environmental initiatives

SMU sees green during 2008 Earth Week

Community gardeningSMU observes 2008 Earth Week April 14-22 with events and activities ranging from residence hall recycling competitions to student leadership training.

Campus sustainability activist Rachel Barge will offer a training session for student environmental leaders 5-7 p.m. April 16 in 153 Heroy Hall. As an undergraduate at the University of California-Berkeley, Barge co-created The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), a student fee program that raises $200,000 annually for Berkeley campus sustainability projects including clean energy and transportation, energy efficiency, water conservation, and recycling and composting programs.

The University will participate in two public outreach events 8 a.m.-noon April 19. They include a tree planting at Richland College‘s TXU Urban Tree Farm, 12800 Abrams Rd., and a clean-up excursion on White Rock Lake, 1152 N. Buckner Blvd.

On Earth Day, April 22, Vice President for Student Affairs Christine Casey will speak about SMU’s earth-friendly policies and plans, followed by a Q&A session, 12:15-1 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Commons.

Green with Embrey: Engineering building certified gold

Embrey Engineering BuildingSMU’s J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building has earned the coveted “gold” Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council – the only academic building in Texas to qualify.

Nearly all of the building materials for the Embrey building came from within a 500-mile radius, meaning less carbon-based fuel was used in transporting those materials, and 75 percent of the construction waste was recycled. The building uses recycled water from the University’s HVAC system and features waterless urinals in the men’s restrooms, each saving about 45,000 gallons of water a year. The building captures an abundance of natural light, reducing the need for artificial light during normal business.

“We are proud of being one of the very first universities in the country to have achieved this high national standard for sustainable design and construction,” says Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “More importantly, this achievement will serve as a constant reminder to our students of the clear commitment we have made to lead in research and education in green technologies.”

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