CUNY Sustainability Project                                                                        Winter 2008/2009
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
CUNY Hosts Mayor Bloomberg on Campus Sustainability DayLaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens

The City University of New York (CUNY) welcomed Mayor Michael Bloomberg today to its Bronx Community College (BCC) campus where they joined with other local colleges and universities for Campus Sustainability Day, a nationwide event aimed at highlighting and supporting sustainability activities.
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2008 CUNY Sustainability Awards
at the
CUNY Task Force on Sustainability Conference

The CUNY Task Force on Sustainability convened its first CUNY-wide Sustainability Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center on October 30, 2008.  CUNY Campus executives and campus sustainability council members gathered along with CUNY implementers to hear leaders from government, business and the academy address sustainability issues throughout the day long conference.
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LaGuardia Visit to Botanical GardensCUNY Sustainability Project sponsor and Executive Vice Chancellor Allan Dobrin and University Director of Sustainability Tria Case with Lehman College Assistant Vice President Rene Rotolo. Lehman College was honored for their ongoing support for conservation and sustainability efforts.
Outside the Barrel
For CUNY, the First Form of Alternative Energy is..... Energy Efficiency

Art Fasolino, CUNY FPCM

LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens The City University of New York initiated comprehensive energy efficiency programs in the early1990s in response to an executive order from then Governor Mario Cuomo to reduce energy consumption. Since that time, CUNY has invested in excess of $130 million on energy efficiency projects and infrastructure upgrades ranging from the installation of high efficiency lighting to major central heating and cooling plant replacements. This program has, to date, reduced CUNY's per square foot energy consumption approximately 12% and its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% since 1992. These reductions were achieved despite the addition of 4.5 million square feet of new classroom space and a system wide technology upgrade introducing thousands more energy consuming computers and their peripherals into the campuses. The University has also annually purchased 10% of its total electric consumption in renewable power since 2005. As part of this procurement, CUNY along with the Port Authority, the MTA and NYC has signed a long term (10 yr) Memorandum of Understanding with the New York Power Authority for the annual purchase of 14 million kwh of wind generated electric power, thus facilitating the expansion of the Horizon Wind Farm in upstate New York.
New energy efficiency policies and requirements on the federal, state and city level have been passed in the last few years, with more in the 'green' pipeline. Generally, it's the engineers and facility managers who are charged with implementing the requirements while budget departments seek creative methods to finance the changes. Under Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC, the University has now been challenged to further reduce it's per square foot greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2017. In order to comply, all new construction at CUNY will be LEED silver rated.  In addition, facilities engineering at CUNY is implementing a plan with four major components as part of the program for existing buildings to achieve that goal. These improvements are ones that may work well for many buildings in urban environments across the country whose owners are looking to reduce their energy load as well.
  1. Installation of an advanced, web-enabled monitoring system on all utility meters to provide energy consumption data to campus facility personnel. The system will enable facility operating personnel to monitor energy consumption on a real time basis, identify areas of excessive use and instantly compare their actual use to budget.
  2. Implementation of a University-wide lighting program utilizing LED and Induction technology. Lighting constitutes approximately 40% of annual electric consumption in CUNY facilities. These emerging lighting technologies can provide significant demand reductions as well as improve classroom lighting quality, reduce relamping time and eliminate hazardous waste disposal of fluorescent lamps.
  3. Retro-commissioning of building heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Retro-commissioning consists of restoring the function of HVAC systems to their original design intent. In the process, building air handling and pumping equipment are right-sized and climate controls restored. HVAC systems fully account for another 40% of building energy use. Retro-commissioning of building systems can again provide significant reductions in energy use while improving building air quality and the learning environment.
  4. Restoration of building envelopes. This program element consists of the restoration or replacement of building exterior envelopes to reduce air infiltration, upgrade insulating value and improve occupant comfort. In addition to reducing natural gas consumption for heating and electric power for cooling, this program element reduces demand on centralized heating and cooling facilities, thus avoiding costly expansion of these facilities to support new construction.
Energy efficiency first, is a fundamental, common sense approach to clean energy independence.
Lehman Breaks Ground on CUNY's First 'Green' Science Building 

