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Sustainability  at  Purdue  University  
Team  Green  Bean  
Josh  McKinney  
Jessica  Melton  
Ryan  Scott  

 
Green  Roof  in  Tokyo  
 
 
ENGL  421  -­‐  Francis  Tobienne,  Jr.  
10-­‐30-­‐2009  

Team  Green  Bean   Page  1  


 
Table of Contents

1. Title Page 1
2. Table of Contents 2
3. Executive Summary 3
a. Importance of Green Research 3
b. Green Buildings Overview 3
c. Community Outreach Overview 3
d. Interviews Overview 3
4. Research and Data Gathered 4
a. Green Buildings 4
i. Mechanical Engineering Building 4
ii. Schleman Hall 4
b. Community Outreach Efforts 5
i. Recycling 5
ii. Energy 6
iii. Storm Water Management 6
iv. Purdue Green Week 7
v. University of Vermont 7
c. Interviews 8
5. Works Cited 12
6. Annotated Bibliography 13

Team  Green  Bean   Page  2  


 
Executive Summary
Importance of Green roof of Schleman Hall and other possible
green building projects were also analyzed.
Research The importance of green buildings is not to
Around the world, “going green” and be understated. Buildings account for 48%
“sustainability” are key words that are heard of the total energy consumption in the
often. But what do they mean? In short, United States and it is imperative that this
humanity is at a crossroads. What with energy either be reduced or put to better use
global warming, the scarcity and price of oil than it is now.
and other nonrenewable resources, “going
green” and “sustainability” apply to those
who want to help the world continue to be a
Community Outreach
habitable and hospitable place. Alternative Overview
transportation, green roofs, recycling, and The only way for Purdue to be totally green
other community-based efforts pave the way is to have the community within and
for a brighter, greener, sustainable future. surrounding it be green as well. Team Green
The members of Team Green Bean have Bean has researched the strides made by
looked into the efforts Purdue has made thus such organizations as the Boiler Green
far in securing itself as a green university. Initiative (BGI) and the University of
They have also looked into the future Vermont in capturing the attention of the
regarding how Purdue can make a more community and getting help in the effort to
lasting impact on its campus and the go green. Recycling and energy awareness
community around it. Researchers have put are just a few of the topics that are important
many hours into this field of study, and their to the sustainability of Purdue and of the
efforts and ideas will be summarized herein. community, and those, among others, will be
To focus this discussion, Team Green Bean covered, as well as how Purdue can continue
chose three main points of interest: Purdue’s to maintain the community’s support in its
green buildings, community outreach efforts, endeavors.
and interviews with researchers and teachers
of sustainability. Interviews
Researchers and teachers of sustainability at
Green Buildings Overview Purdue are vital because they can share their
In 2011, Purdue will open its first certified knowledge with students, the community,
green building. The Roger B. Gatewood and university officials alike. Team Green
Addition to the Mechanical Engineering Bean conducted two interviews with staff
building will add space and sustainability to members integral to the green movement at
part of Purdue’s Campus, and Team Green Purdue, Dr. Fu Zhao and Dr. Robin
Bean looked into the particulars. The green Ridgeway. These interviews shed light on

Team  Green  Bean   Page  3  


 
what is like to teach sustainability and how resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
being green is important to the university. According to the USBGC, LEED “provides  
building owners and operators a concise
framework for identifying and implementing
practical and measurable green building  
 
 
Research and Data Gathered  
 
 
 
