College earns national green recognition
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:05
For the third consecutive year, the College at Brockport has been featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges. It was named a 2012 top green college for its commitment to sustainability.
According to The Princeton Review website (www.PrincetonReview.com), the guide “profiles institutions of higher education … that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.”
The publication highlights a number of the college’s sustainability initiatives, including the newly renovated Thompson Residence Hall, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified facility. It also highlighted the 2007 opening of the Townhome Residential Living Complex that incorporated the use of geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling, specialized insulation and two storm water ponds that reduce runoff into local streams and creeks.
The guide also notes the fact that 20 percent of the college’s food comes from local purveyors and farms, including Martin’s Farms, White Farms and Bolten Farm, among many others.
David Turkow, director of Environmental Health and Safety, said Brockport strives to meet the LEED Silver ranking in all of its campus projects and Thompson Hall’s LEED Gold certification was unanticipated.
“In this case, we did better than expected,” he said. “[It’s] a big accomplishment considering all the work that went into Thompson Hall.”
Turkow said the Special Events and Recreation Center (SERC) to be completed this summer, will also be LEED Silver certified.
“There are several criteria involved in [building SERC], including local building materials, recycling all waste products from the construction, use of recycled materials or environmentally friendly materials in the construction, and generally energy-efficient construction, which impacts the long-term cost for heating, cooling and ventilation,” he said. “The cooling will be augmented with ice generation and storage during off-peak hours (night) and the ice [will be used] for cooling during the day.”
Turkow said all new or substantially renovated buildings on campus must meet LEED Silver criteria for energy efficiency and enviornmental sustainability.
According to the Golden Eagle’s spring 2012 Green is Gold newsletter, the new Liberal Arts Building, which crews will be building this summer, will strive for a LEED Silver ranking.
Turkow said the college has been involved with sustainability issues for the 10 years he’s held this position.
“I’ve seen the progress from energy conservation to curriculum development,” he said, “[From] fast Trax bike borrowing (program), BASC’s (Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation) greening of food service operations [and] LITS (Library, Information and Technology Services) paper quotas [have resulted] in a large reduction in paper use.”
According to the Brockport website, Fast Trax bike borrowing program — offered by the college’s Parking and Transportation Services and Residential Life and Learning Communities — allows students to sign out bicycles by showing their Eagle One ID cards and completing a bike rental agreement.
The program is free to students, faculty and staff. Bikes are available at the Conrad Welcome Center, Seymour Union and McFarlane, Mortimer and Benedict Halls for use of up to 24 hours at a time.
The newsletter also notes BASC’s initiative to offer eco-friendly disposable products used by Dining Services. Brockway and Harrison dining halls are now tray-less in an effort to reduce waste and decrease the campus’ carbon footprint.
BASC also initiated a pre-consumer compost program — partnering with the grounds department — to compost food waste from Harrison, Brockway and the Seymour Union.
The newsletter also highlights the on-campus printing quota that was implemented to reduce excess printing in labs and to reduce resource usage.
According to the newsletter, the Information Technology (IT) department plans to replace older, energy-inefficient printers with newer printers that are set to print duplex by default.
According to The Princeton Review’s 2012 College Hopes & Worries Survey, nearly seven out of 10 college applicants said that having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or choose the school.
As the survey showed, college-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues. With the College at Brockport’s continued commitment to sustainability, Turkow said being named a top green college provides it with the motivation to do even better things in the sustainability arena.