Lehman College, the City University of New York (CUNY), the architectural firm of Perkins+Will, and a host of elected officials and other dignitaries celebrated the groundbreaking of a new Science Building at Lehman on September 24.
The project represents two significant milestones: it is the first new laboratory building in what has been hailed as "CUNY's Decade of the Sciences" and the first CUNY project to be designed and submitted for LEEDŽ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The project incorporates a number of environmentally sustainable strategies and is expected to receive a LEEDŽ Gold Rating. Read More

LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
BCC Holds Groundbreaking for
North Instructional Building and Library
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
Leed Silver Certification Targeted

Bronx Community College of The City University of New York launched a major facilities expansion on October 21 when it broke ground for the 98,000-square-foot North Instructional Building and Library. Importantly, the new facility has been designed with sustainable green building and development principles in mind, and is targeted to achieve LEED™ certification at the Silver level in the U.S. Green Building Council's universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria called The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. This goal will be achieved through state-of-the-art building technology: high-efficiency and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage; underground fiberglass tank to collect rainwater, which will be re-used for irrigation purposes; high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, programmable and able to operate at optimal efficiency during all seasons; recycling of construction and demolition debris, diverting from landfill materials that can be recovered; air quality integrity construction procedures; monitoring of products containing volatile organic compounds (VOC's) will be monitored and required to meet certain established limits; and materials with recycled content. Read More
Queens College's 'Green' Renovation of Honors Hall 

The latest green initiatives at Queens College are housed under one LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardensroof in the newly renovated Honors Hall, which opened in June. The facility is home to the Macaulay Honors College, the Business and Liberal Arts program, the Freshman Year Initiative, Honors in the Social Sciences, Upward Bound, and the Mellon Mays Program.           
Mohawk sustainable carpet is used throughout the building and Herman Miller-designed Caper chairs and GreenGuard-certified Versteel Tablet chairs are featured in classrooms and seminar rooms.The building's SmartStrand carpeting was manufactured by Mohawk Group using DuPont's renewably sourced Sorona polymer and a fiber made with Bio-PDO, which is produced from corn sugar.

The production of Sorona  polymer requires 30 percent less energy LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardensthan the production of an equal amount of nylon. Greenhouse gas emissions during production are 63 percent lower than nylon manufacturing, which results in approximately one gallon of gasoline saved per every seven square yards of carpet.

The Caper chair contains 21 percent recycled materials, is 100 percent recyclable and is Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified. The Tablet chair is GreenGuard certified for low emitting interior building materials.
LaGuardia Students
Visit Queens Botanical Gardens
Anthony N. Lugo

LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
On July 16th, 2008 a contingent of LaGuardia students, faculty and Administrators visited the Queens Botanical Garden's new "green" Visitor and Administration Center.  Sponsored by LaGuardia's Sustainability Council, the trip was intended to offer the group a firsthand look at the building's award winning sustainable design.  LaGuardia remains committed to discovering and implementing green solutions.  Students, in particular, were enthusiastic, for many were aspiring engineers.   

In June 2008, the Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Center officially received its LEED Platinum rating USGBC. It is the first building in New York City to earn Platinum under LEED for New Construction.  The 16,000 square foot facility features a number of innovative green design features such as a green roof, photo-voltaic panels along the roof, parking garden, and a rainwater harvest system that allows for the infiltration, collection and reuse of rainwater.  These features, along with a gray water system, composting toilets, and waterless urinals, help reduce water consumption by 30 percent.  

The guided tour helped the group learn about the building's history, design philosophies and design and construction challenges. Administrators, as well as students, received valuable insight, having learned about the benefits and unforeseen drawbacks of the Center's sustainable design, which will only aid the College's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint moving forward.  Moreover, the Visitor and Administration Center emphasized the small things, like its use of natural light, recycled carpeting and furniture and polished concrete.   

At the end of the guided tour, the group convened in a conference room to discuss the Garden's sustainable designs and possibility of applying some at LaGuardia.  Many students expressed their commitment to participate in the sustainability initiative at the College and in their daily lives.  Aside from serving as a symbol, the tour provided all the different demographics of the college community with the opportunity to ascertain and advance green solutions on campus and at home. 
'Green Jobs Now' National Day of Action

By Nora Leah Sherman
Intern, CUNY Building Performance Lab

Green jobs are an easy sell.  "They're good for the planet and good for people," I told nearly 100 students at two CUNY campuses, Baruch College and Bronx Community College (BCC), in September.  Developing a green workforce is about taking the steps we need to mitigate the effects of global warming while creating and "up-skilling" jobs that can support working and middle class families.