Green Buildings design, construction,
maintenance solutions.”  
operations and
1

LEED essentially is a points system


for construction engineers and architects
Mechanical Engineering
which allows building creators to tally up the
In 2011 Purdue University will open
positive green design decisions to achieve one
its first green building, the Roger B.
of the four different LEED levels – Certified,
Gatewood Addition to the Mechanical
Silver, Gold, or Platinum. For The Roger B.
Engineering building. The $33 million
Gatewood Addition to be LEED v2.2
addition will add just over 40,000 square feet
Certified, it must achieve 26 of a possible 69
to the building, or about 55 percent more
points. To achieve these points, Purdue is
room. Along with the new laboratories,
implementing several items including a
classrooms, and student areas, the building
higher solar reflectance roof, low-flow
will also bring a first to Purdue’s campus – a
plumbing fixtures, construction materials with
certified green building.
recycled content, Green Label Plus carpet,
The Roger B. Gatewood Addition
wood certified by the Forest Stewardship
will the first building on Purdue’s campus to
Council, and paint and sealants certified to
be constructed to the standards of the U.S.
reduce indoor air pollutants.  
Green Building Council, a non-profit
Though the Mechanical Engineering
organization which focuses on cost-efficient
building’s addition will be the first certified
and energy-saving practices for green
green building at Purdue, there have recently
buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council
been other green construction projects on
(USGBC) has created an internationally
campus.  
recognized certification system called LEED
 
which was designed to improve several
environmental metrics including energy Schleman Hall
savings, water usage, carbon dioxide The green roof atop Schleman is a
emissions, improvement of indoor plant-covered surface designed to both retain
environmental quality and the stewardship of                                                                                                                          
1
http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CM
SPageID=1988
Team  Green  Bean   Page  4  
 
water from rain and insulate the building and in keeping 500 tons of trash out of landfills.
is the result of a $68,700 grant from State The recycling rate at Purdue increased to 37
2
Farm Insurance . As a side effect of the percent in 2009. The end goal for Purdue is
natural materials used, the building’s roof will to recycle 100 percent of its waste. Purdue
actually last longer than if it didn’t have a Grounds have set a goal of a total of 65
green roof. The roof includes monitoring percent recycled waste by 2014, so clearly the
equipment powered by solar panels designed goal of 100 percent efficiency is many years
to check the efficiency and performance of off.  
the roof and provide data for make design To encourage the increase of
decisions for future green roof projects on recycling, Purdue Grounds installed 31 new
campus. Though the future of green roofs at recycling containers across the West
Purdue depend on the data gleaned from Lafayette campus. Furthermore, there is a
Schleman Hall, Purdue is already pilot program in Freehafer Hall, which puts
considering green roofs on the Horticulture recycling containers instead of trash cans at
Building, Mann Hall, the Armory, and other the desk of every staff, and faculty member in
new construction.   the building. The only items not recycled in
Freehafer Hall are those containing liquid,
food waste, or food wrappers. These items
can be thrown away at trash cans in common
areas. The recycle bins are emptied twice a
week by a custodial crew and creates no
additional required labor. This pilot program
is expected to be expanded and go campus-
wide in 2010, greatly increasing the recycling  
efforts of all staff and increase Purdue’s
overall recycling rate significantly.  
 
Another initiative Purdue is taking to
increase campus-wide participation is joining
Community Recyclemania! in 2010. Recyclemania! is
competition between other colleges and

Outreach Efforts
Recycling
universities to see who can recycle the most
during a ten-week period in the spring 2010
semester. It is hoped that students will want
Recycling programs have long existed to participate and that their involvement will
at Purdue, and in the last few years have carry over after the ten-week period.  
grown in both importance to students and Purdue also has a few rather
faculty and participation. In 2008 Purdue’s unconventional recycling programs that are
recycling rate was 26 percent, which resulted not immediately apparent when one first
                                                                                                                          comes to campus. The remnants of over
2
http://www.boilergreen.com/page2/page8/gre 500,000 meals each month from Purdue
enroof.html
Team  Green  Bean   Page  5  
 
