Drexel Green

A Commitment Towards a More Sustainable Community

Moss Dragon Earth Day Block Party Farmer's Market Spring Blossoms on Korman Center Walk Tulips outside of the Law Building Students in front of Handschumacher Dining Center The Biowall in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building Drexel Park Flowers at Drexel Earth Day Celebrations Fitness Quad at the Drexel Recreation Center, Recycling Rainwater Race Street Walkway and Northside Dining Terrace Green Roof at the Millennium Residence Hall Rush Building Alumni Garden Autumn Leaves on Arch Street

News & Interests 2010 Archive

100% Wind Power

Drexel University Commits to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Wind Energy
October 7, 2010

Drexel now among the top college and university green power purchasers nationally

In a new agreement announced today between Drexel University and Community Energy, Inc., Drexel will purchase Renewable Energy Certificates equal to 100 percent of its energy use, making Drexel one of the top 50 purchasers of wind energy in the nation. This Renewable Energy Certificate purchase will ensure that 84,268 megawatt hours of electricity will be matched annually with wind energy entering the electricity grid in the United States. The Renewable Energy Credits will be supplied by renewable energy marketer and developer Community Energy.

This purchase will place Drexel among the top five university purchasers in the nation, according to the current Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership rankings. Drexel was an early supporter of renewable energy and has been purchasing wind renewable energy credits since 2002. This commitment has steadily increased over the years culminating in the 100 percent purchase.

"We are proud to be a leader among colleges and universities, and to do our part for the environment," said James Tucker, Drexel senior vice president for Student Life and Administrative Services. "Our students, faculty, staff and community recognize and value the commitment we have made to a safe and secure energy future. Having our electricity matched with clean, renewable energy is one piece of our larger commitment to sustainability. We hope other institutions will follow our lead and make the choice as well."

Compared to the average generation mix in the national electric grid, the environmental benefit from this purchase is equal to offsetting approximately 60,518 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the annual impact of which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 12,904 acres of trees or removing 11,571 passenger vehicles from the road, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.

"Drexel University realized the importance of renewable energy early on and Community Energy is proud of our long partnership," said Jay Carlis, Community Energy vice president.

"The decision to substantially increase the University’s wind energy purchase to 100 percent of electricity usage establishes Drexel as a national leader in supporting environmental sustainability."

Drexel was recently honored by PennFuture, a leading Pennsylvania environmental advocacy organization, with a Green Power Award for leadership in energy efficiency, including deploying an energy monitoring system at the main campus. Additional sustainability efforts include using biodiesel fuel for shuttle buses, purchasing hybrid and battery-powered vehicles, free bike share program, implementing a multitude of energy-saving controls and lighting efficiency measures, use of ice thermal energy for cooling and wide-ranging recycling efforts.


Drexel University Receives Green Power Award at Annual PennFuture Luncheon
September 16, 2010

Drexel University has received a Green Power: Turn it On! Award from Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) for leadership in energy efficiency including becoming the first university in the country to deploy Viridity’s VPower System, an energy monitoring system that will provide real-time measurements of the university’s power usage at the University City Main Campus; and creating My Green Cube to help encourage efficiency, recycling, reduction and re-use.

James Tucker, senior vice president for student life and administrative services, Joseph Campbell, associate vice precedent for university procurement, accepted the award on behalf of the University at an awards luncheon on September 16, 2010, at the Hilton Inn at Penn in Philadelphia.

The PennFuture awards recognize individuals and organizations for their work in promoting the clean energy economy in Pennsylvania. Drexel is among 25 individuals, private industries, government agencies and public interest organizations that were honored for building Pennsylvania’s thriving renewable energy market.

The Drexel Green Initiative was created in 2008 by students, faculty and staff dedicated to transforming Drexel's campus into a sustainability leader. The initiative covers all aspects of operations, buildings, academic initiatives, and student life, and includes a strategic plan to further sustainable practices and policies.

