|Overall Rating||Silver - expired|
|Submission Date||Nov. 25, 2014|
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory
|4.00 / 4.00||
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|
|Coordination, Planning & Governance||No|
|Diversity & Affordability||No|
|Health, Wellbeing & Work||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:
1.) Sustainability Plan
Description: A group of 5 graduate students are working with the sustainability manager to calculate Villanova's greenhouse gas emissions, and identifying ways to reduce the University's emissions. Two of the five students are working over the summer to develop a campus wide sustainability plan that will involve reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions. The students are also expected to consider projected regional climate change effects in their suggestions for the campus wide sustainability plan.
Positive outcome: Although the plan is not completed yet, the hope is that this sustainability plan will be accepted by the university and implemented as part of our overall campus sustainability efforts. This project is not part of a specific class or other educational requirement, but the students do obtain clear learning benefits from participating in the plan's development, such as research, project development, problem solving and team work.
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:
1) Green Roof
Description: The Green Roof was constructed on a retrofit of a small portion of Villanova's Center for Engineering and Education Research building. The Green Roof covers abut 530 sqft. It was designed to capture and retain the first half inch of any precipitation event to reduce downstream stormwater volumes, erosion, and non-point source pollution. The Green Roof over-performs the design and protects the underlying roof material.
Positive Outcomes: Students are able to collect data and observe the functioning of a green roof located on the CEER building on campus. Students can observe how a green roof impacts energy usage and water management on our facilities.
2.) LEED EBOM Assessment
Description: One of the Master of Science in sustainable engineering courses completed a LEED EBOM assessment on two campus buildings. One of the buildings was already a LEED DB+C certified building, the other is planned for renovation in the next year. The students presented their findings to University facilities representatives.
Positive outcome: Although neither of the buildings we be attempting LEED EBOM certification, there will be positive sustainable results from the students' efforts. Their work revealed that existing metering in the LEED certified building was not working correctly, and the other building expected to be renovated is now going for LEED CI certification.
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:
1.) Community Supported Agriculture
Description: As part of a student project, a group of students developed a proposal for Villanova to serve as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up site. The proposal was developed while working with Campus Dining Services who suggested that the share dates coordinate with the academic year (helping to prevent against abandoned shares due to vacation or breaks).
Positive Outcome: The program has been implemented, and on average we get around 50 campus participants per share season (growing ever year).
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:
1.) Lighting Upgrades and Innovation
Description: as part of their senior project, a group of electrical engineers are working with Lutron to design a new lighting design for a campus classroom. The students will not only design the lighting system, including controls, but will also help with the install and monitor energy use before and after the upgrade.
Positive Outcomes: The project has been completed. Final results will not be known until a few months after the install occurs.
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:
1) Fedigan Rain-Gardens
Description:Bio-infiltration and bio-retention gardens that capture rooftop runoff. The east rain garden detains the water and releases it back into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration and slow release through the underdrain. The west rain garden utilizes evapotranspiration and infiltration. Additionally, porous soils and vegetation are used to increase retention and infiltration.
2) Bio-filtration Rain-Garden
Description: The Rain Garden was created by retrofitting an existing traffic island on Villanova's campus. The facility intercepts runoff from a highly impervious (50%) student parking area and road (0.53 ha) that was previously collected by inlets and delivered through culverts to a dry detention basin. It is designed to control runoff from smaller storms through capture and infiltration of the first flush within the bowl and soil void space storage. The bowl is approximately 18 inches deep, has recession rate of approximately 0.75 to 0.9 cm/hr with an approximate ratio of impervious to infiltrating surfaces of 12 to 1. There is no underdrain. Maintenance consists of trash removal, invasive species control, and yearly harvesting/composting the grasses.
3) Pervious Concrete / Porous Asphalt
Description:The site is a formerly standard asphalt paved area located behind Mendel Hall on the Villanova campus. This site consists of infiltration bed overlain by a 15.2 x 9.1 m previous concrete surface and an adjacent, equally sized porous asphalt surface. It captures runoff from a campus parking area, passes the flow through either the previous concrete or porous asphalt surface course, and infiltrates it through a rock bed into the ground. The site receives continuous use by faculty and staff vehicles. The site is designed to capture and infiltrate storms of up to 5 com of rainfall. From these events there is no runoff from the site. The base of infiltration beds are level and range from 0.9 to 1.5 m deep and are filled with washed stone with approximately 40% void space. In extreme events, when capacity of storage beds is exceeded, flows are permitted to exit the site and flow out to the original storm sewer system. A vacuum street sweeper is used two/three times of the year for maintenance
4) West Campus Rain Garden
Description: This rain garden was constructed to reduce impervious surface draining to the Darby Creek watershed through disconnection of currently directly connected downspouts. Over 70,000 cf of water is estimated to be removed from overflow per year. The gardens are designed to capture half inch rain off the roof top with outflow going to a rain garden. Overflow for larger storms will be through overflow of a small berm and then out preexisting catch basins in the lawn area.
5) Quad Pervious Pavers
Description: An infiltration system using permeable pavement in an existing paved area in the center of Villanova campus. The contributing watershed area is approximately 50,000 sqft and is highly impervious, consisting of pedestrian walkways, rooftops, and some grassed areas. The rooftops and some adjacent paved areas are directly connected to three separate rock storage beds. The rock beds are linked through piping systems to distribute the runoff between beds and allow for overflow during major storm events The site was designed to capture and infiltrate the first two inches of runoff thereby reducing downstream stormwater volumes, stream bank erosion, and non-point source pollution.