dining hall go to the West Lafayette Waste
Treatment Plant and are there recycled into
methane. University Residences also have
recycling programs for those living in dorms.
University Residences spends $3000 weekly
for its employees to check and sort recyclable
goods, including cardboard, plastic, and
paper. Housing and Food services provides
customers with refillable bottles and uses
only 100 percent recycled fiber napkins. The
Purdue Memorial Union uses green cleaning
chemicals and now has a sustainable floor
that requires fewer chemicals for Energy
maintenance in its Commons area. Purdue’s The Boiler Green Initiative (BGI) is a
Veterinary Hospital has created compost with Purdue sponsored organization dedicated to
its used animal bedding and manure.   helping Purdue and the surrounding
Another success for recycling at community become green and sustainable.
Purdue has been a collaborative project Energy is the main subject of one particular
between Boiler Green, Purdue Athletics, and focus group, specifically energy used in
Purdue Refuse and Recycling. Together, lighting Purdue’s buildings. Their objective is
these groups have worked together to setup a to ultimately use sunlight more effectively,
recycling program for Purdue home football reducing the buildings’ energy needs. To aid
games at Ross-Ade Stadium. On game days them in achieving this goal, they plan to find
volunteers begin at 8AM and continue data on the percentage of light bulbs on
working until an hour after the game ends to campus, in the surrounding community, and
collect recyclable waste and encourage fans to in public buildings that are energy efficient.
recycle. In 2008, there were a total of 150 They will use this data to write a new report
volunteers that put in 710.5 hours. The result that analyzes what can be done to light
of their efforts was a total of 45,140 lbs of buildings more efficiently and to make
recycled waste that didn’t end up in a recommendations on using daylight as an
landfill . Through the first three games of the 3 effective lighting source. They will invite a
2009 football season the program is on pace professor from the Department of
to recycle of 52,000 lbs of waste by the end of Architectural Engineering to give a lecture on
the season.   how buildings can be better suited to use
daylight as a more effective way of lighting
than light bulbs. After compiling all their
data and gleaning more information from
research, they will apply for grants to hold an
                                                                                                                          efficient light bulb exchange to invite the
3 community to learn more about their
http://www.boilergreen.com/page2/page10/R
ecycling.html findings. This will increase awareness in the
Team  Green  Bean   Page  6  
 
community and on campus about how to taking care of storm water before it can
conserve energy using daylight and efficient become a public health hazard. Hopefully,
light bulbs and will be an integral tool in too, it will encourage community members to
Purdue going green create rain gardens of their own.

Storm Water Management Purdue Green Week


The Boiler Green Initiative also has a focus One of the main ways Purdue stays in touch
group relating to storm water management. with the community and gains ideas is Green
Storm water is the runoff water that Week. This year, Green Week was
gathers after a rain storm and flows into September 21 through September 25, and
drainage ditches, storm sewers, reservoirs, many events were scheduled to demonstrate
and other large bodies of water. Along the to the community all of Purdue’s efforts to go
way, storm water can collect debris and all green. This shows a sense of accountability
manner of pollutants, such as motor oil, pet on behalf of Purdue to the area in general.
waste, and lawn chemicals. Polluted storm The foci of this year’s programs were
water runoff is the biggest threat to the environmentally friendly programs and
world’s drinking water, as most of this runoff changing habits that waste energy. The
flows into our public drinking systems. dedication of Schleman Hall’s green roof and
There are many ways to help rid storm water the idea to establish the university as an
of its potentially damaging effects, and rain arboretum were just a couple of the events
gardens are one of them. that focused on environmentally friendly
Rain gardens have two main programs at Purdue. BGI and Physical
functions. They collect water from storms Facilities also teamed up for an inter-
that might otherwise be directed into a public residence hall energy competition to see who
drinking system and they then filter out the could save the most energy.
impurities. Rain gardens also collect large All of Purdue Green Week’s
amounts of water to release back into the programs could be deemed a success just by
ecosystem safely, instead of causing overflow them being held at all. This is one way to get
problems in public sewers and water the community involved, and Purdue went all
collection areas. Overflow problems can also out to make sure it set the bar for years to
gather impurities from surfaces but this can come. By holding a Green Week every year,
be avoided by using a rain garden. Purdue will be accountable for its green
BGI is helping to bring rain gardens actions or inactions, and the community will
to Purdue by first installing one at Hillel be invited to see all of these up close.
House. They are also beginning to draft and
design a second rain garden at a location yet University of Vermont
to be determined. With all the efforts Purdue related groups
By providing rain gardens to Purdue’s have made to ensure that the community is
campus, BGI is ensuring that the community involved in Purdue becoming green and
will pay attention to the importance of safely sustainable, one wonders if even more can be

Team  Green  Bean   Page  7  


 
done. The University of Vermont had an Bio: Dr. Fu Zhao is employed as an
idea. Through two community events and Assistant Professor by the School of
one online survey, the university gathered Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. Fu
over 1,500 participants throughout the area. teaches Mechanical and Ecological Design
Participants’ visions of a sustainable Engineering. He has earned four college
community and university were gathered, and degrees: a B.S. and an M.S. in Thermal
a mission statement and plans and designs Engineering both from Tsinghua University,
were implements according to those visions. China; and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering
This research suggests that a more effective and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering both
way to bring about change within a university from the University of Michigan.
comes from the community as a whole, not
just those few groups on campus who actively
seek change or those beings in power. When
the community as a whole has the
opportunity to share their voice, it can be
quite empowering and as such can be an
important tool in helping universities plan to
go green.

