The new TGIF projects range from four solar power array installations and upgrades, to a Web site that will allow anyone to track energy usage on campus.
The TGIF committee, composed primarily of undergraduate and graduate students, received 18 applications for various campus sustainability projects from UCSB students, staff, and faculty. In the end, 13 projects were selected to receive awards totaling $172,932. The projects are expected to produce significant savings in energy and water use across the campus.
“These TGIF grants reflect the values of our students and our entire campus community in promoting a more sustainable future for our university and our planet,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “We are very proud of the leadership and commitment of our students, staff, and faculty who are working together to make our campus a ‘living laboratory’ for the research, teaching, and practice of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.”
“I’m very excited about this year’s awarded projects,” said Jasmine Syed, UCSB’s sustainability coordinator and TGIF grants manager. “Each has a strong educational component and will result in major energy, water, and resource conservation savings for the campus. Through projects like the Green Gateway and the Water Action Plan, students are taking an active role in helping make our university more sustainable.”
The TGIF-funded projects include:
- Solar-Power Installations and Upgrades at Sedgwick Reserve, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL), Bren Hall, and Cheadle Center for Biological and Ecological Restoration (CCBER), a total of $64,004 for four projects: Funds will be used to install an 11-kilowatt photo-voltaic system at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve; a 6-kilowatt photovoltaic system at UCSB’s SNARL Reserve; a 4.8-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the CCBER building; and to optimize the existing photo-voltaic system on the roof of Bren Hall. The new photo-voltaic systems will provide electricity to power the pump that delivers water to the Sedgwick Reserve’s 25,000-gallon cistern; to power two hot-water systems at SNARL; to double the power production of the CCBER building; and to improve the existing solar array on the roof of Bren Hall.
- Energy Retrofit of Student Health Building, $25,000: Faculty, staff, and students will retrofit energy control systems at the Student Health Building. Working with UCSB’s Facilities Management Department, the team will update building communications systems to implement advanced energy efficiency strategies.
- Hydration Stations, $22,250: Twenty-two new hydration stations will be installed, allowing students to fill reusable bottles with free filtered water, part of a long-term effort to install 45 stations at locations throughout campus. This project aims to reduce the need for single-use plastic water bottles on campus, decrease plastic waste, and yield energy savings from eliminating chillers in each fountain.
- Green Gateway Procurement, $17,000: Students will assemble and classify green product data into catalogs for the new campus procurement system, Gateway. The project will help staff identify patterns and provide training opportunities in environmentally preferable purchasing.
- Dual-Flush Toilet Valves and Low-Flow Urinals, $16,325: This water-conservation project will install 200 dual-flush valves for toilets and half-flush handles for urinals in 10 buildings. The new fixtures are estimated to save up to 50 percent of water per flush.
- Sustainability Dashboard, $11,218: The online Sustainability Dashboard will display real-time information on electricity, gas, and water use on campus, and will highlight locations of TGIF projects across campus. This dashboard will integrate with the Interactive Campus Map to display sustainability data to the public.
Other TGIF-funded projects are the Bren Water Action Plan, $8,861; Rethinking Campus Landscaping, $5.425; GIVE Project, $2,107; and the Greening Graduate Student Association Bagel Project, $742.
TGIF will begin soliciting applications for the 2012-13 funding cycle in fall 2012. Anyone who has an idea for a project that would aid UCSB’s sustainability efforts is urged to contact Syed at (805) 893-8367, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The TGIF Committee is a student-majority governing body selected to oversee TGIF grant allocation. The fund, the first student-funded sustainability initiative of its kind in the University of California system, was created in 2006 when the UCSB student body overwhelmingly voted for a $2.60 per quarter lock-in fee. The money created by the lock-in fee is used to finance sustainability projects that help reduce UCSB’s impact on the environment. For more information on TGIF, please visit sustainability.ucsb.edu/tgif.