My Green Cube is an engaging tool that functions like a Rubix cube. It provides a model for individuals to learn and participate in environmental sustainability initiatives. The cube provides five major focus areas: efficiency, recycle, reduction, re-use and education.


Drexel Launches Smart Grid Project
August 31, 2010

Drexel has launched their smart grid pilot project on campus this month. The system will provide real-time measurements of University power usage and eventually allow the University to sell energy back to the larger public grid. The University has become the first institution in the country to deploy Viridity's VPower System energy monitoring system on its main campus. Working with Viridity, Drexel installed the system on campus to demonstrate how an organization can manage its energy costs and environmental impact with real-time electric prices.

Cool School

Drexel University Named in Top 100 "cool schools" by Sierra Club Magazine
August 25, 2010

View the complete listing of schools.

Back in the day, high schoolers looking at colleges (and U.S. News and World Report) were mainly concerned with three things: prestige, location, and whether the place had a rockin' social life. These days, however, applicants look for something more: a school with green credentials.

Grant Winner 2010

Drexel Green Grant Award Exhibit
August 23, 2010

The Student Counseling Center on the Center City Hahnemann Campus is hosting "Driving the Point Home with the Family Truck Project," an exhibit showcasing samples from Dr. Pamela Geller’s Drexel Green Grant Award, now through Friday, September 3, 2010 in the Creese Student Center (32nd and Chestnut Streets). Student Life will sponsor a reception for the exhibition on Tuesday, August 24, from 2-4 p.m.

Geller, director of the Student Counseling Center on the Center City Hahnemann Campus and associate professor of psychology, was recognized by the Drexel Sustainability Council and Drexel Green for ideas on increasing sustainability at Drexel and at home. In June, she received a Drexel Green Grant Award for her essay “Driving the Point Home,” which discussed her efforts to promote sustainability as well as instill a value system of sustainability in her two young sons. Geller’s essay described how she and her husband, Steven Nocella, a local sculptor and faculty member at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, capitalized on their children’s broad definition of toys and their creative behavior in order to reinforce the daily practice of the “3 R’s” through a “family truck project.”

The award-winning essay and a sample of the toy trucks (made from a variety of household objects that would otherwise have been recycled or discarded), are on display in the Creese Student Center. Geller and the Geller-Nocella family artists featured in the essay will be in attendance at the reception to answer questions and discuss their efforts to further the green movement with this fun, family-focused project.

Light summer refreshments for the reception will be provided. Download Geller's essay [PDF].

Drexel University

Drexel to Participate in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion Master's Program
August 9, 2010

Drexel University joins a consortium of seven universities and two research centers worldwide that will offer a joint masters program in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (MESC). This program has been awarded designation as an Erasmus Mundus Master Course by the European Commission. Trustee Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi played a major role in bringing this program to Drexel. Funding is estimated to be several million Euros over five years. Most of the funding will go towards student support. For more details, see the MESC program website.

Off the Grid

University City District Launches "Off the Grid," Supporting Pioneering Sustainability Efforts in the Community
August 9, 2010

UCD takes active role in promoting sustainable living practices with ucityoffthegrid.com, workshops and greening activities

University City District (UCD), the neighborhood improvement and economic development organization in West Philadelphia, is excited to announce the launch of University City Off the Grid, a new program designed to support the goal of creating a model sustainable community in University City. Through partnerships, workshops and greening activities, a new website, blog and newsletter, and through the development and achievement of progressive community-wide goals and aspirations, UCD is supporting Mayor Nutter's goal of making Philadelphia the greenest city in America.

In University City, the word sustainability is not just a buzzword. It stands for long-term thinking about our environmental impact. It's a reason why people move here; for the bustling farmers' markets, the community gardens, the ease with which we give up cars and ride a bike or trolley to work. Sustainability happens at all scales in University City – from Drexel's Smart House, to UC Green's annual 400+ tree plantings, to 58,000 square feet of green roofs, to the monumental Penn Park project which will dramatically transform the neighborhood's eastern border. University City is truly a pioneering green community.