Interviews
Paraphrased Interview Transcript
Interviewer: Josh McKinney
Topic: Sustainability in Teaching Q. To begin, could you give a brief
Date: 10-08-09 overview of your experience in
Guest: Dr. Fu Zhao sustainability?

Well, here at Purdue my research is


primarily in sustainable design and
manufacturing. My focus isn’t merely on
developing new technologies to tackle the
challenges we face today, but consists mostly
on the redevelopment of old ideas and
advances. By taking what we learned in the
past and re-engineering these technologies for
the benefit of the environment today, we can

Team  Green  Bean   Page  8  


 
help reverse the damage done. I would say for the grass. This drives up crop prices and
that 90% of my research on this topic focuses also is energy intensive. My interest is in
on the functionality of old designs. taking bio waste already available and using it
to efficiently produce power to the grid. Easy
The other aspect of sustainability that is does not describe the solution. Unfortunately
important to me and to our futures is it takes power to make power. What we as
education. Most of my academic career has engineers need to focus on is how to take the
been centered on sustainable engineering, least amount of energy to produce the
clean and environmentally conscious maximum amount of energy. One example is
manufacturing and biomass energy. to take a tractor, plant a crop, fertilize and
When I began teaching at Purdue in January harvest the crop just to burn it to produce
2007, I mostly taught Mechanical energy. The amount of energy required to get
Engineering to undergraduate and graduates. the plant from a seed to the boiler greatly
What I noticed over the next two semesters exceeds the amount of energy received from
was that the majority of my students, all but the crop. Being sustainable doesn’t just mean
one, in my environmental classes was recycling; we must focus on the life cycle of
mechanical engineering students and not the our energy resources.
variety I was hoping for. After talking with my Q. How important is sustainability to
peers and students, I was told my classes Purdue?
were to dry and did not bring any excitement
to ecological design and awareness. So for the Being sustainable is very important to
fall 2008 semester I revised my curriculum. Purdue. Even though Purdue is just a blip on
a map, we can create a large impact on
Since then I have noticed a much larger campus and around the world by providing a
enrollment into the program as well as a model for sustainable design. Since we are
greater interest from students outside of starting with an old campus, we have to take
engineering about the program. By educating many factors into account. With tuition
students on sustainability we create awareness increasing every year, every dollar needs to
for engineering’s impact on the environment be spent to create the maximum amount of
and build a platform for sustainable future. efficiency in our facilities and our projects.
Q. What do you mean by “re- We need to focus on being sustainable which
engineering old technologies”? in turn helps the environment, our campus
and our wallets.
Take for instance recycling biomass into
energy. This is not a new idea. Yet converting Q. Yesterday the Sustainable
biomass into energy posed many problems in Endowments Institute gave Purdue a
the past and still does today. Turning corn B-minus in sustainable efforts. Do
and soybean fields to switch grass for a you think that Purdue’s efforts are in
biomass boiler sounds sustainable, but you the right or wrong direction?
had to give up acres of a crop to make room

