September 20, 2012
Drexel University was awarded LEED® Gold certification for the University’s Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, which includes the first biowall at an academic institution in the country.
Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. The Integrated Sciences Building is the first building on Drexel’s campus to achieve LEED certification.
“We are proud Drexel’s first LEED-certified building on campus has achieved LEED Gold,” said James Tucker, senior vice president of Student Life and Administrative Services at Drexel. “From its extensive use of natural light to the striking five-story biowall, the Integrated Sciences Building exemplifies Drexel’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible building principles.”
TThe Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building serves as the new home of Drexel’s biology department and includes North America’s largest living biowall, the only such structure at a U.S. university. The biowall, a 75-ft. high wall of plants, serves as a biological air filter, demonstrating Drexel’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and progressive research.
Read the full press release on DrexelNow.
Drexel to Participate in 2012 Project Green Challenge
August 3, 2012
This October, Drexel University will participate in Project Green Challenge, a 30-day eco lifestyle challenge engaging over 2,600 high school and college students on 510 campuses across the country to transition from conventional to conscious living.
The Challenge, run by the student-led Teens Turning Green organization, aims to raise awareness about conscious living, informed consumption and the collective impact of each of our actions.
Throughout the month of October, four daily green challenges will be outlined on the Project Green Challenge website and in an e-mail delivered to participants each morning. With each challenge will come a set of tasks and deliverables that participants will be asked to complete and upload.
The further you delve into the challenges, the more points you’ll accrue, along with the opportunity to win prizes, including a grand prize — thousands of dollars worth of scholarships and eco-friendly gifts.
Visit the Project Green Challenge information page for more details and instructions on how to participate.
Stanford Ecologist to Discuss Strain on the Earth’s Carrying Capacity
Noted Stanford ecologist Professor Paul Ehrlich will discuss the environmental and social impacts related to the current strain on Earth's carrying capacity in a presentation at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University on Thursday, June 14. In an event that is free to Drexel students with ID (pre-registration required), he will suggest how issues ranging from climate disruption and toxification of the planet to increasing odds of vast epidemics and nuclear resource wars can impact this strain.
Ehrlich will present potential solutions, such as controlling population growth through women’s empowerment, rethinking economic ideals, and creating a “bottom-up” movement that unites academic thinkers with civil society. He also will suggest ways that the Academy can contribute even more to this important issue.
PhillyCarShare Offers Electric Cars Through Drexel Partnership
PhillyCarShare is expanding its program in University City with the addition of new Chevy Volt extended range vehicles and pod locations, as well as special discounted rates, through a partnership with Drexel University. Two Volts were added at a new pod location at 33rd and Cherry Streets, and an existing pod at 34th and Market Streets will add another vehicle.
The University pods expand on the ongoing efforts by PhillyCarShare to offer members more alternative fueled vehicle options. PhillyCarShare, which was acquired last August 2011 by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has also added four new Chevy Volts, located at the Standard Parking garage at 11th and Filbert. PhillyCarShare members can reserve the Volt online just as they do for other vehicles at phillycarshare.com.
Enterprise also recently replaced 100% of the PhillyCarShare fleet with new cars and added more cars and neighborhood locations. In University City, this includes more than 20 locations and more than 50 vehicles, including fuel efficient models, Prius hybrids and specialty vehicles such as minivans.
“We are working with PhillyCarShare to make it more convenient for students, faculty and professional staff to access and use this popular and affordable transportation option,” said David Jost, director of Parking Services at Drexel University. “Those applying for personal memberships will have a choice of two rate plans.”
As part of the partnership with Drexel, PhillyCarShare will waive the $25 application fee and offer discounts on yearly plans for all student, faculty and professional staff participants at Drexel, and free business accounts for any University department or group.
All Drexel students (19 and older) with a credit card and valid driver’s license are eligible for membership, which offers around-the-clock access to hourly, daily and overnight rentals. Fuel, basic physical damage to the vehicle and state-required liability protection are included in the standard rate plan.
