Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Cassandra Hage
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

Sustainability Exchange Team: Create a greenhouse gas inventory as follow up to the 2017 One STL Sustainability Summit

Office of Sustainability Intern Team: Renewable Energy

Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment is a student group interested in engaging with environmental problems on the international level. We work closely with the university to send students to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP) in the fall and have been since 2012’s COP 17 in Doha, Qatar. Currently, Wash U is in contact with a number of other universities that send RINGO delegations to COP.

WUSICE is also committed to increasing awareness and interest in international climate politics on campus. Every year, we put on the Washington University Climate Change Negotiations (WUCCN), a mock-COP negotiation where students act as a country party of the UNFCCC, meet with their negotiation bloc, and negotiate UN text to reach a consensus. The student group also brings speakers onto campus to speak about international climate policy.


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:

Measuring Performance in Patient Room Design: A Study of Design Strategies and Health Outcomes at the BJC Campus Renewal Project (Valerie Greer): The objective of this research investigation is to study the correlation between specific design strategies and intended outcomes. (Faculty Research)

Green Rehab Project:
The Green Rehab Experiment is a multi-year, interdisciplinary research project focused on the comprehensive sustainable renovation of off-campus student housing that is owned and managed by Washington University’s subsidiary, Quadrangle Housing/
https://sustainability.wustl.edu/items/green-rehab-project/


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:

Solar Decathlon : Students and faculty designed and constructed a solar-powered, resilient home that was exhibited at the DOE’s Solar Decathlon competition in Summer 2017.

Washington University participated in the 2017 Solar Decathlon College Team Competition (coordinated by the Department of Energy), entering a house designed and built on campus using pre-cast concrete. Working with multiple schools and departments (Architecture, Engineering), building professionals, industry leaders and advisors the team designed and built CRETE House using a precast concrete design. The house is 100% solar-powered and designed for low impact living (net positive where possible) and resilience. The house was built at North Campus and was designed for long-term use at the University’s Tyson Research Center. https://solardecathlon.wustl.edu/

Office of Sustainability interns research renewable energy options, evaluating roof-tops for capability with solar installations, and power purchasing agreements that would work in our regulatory environment.


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:

Sustainability Exchange Team: Guide the future of a campaign for sustainable urban agriculture policy for the St. Louis region.

Office of Sustainability: Food Intern Team - works on solutions to increase sustainable dining on campus.


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:

Nature Conservancy (Landscape Architecture): Led by professor Rod Barnett, graduate landscape architecture students developed conservation proposals for Dunn Ranch, owned by the Nature Conservancy.


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:

Green Office Program & Waste Intern Teams: Research and participate in advocating for purchasing and procurement policies that decrease waste and increase energy efficiency.


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:

Office of Sustainability: Alternative Transportation Team - works towards solutions for greater utilization of transportation alternatives.


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:

Office of Sustainability Waste Team: works towards waste reduction and diversion solutions.


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:

Urban Vitality & Ecology in Harlem Watershed (Undergraduate Architecture): students, led by senior lecturer Jacqueline Margetts, proposed solutions to address storm water management on vacant land in St. Louis, MO. (Course)

Baden Masterplan (Rod Barnett): Faculty worked with community partner and neighborhood groups to develop a landscape masterplan for new and existing green space created by buy-outs due to flooding. (Faculty Research)

Sustainability Exchange Team: Develop site selection criteria for green infrastructure to support a Net Zero Water Eco-BLOCKTM


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:

Sustainability Exchange Team: Create a strategic plan to move Tyson Research Center closer to Net Zero Energy using solar power.


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

Segregation by Design (Graduate Architecture): Students worked in small teams to research and propose interventions in policy and design to combat segregation in specific neighborhoods in St. Louis. Led by assistant professor Catalina Freixas. (Course)

Inclusion and Neighborhood Resilience (Catalina Freixas): Research project that aims to identify characteristics that facilitate long term neighborhood sustainability and/or resiliency, particularly looking at how diversity and inclusion contribute to neighborhood stability, health, and vitality. (Faculty Research)


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?:
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 Public Engagement:

Mobility for All (Linda Samuels, Penina Acayo, Matt Bernstine): Research project exploring community engagement on proposed North-South light rail line in St. Louis City. (Faculty Research)


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:

Brown School of Social Work conducted an occupant health and wellness study before and after the construction of their new LEED Platinum building. The study looked at mobility and collaboration.

"The results of the survey measuring physical activity and collaboration surprised us—the building really had an effect! Compared to the old facilities, there was a 30% increase in physical movement, a 23% increase in hours standing, and a 33% increase in steps per week. There was an 18% increase in “stop and talk,” and a 19% increase in “enhanced work with others”. Social interactions more than doubled in Hillman Hall. Workplace satisfaction, building satisfaction, and individual effectiveness also went up."

https://source.wustl.edu/2015/09/brown-school-hillman-hall-a-healthy-building/
http://www.moorerubleyudell.com/journal/keep-moving-it-works-measuring-health-and-wellness


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:

In 2017 Prof. Jesse Vogler led The One Tree Project an interdisciplinary landscape architecture design studio focused on the historic pin-oak alley at Washington University’s Danforth Campus. The team included architects, horticulturalists, photographers and other professionals. https://theonetreeproject.org/

Additional examples: samfoxschool.wustl.edu/node/10395
Funding and training for social impact enterprises: https://seic.wustl.edu/
Student Sustainability Fund: http://ssb.wustl.edu/funding/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The most formal way real-world challenges are explored through learning and research is through the Sustainability Exchange. The Sustainability Exchange is a course that brings together students working in trans-disciplinary teams to tackle real-world energy, environmental, and sustainability problems through an experiential form of education. Students participate in projects with clients and partners on- or off-campus, developed with and guided by faculty advisors drawn from across the University, with the intention of delivering an applicable end-product that requires innovative methods and solutions.

The team-based project is complimented by a seminar that explores the field of design and design thinking through problem solving strategies and methodologies drawn from a wide range of creative practices, including design, engineering and science, as well as contemporary topics in energy, environment, and sustainability. Students will draw on these topics to pursue their projects.

The Exchange is structured through a weekly hour-long seminar and the project-based work driven by the teams who meet during a dedicated lab time. The seminar is taught by numerous faculty including Bruce Lindsey, Dean of Architecture, and gives students an opportunity to learn design thinking which they can then apply to environmental problems. Each semester, the Exchange involves four or five teams with four or five students each from all over campus. Team projects include efforts such as assisting local cities develop climate change plans, proposing guidelines for urban agriculture, and designing more efficient energy operations for campus buildings.

The Office of Sustainability employs 20 part time interns during the school year and 6 full time student interns during the summer to support efforts towards strategic projects across all operational areas. https://sustainability.wustl.edu/about/office-of-sustainability/internships/

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