Matt Bergheiser, executive director of UCD, adds "University City Off the Grid is a response to what we hear every day from our institutional partners, our local businesses and our neighbors. Sustainability is rapidly becoming a critical factor in economic competitiveness and a key driver of quality of life issues. We hope that Off the Grid can support the work and passions of scores of University City residents and stakeholders who seek to make this community a model neighborhood for sustainable practices."

With the launch of ucityoffthegrid.com and the announcement of numerous workshops, UCD is taking an active role in promoting and encouraging a shared commitment to sustainability. At this new website visitors will discover valuable resources on sustainable living including financial incentives for making improvements to a home or business, current recycling and composting information, stormwater management, a variety of do-it-yourself greening opportunities, details on how to reduce your energy use for big savings on your utility bills, and much more.

Drexel Professors Improve Water and Sanitation Issues in Haiti

Drexel Professors Improve Water and Sanitation Issues in Haiti
July 15, 2010

Drs. Franco Montalto (CAEE), Patrick Gurian (CAEE), Michael Piasecki (CAEE) and Dr. Mimi Sheller (CoAS) are working to improve the infrastructure in Haiti on behalf of Drexel Engineering Cities Initiative (DECI) with their NSF funded project, “Supporting Haitian Infrastructure Reconstruction Decisions with Local Knowledge.”

Their research focuses primarily on water and sanitation issues within Leogane. On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti, with its epicenter near the city of Leogane, a town of approximately 80,000 people. The goal of the project is to rebuild infrastructure and provide clean drinking water to the people within the city.

The team will present its findings at an NSF sponsored workshop on Haitian reconstruction to be held in the Fall. For more information, listen to the team's interview on WHYY. Photos from their research in Haiti can be found on the DECI Flickr page.

West Philly Hybrid X Team

West Philly Hybrid X Team Advances to $10 Million Jackpot
June 30, 2010

Drexel alumni Simon Hauger (ECE) and Keith Sevcik (MEM) are leading the West Philly Hybrid X Team (EVX) to the final stages of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize (PIAXP) competition for a $10 million award. The inner city team that's partnered with Philadelphia Academies, Inc. recently passed the shakedown stage of the competition to build the best 100 MPG vehicle. Of the original 111 teams from around the world, 22 remain, including teams from universities, venture capitalists and automotive industries. The EVX Team is the only high school in the competition. EVX's hybrid car is currently being voted on for style. To vote EVX for best style, please visit the PIAXP site. For the full EVX story, please click here.

Green Roof

Drexel Engineers to Monitor Energy-Saving Roof Project in West Philadelphia
June 29, 2010

Drexel civil, architectural and environmental engineers will monitor green, control and cool roofing systems in West Philadelphia to collect data for eco-friendly roofing. The roofing systems will create affordable and energy-saving roofs for residents.

The research team made up of undergraduate and graduate students, led by Drs. Franco Montalto and Mira Olson, partnered with the Community Development Corporation (CDC) in an effort to build more of an eco-friendly housing area in West Philadelphia and to measure the effectiveness of the roofing system. More than $8,500 worth of monitoring equipment funded by the CDC will be used to capture data that measures runoff from the roofs, temperature and the effectiveness of the roofing’s sustainability in an urban environment with rain gauges and thermisters.

Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, Chair of City Council’s Education Committee and the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless, has been a passionate supporter of the project.

“This project is great for the community and we thank both Drexel and the CDCfor this initiative” said Blackwell.

The emerging green technology will be implemented at North Holly Street and Powelton Avenue in Philadelphia; three roofs have been installed on different homes. The data will be collected starting in August. View the kickoff photos on the CoE Flickr page.

Green Grants

Drexel Green Awards $25,500 in Grants for 2010-2011 Academic Year
June 4, 2010

Over 160 essays were submitted in the Drexel Green Grants contest by members of the Drexel University community explaining how sustainability is being incorporated into daily life at work, home, and/or recreation. Drexel Green awarded $23,000 in grants to 23 current full-time and part-time students and $2,500 in Barnes & Noble gift cards to five faculty, staff and alumni.

