Projects led a yearlong educational campaign centered on sustainable waste management practices, particularly waste reduction, recycling, and composting. The campaign involved partnering with the county recycling department to compile and share educational materials and programs/initiatives, and to work together to create a webinar and giveaway opportunity. The students worked with a student-led marketing group called SAGO to create an Instagram account for the main platform of the campaign. The team also administered several surveys over the course of the year to measure level of knowledge and interest in recycling among the USF community. The students also submitted their efforts to the Campus Race to Zero Waste Case Study Competition in 2021.
USF Green Campus Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usfgreencampus/?hl=en
Webinar link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrDUXtefim_rQ5oyDplkpBQ
Campus Race to Zero Waste Case Study: https://recyclemania.org/resources/learn-from-your-peers/


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

A device developed by University of South Florida engineers that turns wastewater into clean water, energy and nutrients will soon be headed to South Africa.

The NEWgenerator uses membrane filtration - similar to a coffee filter - to clean dirty water and convert it for future use.

“You provide the immediate need for sanitation, which a lot of communities still don’t have even in this day and age,” said Robert Bair, a researcher at USF and former engineering graduate student.

The solar-powered generator will be placed in informal settlements, or slums, that do not have proper sanitation systems.

“Slums are kind of the most challenging environments for existing sanitation technology so I’ll love to see these technologies applied to slums or informal housing communities,” said Bair.

Bair conducted the first field test of the NEWgenerator at a south India school for over a year starting in 2016. The device successfully recycled thousands of gallons of water.

In Durban, South Africa, the generator will work alongside a Community Ablution Block (CAB), which is a small facility containing toilets, showers and sinks.

3-2_new_generator_3m.jpg
Credit Bethany Hanson / WUSF Public Media
/
WUSF Public Media
The NEWgenerator turns wastewater into energy, nutrients and clean water for future use.
The NEWgenerator aims to recycle water for toilet flushing in the CABs, which would cut down on water demand. It should also provide nutrients for fertilizers that will help local community gardens, creating a potential food source that also can be sold.

The team, led by Bair and Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Daniel Yeh, received a $1.14 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bair said that this grant was essential to their work.

“Right now, outside of the Gates Foundation, there really isn’t a whole lot of money to support these new and cutting-edge technologies,” he said.

The NEWgenerator will be sent to Durban in mid-March with a group of four to five USF students who will stay for three weeks to help with the installation.

Lindelani Xaba, a prototype engineer from South Africa, will accompany the students. Xaba has been trained on how the system operates and will stay in Durban for about a year handling the day-to-day operations.

“We have covered a whole lot of issues that may arise,” said Xaba. “The fact that I was here while it was being built out was very nice because it gave me a lot of in-depth knowledge.”

The team is in the process of commercializing and mass-producing the technology.

“I think the ultimate goal is to make our way through this testing phase and get the technology to be really applicable to communities in developing countries that lack reliable electricity grids or don’t have sanitation technologies available to them,” said Bair.

They’ve already set up a start-up company at the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator called Bio Re NEW, Inc. They’re also working with companies in India and China to mass produce the NEWgenerator, and are seeking a similar deal in the U.S.
https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/environment/2018-03-02/newgenerator-bringing-clean-water-and-energy-to-south-africa
Editor's Note: A previous reference to the effect the Community Ablution Blocks, or CABs, have on the infrastructure of communities in South Africa has been removed due to a miscommunication of information with USF researchers.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

https://www.stpetersburg.usf.edu/about/sustainability/green-energy-fund/index.aspx
Uploaded files

All Supplemental Materials for Case Study PDF 5-30-21
Budget CR Energy Metering
Building Metering for carbon reduction
Green Events Project_Proposal submission
PATS Portal FT Grant Presentation
PATS Portal FT Grant_Rev
Proposal Building Metering for C reduction
USF Case Study Final 5-30-21

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.