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news-iconLocal News: Campus Sustainability Planning Studio (CSPS)

Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to the Campus Sustainability Planning Studio (CSPS).


Revision of Western’s sustainability plan in the works

May 20, 2014 |
The Western Front
Ten Western students are working to create the first Sustainability Action Plan in efforts to improve green efficiency on campus.

The project is part of the course curriculum in Environmental Studies 471, Campus Sustainability Planning Studio, led by Seth Vidaña, the campus sustainability manager.

Pilot project provides students with sustainable, energy-efficient room

May 8, 2014 |
Western Today
A residence in Buchanan Towers is showcasing modern sustainability practices demonstrating ways to cut energy and water consumption in one’s daily living.

In the winter of 2012, two Campus Sustainability Planning Studio students wrote a report on how to include energy saving technologies and practices into Western’s residence halls in efforts to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In the Spring of 2013 two students used information from that report and then applied for, and were awarded a Green Energy Fee Grant to modify a Buchanan Towers room, into the Sustainable Energy Efficiency Dorm Pilot room.

Western pool in need of an upgrade

November 30, 2012 |
The Western Front
The pool at Wade King Student Recreation Center could receive an ultraviolet filtration system if stakeholders accept a proposal by Western students.

These pools use ultraviolet light to break apart and destroy the harmful chemicals in a way that standard chlorine cannot, said Western senior Daniel Soloff.

Students design green dorm

March 2, 2012 |
The Western Front
Western students will propose a sustainable and energy efficient dorm pilot program that would push Western closer to having no effect on climate change.

If approved, Western students Rafael Gonzales and Tristan Sewell would work to get items such as energy efficient lights, low-flow faucets, power meters and new appliances installed in a test room. They hope the test room would be in the older section of Buchanan Towers, as the new section already has many of these upgrades.

Western working to increase energy efficiency on campus

January 13, 2012 |
Western Today
Western Washington University is beginning a utility efficiency and improvement project in 21 academic buildings, the Wade King Student Recreation Center and four residence halls that will cut down on rising energy costs and lead to significant utility savings over time.

The utility improvements will include lighting controls, energy efficient lamps, insulation in attic spaces, HVAC controls, and water conservation.

Western will be utilizing a state program to finance the campus construction work, which will be paid for by utility savings. To encourage investment in infrastructure upgrades that lead to reduced energy consumption, the state established the Energy Service Performance Contracting program. Western has used this program on a small scale with very good results, and now plans the expanded utility improvements across campus.

WWU to begin nearly $3.2 million energy-efficiency work

January 12, 2012 |
The Bellingham Herald
A nearly $3.2 million project to make 26 buildings at Western Washington University more energy-efficient is expected to begin in March. The university is using a state program called Energy Saving Performance Contracting to finance the work to reduce Western's annual use of electricity, gas, water and sewer. That reduction is expected to save $227,000 to $337,000 a year - the higher amount factors in inflation through 2024 - with the savings going to repay a $3.06 million bond.

WWU to Begin Energy Efficiency Project in Campus Buildings

January 9, 2012 |
Western Today
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University is beginning a utility efficiency and improvement project in 21 academic buildings, the Wade King Student Recreation Center and four residence halls that will cut down on rising energy costs and lead to significant utility savings over time.

The utility improvements will include lighting controls, energy efficient lamps, insulation in attic spaces, HVAC controls, and water conservation.

Sequoia Tree Lighting

November 30, 2011 |
Office of Sustainability
The holiday lights installed by Facilities staff on the Giant Sequoia next to Edens Hall have been switched from incandescent to low-energy LED lights this year.

The new strings of LED bulbs will use a fraction of the electricity, at a cost of $.57(cents) per day, compared to the conventional lighting used previously, at a cost of $4.29 in electricity daily. The tree is lit eleven hours per day, in the morning and evening hours of darkness during the weeks between thanksgiving and New Years Day. The LED lights are also cooler, making them safer for outdoor use.

Strings of LED lights, including lamps, cords and attached fixtures are more expensive than standard lighting, requiring a start-up expense of about $1,800 for the 16 strings of blue and white LED lights placed on the tree. LED lamps are reputed to be more durable and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs. LED lamps are projected to last for 50,000 hours before burning out, compared to 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs. Replacement frequency can be affected by damage from wind and weather in outdoor lighting. Costs for replacement of individual LED lamps are comparable standard outdoor bulbs. FM generally replaces 25-50 light bulbs every year in the array used to light the big tree, and replaces the full strings of lights periodically, due to wear and damage.

Western might save a little money by not lighting the tree at all – however, maintaining the tradition is relatively inexpensive, and is one way to help keep spirits up during the colder season. The lighting on the big tree can be seen from as far away as downtown, and is a cheerful beacon for the community through the winter holidays.

Green fee funds bottle refilling stations

September 30, 2011 |
The Western Front
As the result of a student-led effort to discourage bottled water purchases, three water-bottle refilling stations will be installed on campus this November.

The refilling stations, which will have both a drinking fountain and a small shelf behind it to fill water bottles, will be located at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, on the first floor of Arntzen Hall and on the second floor of Old Main.

The idea for the refilling stations was part of a project by students from an environmental studies class, Campus Sustainability Planning Studio, and was brought to the Green Energy Fee committee as a project proposal called "Think Outside the Bottle." The committee gave the project was $21,000 last spring.

$15K from Puget Sound Energy Foundation boosts WWU's new Clean Energy Program

August 15, 2011 |
Western Today
The Puget Sound Energy Foundation today donated $15,000 to support Western Washington University's innovative new Clean Energy Program, which the university is in the process of designing to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding green energy economy.

"We appreciate the generosity and vision of the Puget Sound Energy Foundation," said Western Provost Catherine Riordan. "This new program will help position our state to lead the nation in the next wave of economic expansion and innovation."

Western's Clean Energy Program will integrate research and outreach with a unique interdisciplinary curriculum. The Puget Sound Energy Foundation donation via the WWU Foundation will support development of the program's interdisciplinary curriculum and new courses.

Puget Sound Energy power plant could heat WWU, waterfront

May 4, 2011 |
The Bellingham Herald
BELLINGHAM - The gas-fired electric power plant that once supplied heat to pulp and tissue mills could be harnessed to heat Western Washington University, downtown Bellingham and a redeveloped waterfront.