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Campus Initiatives

“The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves.” —Rachel Carson

gasson tower at sunset

The Boston College campus comprises some 338 acres of land and over 7 million square feet of space. Given the size of our campus, there are great challenges and opportunities for BC to become more sustainable and plan for long term change.

Boston College is committed to designing and constructing sustainable buildings that are energy efficient, conserve water, provide a high level of occupant comfort and safety and have longevity.

To meet this standard, BC is committed to design and construct all new campus buildings to a minimum LEED Silver rating with the goal of a higher rating when feasible. Boston College has 5 LEED buildings and one building completed with anticipation of being awarded LEED silver certification.

  1. Existing LEED buildings:  Blessed Peter Faber Jesuit Community on the Brighton Campus; 4 residential buildings have been awarded LEED Homes, Platinum certificates and the community/administrative building has been awarded LEED New Construction, Silver certificate.
  2. Stokes Hall, an 183,000 sf building housing Humanities and Arts and Sciences Departments was completed in January, 2013. In December 2013, Stokes was certified as LEED NC Silver.
  3. 2150 Commonwealth Avenue residence hall houses 490 students as well as the University Health Services clinic. It is LEED NC Silver, and is the first BC dorm to have a greywater filtration and recycling system which will reduce the water consumption of the building.
  4. BC has four existing buildings that have Energy Star ratings - Medeiros Hall, Stayer Hall, 129 Lake Street, and The Cadigan Alumni Center. These standards of energy efficiency are also being sought for additional buildings on campus.
To learn more about LEED certification standards, visit the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED website.

 

 

LIGHTING

Currently, BC is replacing CFLs and flourescent light fixtures with LED (light emitting diodes) fixtures. Over the years, BC has converted lighting in the following buildings to ensure energy efficiency and quality: Stuart, McElroy, Corcoran Commons Dining Hall, Edmonds, Conte Forum, Merkert, 66 Comm. Ave., Cushing, Ignacio, Rubenstein, Kenny Cottle, Higgins, Campion, McGuinn, Comm. Ave. and Beacon St. Garages, the Plex, O’Neill Library, and Alumni Stadium. Additionally, many classrooms and common areas are now equipped with motion sensor lighting. 

HEATING

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Outdated equipment is replaced with more energy efficient systems. This gas boiler was installed in Stuart in 2012.

Other energy saving methods have involved installing meters in all campus buildings to better detect problems and adjust controls for temperature changes.

OTHER ENERGY-SAVING PROJECTS

In summer of 2012, all refrigerators in the lower campus resident halls were changed to Energy Star refrigerators. Additionally, BC has installed new air comporessosrs and steam trap replacements.

Older motors run at 100% or not at all. Installing a variable-speed drive (VSD) allows a motor to run at the speed needed, using electricity more efficiently. VSDs in Conte and Higgins have reduced kWh usage by more than 650,000 kWh each year. 

 

  1. Low-flow toilets and shower heads, as well as faucet aerators, have been installed in a number of the dorms and will be used in new student living areas being created through renovation and expansion projects in many of the residence halls.
  2. Boston College uses underground sprinkler systems across campus for efficient irrigation. The school is now using native plants in new landscape and planting plans.
  3. Dining Services continually researches energy and water-efficient technologies when replacing food service equipment and purchases Energy Star or equivalently-rated replacement equipment. Learn more about Boston College Dining Services's Sustainability efforts.
  4. Every BC student is given a reusable water bottle to cut down on the use of plastic water bottles. 

Boston College has implemented recycling in all dorm rooms, dorm buildings, dining halls, and outdoor spaces. Wherever there is a trash can, it is paired with a recycling bin. BC is single stream, meaning students do not have to sort their recyclables. Additionally, composting is done in Lower, Mac, and Hillside. For more information on recycling, visit our recycling page

  1. Communal Garden. The student environmental groups EcoPledgeand Real Food BC started an organic garden in a yard on the Brighton Campus. The plot grows everything from tomatoes, peppers, carrots, zucchini, and broccoli to basil and chives. The garden provides recreational and educational activities for BC students and faculty, as well as for the local community. It is a place for people to gather and work on a fun project together outside in the sun.
  2. Boston College is planning to implement the practices and ideology of xeriscaping into its ground efforts in the form of natural landscaping. This type of landscaping is designed in such a way that the need for water is brought to a bare minimum. For more information on grounds efforts at BC, visit our Grounds Maintenance web site.
flowers outside st.marys
student looking at produce during farmers market

Boston College Dining Services administration places a high priority on sustainability and has made great strides to integrate sustainable efforts of local vendors, manufacturers, and products into the department and university systems.

  1. Dining composts student waste as well as unused food
  2. Every Bite Counts packs up unused food and donates them local foodbanks
  3. The Loft at Addies stresses sustainable, locally sourced ingredients
  4. Hillside uses compostable plates and napkins

Facilities Management works on the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of Boston College’s buildings and property, and has comitted to operate in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner.

They have developed Sustainable Operations Guidelines to ensure that Boston College is using the best practices in sustainable management of campus affairs. These guidelines describe their aspirations in this regard, the procedures in place to help achieve them, and the metrics used to track performance.

Members of the Boston College community can easily and efficiently commute to or from campus or travel the city by using:

  1. BC shuttle bus
  2. The T (B line, C line or D line)
  3. The MBTA Bus (Bus stops located along Commave and Beacon St)
  4. Zipcar (Parking spots located on and around campus)
  5. Bikes (Bike racks located in every parking garage and outside almost every residence building, along with the new bike rental program by Bike BC)
  6. You can also bike around the city using the public bikes available at a variety of stations across the city. Rent them for the day ($8), month, or year!
  7. ChargePoint Car Charging Stations (Located in Comm ave parking garage, 2nd floor on back wall)

Incorporating just one of these travel options into your commuting routine a few times a week greatly reduces your impact on the environment.

COMPUTERS

Out with the Old

As part of the Boston College Computer Replacement program, workstations for faculty and staff are refreshed every four years. The process replaces outdated workstations with current configurations. The old computers are sent back to Dell, which reuses and recycles the material. Visit the BCCR web site to learn more.

BC also offers a computer removal program. ITS and Facilties Services work together to pick up and remove old or broken computer peripherals (printers, monitors, etc.) from faculty and staff offices so the material can be transferred to places of proper reuse and disposal. Before computers are recycled, any sensitive data is removed from the hard drive.

In with the New

When BCCR personnel select vendors for equipment purchases, they request that the vendors fill out the section on the Request for Purchase (RFP) that asks for data on the energy rating and consumption of each unit.

Recycling

Our Recycling section has more information on how to recycle your used computers and other electronic products:

The Boston College Energy & Environment Alumni Network (BCEEAN), now almost 700 members strong, formed in 2009 to:

    . Provide networking and career opportunities for alumni interested in energy and environment;

    . Help alumni keep informed about developments in this rapidly expanding field by connecting alumni to cutting-edge research and to the insights and experiences of other alumni;

    . Serve as a resource for BC students, faculty, administrators, and alumni; and

    . Enhance Boston College's contribution to creating a sustainable economy.

BCEEAN publishes a newsletter three times each academic year (available on our website, www.bc.edu/bceean).  BCEEAN also regularly posts notices of opportunities for jobs, internships, fellowships, speaking and publishing engagements, awards and competitions, and continuing education programs on our website, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages.  BCEEAN sponsors alumni networking events and on-campus programs that connect students to outside experts.  Finally, BCEEAN encourages alumni to help students launch careers and form professional networks by sharing alumni expertise, mentoring student projects, and sponsoring student externships and internships.