"People don't have the same options these days," I told many of the LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardensstudents, "My grandpa was a mechanic and he raised eight kids. They went to college. That's not possible now."  Teenagers and young twenty-somethings looked me right in the eye and nodded with recognition.  I found that humbling and inspiring, how readily they understood what is missing in America's economy.

With strategic collaboration between labor, workforce and community development organizations, coupled with long-term support from local, state, and federal government, we can put hundreds of thousands of people to work in the emerging sustainable economy. Worldwide, the UN predicted that 12 millions jobs will be created by 2030.

Today, the Green Jobs Now campaign rallied 100,000 people at more than 660 events in all fifty states. If you haven't already done so, sign the petition to law-makers to ask them to make good on the promise they made when they passed the Green Jobs Act in 2007.

If you want to learn more:
*Read about the CUNY Building Performance Lab's Intern Energy Project, which places students on projects helping to make New York City's existing buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable.
*Green For All has created a green jobs clearinghouse.
*Check out an earlier post about green jobs in New York state, and another post on a coalition that I'm a part of that is working on policy recommendations for New York City's next administration.
In This Issue
CUNY Hosts Mayor Bloomberg
2008 CUNY Sustainability Awards
Outside the Barrel
CUNY's First Green Science Buidling at Lehman
BCC Seeks LEED Silver
'Green' Honor Hall at Queens College
Green Field Trip
Green Jobs Now
Sustainable Innovations
Bronx Community College
Brooklyn College
College of Staten Island
LaGuardia Community College
New York City College of Technology
Queens College
York College
Contact Us
CUNY Sustainability Project Task Force


Allan Dobrin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer


Iris Weinshall 
Vice Chancellor, Facilities Planning, Construction and Management

Ron Spalter
 Deputy Chief Operating Officer

Robert Paaswell  Distinguished Professor,  City College
Executive Director

Tria Case
University Director of Sustainability,
Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Energy at BCC
Project Manager
Laura Saegert-Winkle
Communication Director
Laurie Reilly  Communications
Center for Sustainable Energy at BCC

