Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.86
Liaison Liesel Schwarz
Submission Date Sept. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

Villanova University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Liesel Schwarz
Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

1) UN SDG AHP assessment: students in the masters of sustainable engineering program conducted an Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) with students, faculty and staff regarding the UN SDGs materiality to campus. the results were used to weight the SDGs for the newly released campus sustainability plan.
https://www1.villanova.edu/content/university/president/sustainability-plan/Methodology.html

2) Pathways to Sustainable Living: students in the masters of sustainable engineering program designed an online tool to help all Villanovans and outside community members live more sustainably, called Pathways to Sustainable Living. this site will be the basis for a new engagement app they are developing.
https://www.pathwaystosustainableliving.org/

3) Students in the perspectives on Plastics course have to complete a semester long effort to promote plastic education and/or reduction. one student decided to organized environmental Mass with readings and songs dedicated to stewardship of the environment in Catholic theology followed by discussion.


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

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

1) Friday's for Future
Students organized a climate walk out as part of the global Friday's for Future movement in spring and fall of 2019. Due to COVID they have halted walk outs for this academic year.


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:

1.) Scope 3 Emissions:
students in the MSSE program worked with the sustainability manager to calculate the university's scope three emissions, specifically university related travel. Through outreach to different departments and data analysis they were able to design a system for annual scope three calculations.

2.)Climate Change and Disaster Resilience Strategy at Villanova University
A masters thesis topic in the MSSE program


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:

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.

Update: In 2019, a tank was added to collect water runoff from additional roof area to be released onto the green roof when certain environmental criteria is met. the students are studying whether this type of green roof can handle the additional volume, opening up additional possibilities for managing stormwater

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.


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:

1.) Steam Plant Master Plan
An MSSE student worked with our steam plant managers to assess the plants efficiency, opportunities for improvement, and next steps in better monitoring the steam plants performance. the results were presented to facilities and are being incorporated into future decision making.

Students in the environmental science II course have to conduct research on an area of campus they want to improve. each project must include some data collection and it can not have been done before. Sample projects from the last two years that have dealt with energy are:

1) Why HVAC is Whack [Temperature Regulation at Villanova University: Investigating the Energy Use of HVAC Systems in Four Dorms Across Campus]


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:

Students in the environmental science II course have to conduct research on an area of campus they want to improve. each project must include some data collection and it can not have been done before. Sample projects from the last two years that have dealt with food/ dining are:
1.) Clamshell to-go container study: assessing the viability of a campus reusable container program.
2.) elimination of straws: a study to assess the plausibility of eliminating disposable straws and its impact on our recycling rate

Community Supported Agriculture
Villanova has been a host site for Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA for the past four+ years. in an effort to get more people to sign up for the CSA and to help them use all of the fruits and veggies they would get each week, a pair of nursing students developed a Pinterest page as part of their senior health promotion in the community course. The students assessed the campuses up tack of the CSA program and devised that more resources were needed to encourage users to keep up with the CSA. The Pinterest page gives users an idea of what to cook with their weekly bounty.


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:

New Projects:
1) Biodiversity assessment of Main campus
This was done as part of a masters thesis to better identify our campus biodiversity and areas for improvement. It is being expanded by a current masters student

2) Rainwater collection, storage and reuse for HVAC
our new dormitories have a rainwater collection system that filters rainwater from one of the new dormitories before storing it in an underground basin. That stored rain water is being used to offset potable water in our HVAC system. Civil and Environmental Engineering students are analyzing the data for performance and impact.

Continuing projects:
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.

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.


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:

1.) Students in the chemistry course "perspectives on plastic" have to identify and attempt a solution to reduce or improve plastic consumption. these projects don't have to happen on campus, but can and typically do. one example from recent year is a fashion exchange (both in person and virtual)where students were encouraged and afforded the opportunity to exchange their unwanted clothing, therefore reducing their demand for new goods.


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:

1.) Application of five technological and service infrastructure upgrades to optimize the whole systems impacts of Septa's Paoli/Thorndale Line
A Masters thesis topic for a student in the MSSE program, they studied the main rail line into campus for optimization options that would have reduced the line's environmental impact as well as hopefully make the service more attractive to potential users.


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:

Students in the environmental science II course have to conduct research on an area of campus they want to improve. each project must include some data collection and it can not have been done before. Sample projects from the last two years that have dealt with food/ dining are:
1) Wildcats’ Recycling Perceptions and Practices
2) Paper Prevention for Prosperity [Paper Use and Printing Habits of Villanova Undergraduates]
3) Hydrations Stations are Fighting Plastic Pollution in Nova Nation

A student in the Perspectives on Plastic class designed her semester long plastic reduction project on creating a program/contest for runners/sports teams to pick up recyclables and trash while on their team runs (aka Plogging). another student in the class conducted waste audits of recycling cans around campus to assess efficacy of recycling messaging (the results of which were shared with our recycling manager and where utilized in updating campus signage).


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:

1) Rainwater collection, storage and reuse for HVAC
our new dormitories have a rainwater collection system that filters rainwater from one of the new dormitories before storing it in an underground basin. That stored rain water is being used to offset potable water in our HVAC system. Civil and Environmental Engineering students are analyzing the data for performance and impact.

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. In 2018, the trench was modified to include a solar power pump that would direct the water that reached the end of the trench back to the beginning. This modification was done to see if a setup like this could be made into a closed loop system.

Students in the environmental science II course have to conduct research on an area of campus they want to improve. each project must include some data collection and it can not have been done before. Sample projects from the last two years that have dealt with water are:

1) Campus Water Conservation: Simply Faucet-nating [An Environmental Assessment and Comparison of Automatic vs Manual Faucets]


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

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

University Sustainability Plan SDG Integration: Students in the Masters of Sustainable Engineering program, over a series of two years developed and implemented a methodology for integrating the UN SDGs into campus sustainability master planning. The first ever Villanova sustainability plan was approved January 2020.

https://www1.villanova.edu/university/president/sustainability-plan.html


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?:
Yes

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

Students in the environmental science II course have to conduct research on an area of campus they want to improve. each project must include some data collection and it can not have been done before. Sample projects from the last two years that have dealt with wellbeing & work are:

1) PM2.5 Emitted from a Photocopier in the GEV Office
2) Sustainable Sanitation: Balancing Human and Environmental Health in Gym Cleaning Practices

Reusable mug wash station: seniors in mechanical engineering have dedicated their senior capstone to designing a reusable mug wash station that will hopefully increase use of reusable mugs on campus and keep everyone safe. the wash stations would be placed near cafes so patrons can wash and sanitize their mug before filling up.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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