Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.06
Liaison Casey Meehan
Submission Date June 15, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Technical College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

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

Western Technical College owns and operates a Passive House as a living laboratory for air and climate. The house’s advanced ventilation system produces savings of 90% on utilities. This system is used as a learning tool for HVAC students. Students have the opportunity to work on the system and see its application in a “real world” setting.

Western Technical Colleges Integrated Technology Center also serves as a living laboratory for air & climate. The Integrated Technology Center showcases the mechanical room which provides an excellent opportunity for student learning. In this room students can first hand view the heating, cooling, and geothermal piping of the building. The piping is color coded, with duct-work labeled for supply, return, outdoor air, and relief air for students to fully grasp what these systems look like in a real world scenario.


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:

Western Technical College's Passive House serves as a living laboratory for learning. The Passive House’s design and construction model focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency. It was completed with student assistance and serves as an instructional facility for Building Science and Energy Management, Architectural Technology and some General Studies courses such as Math and Technical Reporting.


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 culinary and foods production students host a dinner in the dining hall on Thursdays during the spring term every year. These students practice what they learn in the class room at this venue. The students practice what vegetarian options look like at a restaurant quality production. These dinners utilize only plates and silverware that are reusable, the to-go boxes are biodegradable, and all of the napkins used are cloth.


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:

The Passive House which Western Technical College operates allows students to study solar panels and their implementation. Students are given the opportunity to study how this energy is implemented into homes.


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:

Western technical College has worked with the Landscape Horticulture program on several continuing living laboratory projects on campus. Students in these programs plant and maintain both Western's green roof and the green wall. Students get the experience on a landscape project which is geared to sustainability. The green roof helps to prevent heat island effect by absorbing heat through the plants rather than reflecting heat into the atmosphere. This living laboratory also gives students experience with water conservation practices. The green roof absorbs rainwater which mitigating wastewater removal problems.


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:
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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:
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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:

Western has participated in Recyclemania for the last 6 years and as part of those efforts Western has a Dumpster Dive event where the President and associate jump into the dumpster and educate people on what should be recycled.


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:

The Integrated Technologies building offers several areas which feature clear wall that provide students with a view of the water reclamation system. The pipes are color-coded showcase the water reclamation system. The system collects rainwater , in addition to recycled well water, from the adjacent Business Education Center. This water is treated through a UV process and reused for toilet and urinal flushing, as well as turf irrigation.

Western Technical College owns and operates a hydro power station. Here students can learn about how water can be harnessed to provide clean renewable energy. This living laboratory provides a unique experience utilizing water in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels


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:

Students in the Wood Tech program team with the City of La Crosse as part of the La Crosse Housing and Rehabilitation program. The Housing and Rehabilitation program provides assistance to low income residents whose homes are in need to repairs. Students have the opportunity to build and install custom kitchen cabinets in the two homes built each year by Western's Wood Tech students. To date, more than 33 homes have been built through this partnership.


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:

Western Technical College's Human Services Program provides students with the opportunity to work in the Cavalier Cupboard campus food pantry as part of their curriculum. In the cupboard, the students help clients access the service of the food pantry. Students gain experience in the societal equity, one part of the triple bottom line in sustainability.


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:

Western also own and operates a Hydro Power Station. This provides students with a living lab setting to learn about renewable energy. Students are given a unique experience of working on an operational hydroelectric dam and the power it generates.


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