Read more at DrexelNOW.
DREXEL NAMED CAA CONFERENCE CHAMPION IN EPA’S GREEN POWER CHALLENGE
April 23, 2012
Drexel University was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2011-2012 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Drexel University beat its conference rivals by using more than 84 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 100% of the school’s annual electricity usage, the EPA announced Wednesday. Drexel purchases renewable wind energy certificates from Community Energy, reducing the environmental impacts associated with the campus’ electricity use.
"EPA applauds Drexel University as the Colonial Athletic Association Conference Champion in this year's College and University Green Power Challenge," said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. "By purchasing 100% renewable electricity, Drexel is demonstrating that universities can make a real environmental difference and help advance the market for cleaner, renewable resources."
According to the EPA, Drexel University’s green power use of more than 84 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 7,000 average American homes annually, or the CO2 emissions of more than 11,000 passenger vehicles per year. The Colonial Athletic Association collectively purchases more than 93 million kWh of green power.
Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. A full list of 2011-12 rankings is available on the EPA’s website.
Earlier this year, the EPA awarded Drexel membership to the 2012 Green Power Leadership Club, an elite group of Green Power Partners who demonstrate exemplary environmental leadership. The minimum green power purchase requirements to be a member of the Leadership Club are 10 times greater than the purchase requirements for the Green Power Partnership. Drexel is one of the top 5 green power purchasers among colleges and universities nationwide.
Drexel is also profiled for its sustainability efforts this week in the Princeton Review’s third annual "Guide to 322 Green Colleges," a comprehensive guide to colleges and universities that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability. The 322 schools, which are not ranked, were chosen for receiving a Green Rating of 83 or higher (on a scale of 60 to 99) based on data from the Princeton Review’s 50-question survey conducted among school administrators. The Green Guide is available for free download from the Princeton Review's website.
Drexel's First Udall Scholar
April 3, 2012
Elliott Chiu (Biology/Environmental Science, BS/MS '13, PHC) received the Udall Scholarship, a prestigious and highly competitive award for students committed to careers related to the environment.
Elliott is an outstanding student in the Biology Department who first started doing research in the STAR program. He has since started his own research project, which is taking him to Equatorial Guinea for the second time. Under the tutelage of Dr. Gail Hearn, he will be conducting research for his thesis on the feeding ecology of an understudied species of chameleon found only on Bioko Island. He is the first Drexel student to be named a Udall Scholar.
After graduating from Drexel, Elliott plans to pursue a VMD/PhD to eventually become a research wildlife veterinarian. He hopes to conserve some of the world’s most troubled species, particularly those that suffer from recent disease epidemics.
The Udall Foundation awards about 80 scholarships of up to $5,000 to sophomore and junior level college students committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy, or Native American health care each year. The Udall Foundation is named after Morris K. Udall, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. In 2009, his brother Stewart L. Udall and former Secretary of the Interior was added.
Drexel Recycles 99.75% of Construction Waste from Matheson Demolition
March 7, 2012
Matheson Hall may seem like a distant memory now that foundation work has begun on the new LeBow College of Business building, but nearly 12,000 tons of material from the old brick structure will live on through recycling. Keating Building Co., the construction contractor on the project, reports that a total of 11,921.12 tons of material were diverted from the Matheson Hall demolition for recycling, including 11,785 tons of concrete and masonry, 27.81 tons of wood, 13.65 tons of cardboard/paper, and 94.66 tons of metal. Only 29.50 tons of material were disposed as waste, bringing the total rate of recycling from the demolition to 99.75%.
In addition to the waste that was diverted for recycling, University Facilities reports that several large pieces of equipment were recovered for re-use, including the auditorium air handler, six VAV boxes for ventilation air distribution, two air compressors, five electrical panels with breakers, and two split DX air conditioning systems. Another 120,300 lbs of furniture were repurposed from Matheson, instead of ending up in a landfill.