Team  Green  Bean   Page  9  


 
Purdue is most definitely on the right path to Robin oversees and advises Purdue and
sustainability. The grade from the article is Wade Utility with environmental compliance
correct, but I don’t think it gives justice to and state/federal regulations. She received
what we have accomplished here. The other her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from
campuses that were in the same grade range Purdue.
as Purdue have not even come close to
achieving all we as a campus have
accomplished and plan for. Q. Could you give a brief description
of your job here at Purdue?
Q. Do you enjoy teaching sustainable
engineering? Well, my official title is Director of
Sustainability and Environmental
Yes. I do admit that the amount of students I Stewardship. Basically my priority is to take
have now does burden my grading load, but I sustainability ideas proposed by my bosses or
enjoy teaching students from many different companies doing business with Purdue and
backgrounds and degree programs. Teaching make them into a reality.
future engineers to be environmentally
responsible in their design is essential for When it comes to a new upcoming project,
being ‘green’. Yet to be completely our campus is focusing on the most energy
successful, we must have the majority of the efficient way to build it. I find myself being
students conscious of their role in the question asker in most situations. When
sustainability. Just because other students are the Mackey storm water project was in
not engineers doesn’t mean their decisions in development, I asked the questions that
their future careers do not impact our helped shape the most sustainable design.
ecology.
Don’t get me confused with an engineer
Paraphrased Interview Transcript though. My role is not the details of the
Interviewer: Josh McKinney design, but the critic of its performance and
Guest: Dr. Robin Ridgway efficiency. If we don’t ask ourselves “does
Topic: Sustainable Future for Purdue this activity effect our air quality or water
Date: 10-09-09 supply?” then we will not know the long-term
impact of our decisions.

Q. Why is LEED important and how


is Purdue planning on implementing
the standards outlined by LEED into
the older buildings and facilities on
campus?
Bio: Dr. Robin Ridgway is employed by
Physical Facilities at Purdue University.

Team  Green  Bean   Page  10  


 
The new LEED standards are for new The benefit of borrowing money and being
building construction. These standards able to pay them back in a timely manner
provide a strict set of engineering and proves that there is money to be saved.
construction guidelines to maximize the When the loans are paid off, then all the
efficiency of the building and its facilities. savings will be new capital to fund more
The new Robert B. Gatewood wing of the ‘green’ projects around campus. For us this is
Mechanical Engineering building will follow a win/win for our sustainable future.
these new standards and will stand as a model
for future construction at Purdue. Q. Is ‘going green’ for Purdue an
asset or liability for the campus as a
Where we run into problems are with the whole? Faculty? Students?
older buildings on campus. Since the If we can increase our sustainability correctly,
buildings were not constructed with LEED financially we can put the campus in the
standards around, they are sound, but not equal or a little in the black. Even though we
efficient. Our goal is to retro-commission the will not be saving money in the short-term
old buildings to perform like a new LEED the financial rewards are not far off. We must
certified building. stay progressive and move fiscally outward to
create new developments in sustainability. So
To achieve this goal we are looking at any I do see the efforts of university to be an asset
and all aspects of sustainable design. The to the environment, community and
hard part is that we have no reliable way of eventually our budget.
knowing how much energy each building
consumes on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. From a faculty standpoint, I would say that
Each building will have a unique set of our new ‘green’ initiatives have already
challenges to make it more efficient. started showing progress. With efforts from
the Boiler Green Initiative and staff we have
The way we are planning on attacking this placed recycle bins at every desk. When at
huge task is a three-step strategy. First, we work, recycling styrofoam, paper, plastic or
must retro-commission to increase building cans is as easy as throwing them in a divided
efficiency. Next comes metering. By metering trash can. We have noticed a significant
the buildings input of energy, we can reduction in trash collected from the
determine how and where to increase buildings while our recycling center has seen
efficiency. The last yet most critical for short a great increase in recycled materials. If
and long term projects is the Qualified faculty can recycle easily at work, then there
Energy Savings (QES) upgrades. Purdue was is no reason to throw anything away.
picked for the program to help strengthen
our role in sustainability as well as the From a student standpoint, recycling is not
campus budget. This program lets Purdue hard and its benefits can be seen around
borrow up to $10 million for energy saving campus. The asset to students is a cleaner
projects. The projects are designed to pay the campus with the reduction of trashcans and
money back within 10 years.

Team  Green  Bean   Page  11  


 
knowing that they can contribute to a better,
more sustainable Purdue.

Q. Dr. Fu Zhao posed a question for


my interviews and I would like to ask
you, paper or plastic?
Oh well I hope I don’t disappoint him!
When I am done with my plastic and paper
bags, I re-use them around my house. I
mostly use my paper bags to put my
recyclables in. For the used plastic bags, they
are a must when I clean out the cat box for
obvious reasons. I know there is no perfect
answer to ‘paper or plastic’ debate so I
recycle them as many times as possible.