Positive Outcomes: Each of these rain-garden and porous pavement solutions allow students to understand how rainwater infiltrates various surfaces. Through comparing various on-campus "living laboratories" students are provided with hands-on resources for comparing and analyzing techniques for implementing sustainable stormwater management solutions on campus grounds.
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:
1.) Fair Trade
Description: as part of becoming a Fair Trade certified campus, Villanova is required to provide fair trade certified apparel in the bookstore. Students were heavily involved in Villanova's Fair Trade certification process, and as a result worked with our bookstore purchasing department to get these new products supplied on a regular basis.
Positive outcome: as a result of the students work, Villanova is now a Fair Trade certified campus. Although this work was not directly related to a class project or other educational requirements, the students involved did learn about the purchasing process, proposal development, and business cost analysis.
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:
1.) Bike Share Program
Description: Students are working with the Sustainability Manager to develop a bike share program. The initiative started out of one student's senior thesis to assess student interest in a bike share program and where students could bike to easily and safely from campus. Based upon the student's findings, we have developed a semester and/or year long bike share program for the 2014 fall semester.
Positive Outcomes: The bike share program began in the fall of 2014. The students were heavily involved in the design of the program, as well as the source for the bikes. The initial research for this program was done as part of a senior thesis, but the program development was done with a group of interested students outside of class work. Students involved developed their research skills, as well as program development and marketing.
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:
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:
1) Infiltration Trench
Description: This trench is designed to capture approximately the first 0.6 cm of runoff from an elevated parking deck and infiltrate it through a rock bed into th ground. The rock bed has a surface area of approximately 7.2 m2 and is 3 m deep. Overflow from the trench first exits through a pipe at the surface into the inlet. During extreme events, if the overflow pipe is full, any additional runoff exits through the porous pavers placed above the infiltration trench. This site is the only study site on campus with 100% impervious drainage.
2) Treatment Train
Description: This treatment train involves a vegetated swale, followed by two rain gardens in series, and an infiltration trench in order to capture 1 inch storm event. The swale and rain garden act as a pre-treatment to the infiltration trench to reduce sediment load to the infiltration trench. There are six monitoring and sample collection sites which analyze water-quality and quantity changes through storm events
3) Constructed Stormwater Wetland
Description: Existing stormwater detention basin on Villanova campus was converted to an extended detention wetland. The site has adequate vegetation growth over the past two years and other species have moved into the ecosystem. The 0.8 acre CSW treats runoff from a 41 acre watershed that includes at least 16 acres of impervious surface. The watershed includes residence halls, classroom buildings, parking, roads, and railroad. The contributing watershed forms the headwaters of a watershed listed as medium priority on the degraded watershed list, and treats flows that impact a high priority stream segment on the 303(d) list.
4) Rain Garden Weighting Lystimeters
Description: Weighing lysimeters are instruments that measure evapotranspiration by utilizing a mass balance analysis. The change in weight of the entyre lysimeter system is equal to what comes in due to the precipitation minus what leaves the system through water draining out of the lysimeter through evapotranspiration. They are located on the top berm of the constructed stormwater wetland
5) Constructed Stormwater Wetland Evapotranspiration
Description: The Constructed Stormwater Wetland is mimicked in non-weighing lysimeter to directly measure evopotranspiration. A Mariotte bottle maintains a constant water level in the constructed stormwater wetland mesocosm and changes in water level in the mesocosm, as measured by ultrasonic level, can be directly correlated to the rate of evapotranspiration. This system is located at the top berm of a constructed stormwater wetland.
Positive Outcomes: Each of the above mentioned projects allow students to study stormwater management in a comprehensive, hands-on manner. Students are able to research, collect data, and observe the functioning of each of these systems.
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:
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:
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:
1) Nursing Student Senior Projects
Description: Senior year nursing students are required to work with a community health clinic site to develop an educational program. Recently, to fulfill this requirement, two groups have worked with the sustainability manager to develop sustainability education that has a health impact. The first being an integrative pest management educational handout to students to teach residents about safe preventative pest management. The second project revolved around healthy and sustainable eating, encouraging reduced meat diets and seasonal eating.
Positive Outcomes: The educational material these students developed will be used regularly to help teach the campus audience healthy sustainable habits.
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:
1.) Student Managed Fund (SMF)
Description: The SMF is a recognized campus student group that invests money in accordance to the United States Catholic Bishop guidelines: protecting human life; promoting human dignity; reducing arms production; pursuing economic justice; protecting the environment; and encouraging corporate responsibility. The group uses positive screens to identify socially responsible mutual funds.
Positive Outcomes: Students obtain valuable knowledge and skills from participating in SMF, including financial, and ethical analysis. The following represents end of the year funds FY10 = $424,457, FY11 = $470,632, and FY12 = $434,643.
2.) Villanova Equity Society
Description: The Villanova Equity Society is a recognized campus student group that invests money in two domestic, long-only equity portfolios. Funds are assessed based on top down fundamental analysis, social responsibility screening and technical indicators. The group leaders also sponsor learning seminars and facilitate networking opportunities.
Positive outcomes: Students who participate in this program learn real life financial skills with the opportunity to explore the value of looking beyond the dollar with social responsibility screening.
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:
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:
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.