2010-2011 Student Recipients:
Kay Becnel, Business Administration, Bennett S. LeBow College of Business; Katherine Chuang, Information Studies, College of Information Science and Technology; Nicholas Coleman, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering; Alia Davis, Design & Merchandising, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design; Renell S. Dupree, Medicine, College of Medicine; Kenneth Fox, Computer Science, College of Engineering; Linda Gangai, Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions; Tameka Gravesande, Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions; Rachel Honore, Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Professions; Tamar Ingber, Graphic Design, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design; Eudoxia Kepler, PBC-Certificate Program EDUC, Goodwin School of Education; Ritu Khare, Information Studies, College of Information Science and Technology; Andrew King, Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering; Jared Langevin, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering; Shaw Levin, Computer Science, College of Engineering; Kristina Manzanedo, Environmental Science, College of Arts and Sciences; John Martino, Computer Science, College of Engineering; Aaron Moyer, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering; Nahjan Amer Nordin, Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering; Sheena Pradhan, Nutrition and Foods, College of Arts and Sciences; Dante Proetto, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences; Matthew Shapansky, Architectural and Civil Engineering, College of Engineering; and Dayne Swearer, Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Student recipients may apply their $1,000 Drexel Green Grants to tuition, fees, room and board and the University Bookstore. The non-refundable award becomes part of the total financial aid package for 2010-2011 academic year.

2010-2011 Faculty, Staff and Alumni Recipients:
Maureen P. Breen, Adjunct Professor, Goodwin College of Prof Studies; Monica Fauble, Program Coordinator, International Studies and Modern Languages; Pamela A. Geller, Associate Professor, Psychology; Laryssa Kwoczak, Alumnae 2004; and Kimberly Wasko, Veterinary Technician II, Surgery Control

Faculty, Staff and Alumni recipients received a $500 Barnes & Noble gift card.

The Drexel Green Grants program is administered annually by Drexel Business Services. Drexel Green thanks Drexel Business Services and the following members of the Green Grants selection committee: Christopher Castillo, Graduate Student Association (GSA); Melissa Englund, Enrollment Planning & Retention Services; Rita LaRue Gollotti, Drexel Business Services; Kate Griggel, Office Depot; Lucas Hipple, Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA); and Diana Mihaylova, Drexel Business Services.

Drexel Green thanks Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, Sodexo Campus Dining and Office Depot for the donations that have made this program possible.

Drexelink September 08

Drexel Green Co-Founder Wins Prestigious American Society of Mechanical Engineering Award
June 3, 2010

Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Senior Nathan Taylor was awarded the prestigious 2010 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Charles T. Main First Place Award.

Originally established in 1919 in honor of the 37th International President of ASME, the Charles T. Main Award was designed to encourage student members and young engineers to become active in public service. Taylor was nominated by Dr. Paul Oh, Drexel ASME Advisor and Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics (MEM) Associate Professor; Dr. Surya Kalidindi, MEM Department Head; Dr. Alan Lau, MEM Graduate Advisor and Professor; Dr. Brad Layton, MEM Assistant Professor; and former ASME President and MEM Alumnus Frank Barmes.

Taylor will receive a gold medal, $3,000 cash award, and travel to the awards ceremony which will be held on November 15th, 2010 during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition. He is the outgoing president of Drexel’s ASME Chapter and the second Drexel ASME president to receive this prestigious award. Drexel MEM Alumnus Daniel Hanna was the first from Drexel to win this award in 2007.

Drexel Blackout

Winners Announced for Drexel Blackout Energy Savings Battle
June 3, 2010

North Residence Hall and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity/ Delta Zeta Sorority (200/202 North 34th Street) win the 2010 Drexel Blackout energy savings battle by having the highest percentage decrease in energy consumption during the month of May. North Hall decreased its energy usage by 10% compared to May 2009 and Sigma Phi Epsilon/ Delta Zeta by 35.6% compared to May 2009. Throughout May, students in all residence halls and Fraternity and Sorority Life properties reduced electric consumption, increased energy conservation awareness and preserved valuable natural resources by making greener decisions in the annual energy-saving battle on campus. Drexel Blackout is sponsored annually by Drexel Business Services.