Team  Green  Bean   Page  12  


 
Works Cited
1. Boiler Green Initiative. Purdue University, 2009. Web. October 15, 2009.

2. Oskvarek, Jonathon. “Activities promote ‘green’ programs, habits.” Purdue Exponent 18


Sept. 2009

3. Pollack, Noah, Eileen Horn, Robert Costanza, and Matt Sayre. “Envisioning helps
promote sustainability in academia: A case study at the University of Vermont.”
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 10.4 (2009): 343-53. Print.

4. Ridgway, Robin. Personal Interview. 9 October 2009.

5. Sustainability at Purdue University. Purdue University, 2009. Web. October 15, 2009.

6. Zhao, Fu. Personal Interview. 8 October 2009.

Team  Green  Bean   Page  13  


 
Annotated Bibliography
Our issue is that of how Purdue University has gone green, and how the community has been
impacted or has helped the efforts. Our print and electronic sources have been very helpful in
answering these questions, and our interviews have given us a broader base of knowledge to pull
from. We still need to find some more sources about how the community has been involved in
Purdue’s sustainability efforts, but these sources have given us a great start.

Boiler Green Initiative. Purdue University, 2009. Web. October 15, 2009.

The Boiler Green Initiative website has information on a number of Purdue recycling and green
projects. It has information on the details of the green roof on Schleman Hall as well as plans for
future roof projects. The site also has hard numbers for the recycling programs at Purdue football
games. It also has information about the various green initiatives that BGI is working with Purdue
to implement, such as alternative transportation, carbon neutrality, and energy saving. We will use
this in our paper to discuss the efforts Purdue has made to go green and the possible efforts it
could make in the future to make the university more sustainable.

Oskvarek, Jonathon. “Activities promote ‘green’ programs, habits.” Purdue Exponent 18 Sept.
2009
This article describes Purdue’s 2009 Green week and its activities. We will use this information in
our White Paper to show the activities Purdue is making available to students and the community
to support their green initiatives. This is a good resource because it provides necessary
information to the community about how to get involved in going green and emphasizes the efforts
Purdue is making to achieve its goals.

Pollack, Noah, Eileen Horn, Robert Costanza, and Matt Sayre. “Envisioning helps promote
sustainability in academia: A case study at the University of Vermont.” International Journal of
Sustainability in Higher Education 10.4 (2009): 343-53. Print.

Although we didn’t purchase complete access to this article, the abstract provided some good ideas
about involving the community in universities’ sustainability efforts. This research project’s
methodology included community events and online surveys to discover what community
members envisioned a green university to be. We will use this article in highlighting how
important the community is to determining how and what should be done to make Purdue a
sustainable university and how how the community can help Purdue focus its efforts.

Ridgway, Robin. Personal Interview. 9 October 2009.

Dr. Ridgway and I discussed the many difficulties of modernizing Purdue to meet the challenges of
today and tomorrow. Topics of the interview include Dr. Ridgway's role on campus, the next big
project for Purdue and the complications of the LEED standards. We will use this interview to

Team  Green  Bean   Page  14  


 
help show that Purdue is teaching students to be green and that faculty and staff are making an
effort for the university to be sustainable.

Sustainability at Purdue University. Purdue University, 2009. Web. October 15, 2009.

The Sustainability at Purdue website is a great resource which links to many papers, articles and
more regarding green efforts at Purdue. Of particular help to us have been the articles from details
of Green Week 2009 which detail Purdue recycling programs, green roof projects, and other local
community programs. It also links to Purdue’s housing and food service sustainability, which we
will discuss in our paper concerning measures the university has taken to go green.

Zhao, Fu. Personal Interview. 8 October 2009.

Dr. Zhao and I discussed the teaching aspect pertaining to sustainability at Purdue University.
Topics of the interview include Dr. Zhao's area of research, his involvement in Purdue's efforts and
if Purdue is directing their efforts in the right direction to become a sustainable campus model.
We will use this interview to argue that Purdue is making strides to become sustainable and a
model in the community for green efforts.

Team  Green  Bean   Page  15