Turner Construction has also diverted a significant amount of waste for recycling from the URBN Center project. Turner reports that a total of 342.26 tons of waste were recycled from the renovations at 35th and Market Streets and 34th and Filbert Streets from October through December 2011, including concrete, metal, wood, paper, and gypsum. Total waste was 535.51 tons, for a recycling rate of 65.13%.
Registration for the 2012 Tree Giveaway Is Now Open!
March 2, 2012
For a second year, Drexel University is partnering with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department to offer free trees for Philadelphia residents. Registration for this year’s Tree Giveaway is now open and lasts until March 16. To qualify for a free tree, you must own property in Philadelphia, have a yard with space to plant a tree, and agree to properly care for the tree. This year, the program is open to any Drexel employees, students, and alumni who meet the criteria. To register and learn more details about the program, visit the Tree Giveaway page.
Drexel Joins Elite Group of Green Power Purchasers
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Drexel University membership to the 2012 Green Power Leadership Club, an elite group of Green Power Partners who demonstrate exemplary environmental leadership. The minimum purchase requirements to be a member of the Green Power Leadership Club are 10 times greater than the purchase requirements for the Green Power Partnership. Drexel has previously been listed among the top 50 Green Power purchasers nationwide and the top 3 among colleges and universities due to its commitment in January 2011 to purchase 100% clean, renewable wind energy.
Drexel Engineers Develop Cement With 97% Smaller Carbon Dioxide and Energy Footprint
Febuary 20, 2012
Drexel University engineers have found a way to improve upon ordinary Portland cement (OPC), the glue that’s bonded much of the world’s construction since the late 1800s. In research recently published in Cement and Concrete Composites, the group served up a recipe for cement that is more energy efficient and cost effective to produce than masonry’s most prevalent bonding compound.
Drexel’s "green" variety is a form of alkali-activated cement that utilizes an industrial byproduct, called slag, and a common mineral, limestone, and does not require heating to produce. According to Dr. Michel W. Barsoum, A.W. Grosvenor professor in Drexel’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, this alternative production method and the ubiquity of the mix ingredients lessens the cost of materials for Drexel’s cement by about 40 percent versus Portland cement and reduces energy consumption and carbon dioxide production by 97 percent.
"Cement consumption is rapidly rising, especially in newly industrialized countries, and it’s already responsible for 5 percent of human-made carbon dioxide. This is a unique way to limit the environmental consequences of meeting demand,” Dr. Alex Moseson, one of the lead researchers on the project, said.
See Drexel’s press release for more details on this research.
Papadakis ISB and Recreation Center Receive 3 Green Globes for Sustainable Construction
January 18, 2012
Both the Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building and the Recreation Center have achieved 3 Green Globes from the Green Building Initiative, the second-highest rating under the Green Globes system and the highest rating achieved by any new construction project at Drexel University.
The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (ISB), opened in September 2011, received a score of 84% (762 points out of 906 applicable) on the Green Globes rating scale after an on-site, third-party assessment was conducted in December 2011. The building, which boasts North America’s largest living biofilter wall, received its highest scores in the areas of Project Management; Emissions; and Indoor Environment. In addition to the biofilter wall of plants, which serves as a biological indoor air filter, the ISB also makes innovative use of natural light, rainwater filtration, and sustainable building materials.
The Recreation Center, opened in February 2010, also underwent a final on-site inspection in December 2011 and was awarded a score of 72% (664 points scored out of 917 applicable), with particularly high marks for Water and Indoor Environment. The building’s integral glass and metal panel façade, together with light scoops on the roof, provide enough light to eliminate the use of electric lights during the day in 87% of interior occupied space. A rainwater reuse system manages storm water and reduces the amount of potable water used for flushing toilets.
Drexel University is the first university in the country to commit to using Green Globes®, the Green Building Initiative’s™ (GBI) independent environmental impact monitoring system, comprehensively through university policy for all new construction and existing campus buildings. The GBI has previously awarded Drexel ratings of 2 Green Globes for the Millennium Residence Hall and Northside Dining Terrace.