Sustainable Innovations
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
LaGuardia Community College, in its commitment to further green solutions, recently installed photo-voltaic faucets in six restrooms.   Manufactured by Sloan Valve, the sleek designed solar faucets utilize any available light, even artificial light to deliver water - essentially transforming light into power. 
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
Compared to conventional hands free faucets, solar faucet batteries, powered by light, are rechargeable and last much longer, plus they require no electrical wiring, helping to reduce installation and maintenance cost in addition to reducing LaGuardia's carbon footprint.  Aside from drawing on renewable energy, solar faucets conserve water, reducing water flow from an industry average of 2.5 gpm to 0.5 gpm.
Campus Sustainability in Action
Bronx Community College LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
The Center for Sustainable Energy's Alternative Vehicle Technology
Conference hit the road this year, traveling from its home on Bronx Community College Campus to Lehman College for the October 3rd event. The 4th annual 'Road to Energy Independence' featured over 30 alternative vehicles and equipment including NYC's first all electric medium duty truck, covered by both the Daily News and the New York Times . Panel discussions on emission reduction strategies, available and emerging technologies, as well as policies and incentives were presented to an enthusiastic audience of over 250 fleet managers and technology companies.
Brooklyn College
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical GardensBrooklyn College purchased $4,000 worth of bushes that were planted around A/C units to keep them more energy efficient. College NOW at BC conducted outreach with high school students that includes sustainability issues. BC's Sustainability Visioning Session series convened more than 100 students, staff and faculty to brainstorm on greening the BC campus and will incorporate ideas into BC's 10-year plan. BC, in their 17th year of recycling, has purchased many new bins that now include signs detailing how they should be used. BC is now 99% green in housekeeping and triple rinse cleaning bottles recycle them as well. BC's Facilities department works with Maintenance, Science Labs, ITS and others to recycle all old fluorescent bulbs, all electronics (including computers), and freon from refrigerators and A/Cs. The sanitation dept takes chemicals (such as mercury) from labs, they recycle old batteries and used oil. Staples will recycle all cables, chargers, etc. The college recycles scrap metal, and old furniture and computers are either reused in the school, donated to a local non profit, or to public schools.  For the past seven years students in the Health and Nutrition Department have been composting all of their organic waste and dining services recycles the cooking oil they use in coordination with Tri State Bio Diesel.  This month, BC purchased four electric "mega-vans" and recently purchased several electric golf carts were purchased for use by BC and added another bike rack. BC is also conducting a survey of the commuting habits of students, faculty and staff in order to guide future greening action in this area. Some food is also grown in the Campus Road garden and talapia is grown at BC's fish farm.
The College of Staten Island LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
The College of Staten Island has now eliminated all styrofoam in their dining services and has switched to recyclable paper products and has also requested that all their vendors use minimal packing materials.CSI is working with building engineers to get their automatic lighting systems running properly to help save energy by only having lights on when necessary.  Their purchasing office has been contacting vendors, requesting minimal packing. A ferry shuttle has been started to bring students and staff directly from the ferry to CSI and they are also looking into a bike loan program.  Planning is underway for a campaign to get students, faculty and staff educated and excited about recycling.  Students are also trying to get involved with Recyclemania '09 which is a friendly competition to help promote waste reduction activities on college campuses.
LaGuardia Community College LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
LaGuardia Community College is in the process of installing three photo-voltaic powered light fixtures on poles in an open parking lot on campus.  LAGCC replaced flooring in E508 complex with new Interface recyclable carpet tiles and included Sustainability topics during Opening Session for student. NY Designs Green Forum, a half-day conference organized by LAGCC's NY Designs was held on September 17, 2008.  Over 65 design industry professionals from different segments of the design industry: architecture, graphic, fashion, interiors, and product design participated in the event. Project "Quantum Leap" has added a context consultant component and Faculty member Robin O'Kane, who is also an LAGCC Sustainable Council member, is the consultant for environmental issues.
New York City College of Technology LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
When City Tech's Hospitality Management department learned of CUNY's challenge to reduce our carbon footprint by 30% in ten years, faculty and students went into the kitchen and got to work!  We identified a number of sustainable practices we could put into place: using reusable storage containers instead of disposable ones, recycling all glass, plastic and metal used in the kitchens, replacing out-dated appliances with more energy-efficient ones and recycling cooking grease in accordance with the Doe foundation.  Future changes being planned include composting vegetable kitchen waste in collaboration with a local organization and working to reduce the number of plastic bags students use to transport baked goods.  City Tech's Hospitality Management department also models practical and achievable "green" business strategies for our future chefs and food professionals.
Queens College  LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens
We're in the midst of a sustainability suggestion campaign that will mean prizes for the best "green" ideas we receive from students, faculty and staff.  Prizes will include items featuring our "Queens College is Green" logo. Recycling efforts are paying off:  to date, we've recycled 68 tons of paper and cardboard, bottles and cans and110,000 pounds of metal.  In January, we'll host the Green Business Summit, in partnership with the Queens Chamber of Commerce.  Expected to attend are area businesses, chamber and non-chamber members, government officials and corporations. The event will challenge participants to identify ways to innovate in a green economy by setting attainable, measurable, and sustainable business practices.  It will feature exhibits, speakers and panel discussions.
York College
LaGuardia Visit to Botanical Gardens Recent green efforts include sustainability training for staff and faculty members to a campus-wide Earth Day celebration.  York has installed energy efficient lighting in the cafeteria area and room sensors for lighting have been put up around campus.  Two hybrid vehicles have been added to their fleet, special parking spots have been secured for hybrids, bike racks have been added and they continue to encourage the use of public transportation.  The Green Initiative Committee has engaged faculty leadership on incorporating "green" into their curriculum.  York now has 10 indoor trees scattered throughout the cafeteria and Atrium of the main academic building and another 30 planted around the grounds.  There are waste and recycling bins available throughout the campus, and York now has an outside interest collecting cooking oil and the cafeteria cashier dispenses napkins and only offers foam trays upon request.
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