Recyclemania 2010

Drexel Achieves 35% Recycling Rate in RecycleMania 2010
May 17, 2010

Drexel University finished at the 35.8% recycling rate in RecycleMania 2010, a ten week competition from January 17 through March 27, 2010. Drexel’s competition category results were:

Overall Recycling Rate: Drexel finished at 35.8 percent recycling rate
Per Person Recycled: Drexel recycled 10.01 pounds per person
Waste Minimization: Drexel generated 27.97 pounds of waste per person
Overall Weight Collected: Drexel recycled 216,750 pounds
Paper Category: Drexel recycled 4.46 pounds per person
Cardboard Category: Drexel recycled 2.80 pounds per person
Plastic, Glass and Aluminum Category: Drexel recycled 2.74 pounds per person.

See the 2010 Recyclemania Results Sheet [PDF]

EPA Future Grant

Drexel Engineering Students Win EPA Future Technologies Grant
May 13, 2010

A project proposed by a team of Drexel University and Villanova University students to develop a beneficial reuse of slag or refining industry waste product has been awarded federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA awarded a $10,000 P3 grant—People, Prosperity and the Planet—to the Drexel team to further design their project for possible implementation in the field.

The team is looking into the potential of using alkali-activated slag cement as a substitute for ordinary cement-based building materials. This cement product will be carbon neutral, but competitive with Portland cement in cost and performance, have a longer life and be more accessible to developing communities. The production of alkali-activated slag cements would require little fossil fuel, reducing pollutants and increasing domestic energy independence, while increasing demand for an industrial waste product, helping build prosperity and reducing the need for landfills.

Team members include: Alexander Moseson and Abraham Cook of Drexel University; Joseph Shook, Alexandra Terpeluk and Jamie Mucha of Villanova University and Dr. Aaron Rich Sakulich, a Drexel alumnus and University of Michigan researcher. Faculty advisors on the team are Dr. Michel Barsoum, Drexel professor of materials engineering, and Dr. Aleksandra Radlinska, Villanova assistant professor.

The national competition sponsored by the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and be economically competitive. Each P3 award receives funding to develop a project for future use.

Drexel was one of 14 universities winning EPA’s 2009-2010 P3 award. More information on Drexel’s project and the complete list of recipients is available at the EPA's 2010 Award Winners page.

Dranoff Competition

Undergraduate Interior Design Students Win The Dranoff Goes Green Design Competition
May 5, 2010

Drexel students Christine Murray, Candace Spence, Courtney Robinson were recognized for their design of the hospitality suite at Dranoff Properties’ LEED-registered 777 South Broad apartment complex. For more information, visit Dranoff Goes Green.

Princeton Green Guide

Princeton Review Features Drexel University In Guide to Green Colleges
April 20, 2010

Drexel University selected to be one of 286 colleges and universities to be included in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges.” Published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), this is the first free, comprehensive guidebook focused solely on colleges and universities that have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability activities and initiatives. Guide based on the “Green Rating” scores schools received in the summer of 2009 when the Princeton Review published its Green Rating scores for 697. The 286 schools in the Guide received scores in the 80th or higher percentile. Drexel received a Green Ranking of 94. Download the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges.


Environmental protection Agency Recognizes Drexel University As A College & University Green Power Champion
April 19, 2010

Drexel University recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the 2009-2010 Individual Athletics Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Colonial conference. 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. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

Drexel University beat its conference rivals by purchasing more than 12 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 22 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Drexel University purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Community Energy, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’s electricity use.

EPA estimates that Drexel University’s purchase of more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of green power is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 1,000 average American homes each year or has the equivalent impact of reducing the CO2 emissions of nearly 2,000 passenger cars annually.