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Campus Initiatives & Operations

SLU Solar Array
 

Current Initiatives

Strategic Planning

The mission of the Facilities Services Division is to proactively support Saint Louis University's mission of teaching, research, health care and service by anticipating customer needs and working innovatively and collaboratively with stakeholders to enhance and sustain the campus environment. Accordingly, environmental resource optimization is a key pursuit in Facilities Services' Strategic Plan.

Goal: 30 Percent Waste Diversion Rate

SLU introduced single-stream recycling in 2009, and since then has seen a steady increase in recycling on campus. To help make access to recycling easier and universal, facilities obtained recycling receptacles for exterior use and placed them in strategic locations throughout campus in 2012. In addition, the division developed educational tools for single-stream recycling such as brochures, presentations, signage and magnets. Sustainability and Benchmarking updated signage of all interior recycling bins throughout campus to help enhance the program and provide consistency in recycling messaging/signage in 2015.

Goal: 20 Percent Reduction in Energy and Water Consumption

SLU is committed to reducing its energy and water consumption on campus. Facilities Services' Energy and Utilities Strategies Action Team set a goal of a 20 percent reduction in potable water consumption (gallons per campus acre) over a 2013 baseline by 2020, equating to a reduction of over 250,000 gallons per campus acre. This goal is endorsed by SLU's Sustainability Advisory Council.

For energy reduction, the team set an aggressive goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity (BTU per gross square feet) over a 2013 baseline  by 2020, equal to a reduction of over 25,000 BTUs per gross square feet. 

STARS Silver Rating Achieved

The Sustainability Advisory Council utilizes the AASHE STARS' framework to measure progress in sustainability efforts. The framework offers a way to track, assess and benchmark ourselves on operational metrics. In addition, it provides guidance by outlining those aspects that will help to make the SLU campus environment more sustainable. SLU's first submission, in 2011, earned the University a bronze rating.

Following the announcement, the Sustainability Advisory Council implemented a strategy to achieve a silver rating in their next submission. In 2015, SLU achieved its goal and was awarded a silver rating.

Transportation

Alternative transportation options can play a vital role in how the community travels to and from our urban campus. A subcommittee under the Sustainability Advisory Council focused on alternative transportation surveyed the University community on transportation options. Based on these results, a comprehensive multi-year plan needs to be developed to ensure the growth and direction of future needs. Currently, the University offers a variety of transportation options, and the University community is encouraged to get informed and choose the right program that meets their environmental, social and economic needs.

Engagement

Facilities Services engages and educates the SLU community about sustainability in a number initiatives that generate buzz about what we can do to be green on campus, including: 

  • SLUstainability Month
  • Recyclemania
  • Campus Sustainability Report
  • Sustainability Tips

To nurture a sense of shared stewardship, new students and employees learn about sustainability at SLU as part of their orientations. This assures that sustainability grows as the SLU community grows. 

Campus Operations

In an effort to minimize the environmental impact of SLU's campus, Facilities Services addresses sustainability aspects related to the following campus features:

Buildings and Grounds

Saint Louis University strives to maintain the historic nature of the campus while embracing new technologies and environmentally friendly practices along with enhancing the beauty of the grounds by providing ample green space for the students, faculty and staff to enjoy.

Buildings

Doisy Research Center

The 230,173 square foot Doisy Research Center, located on the Medical Center and completed in 2007, marked the University's most ambitious effort to integrate environmental awareness and practices into a new facility.

  • LEED NC V2.1 certified (View the scorecard via USGBC).
  • Features a "green roof," low-growing vegetation that requires little care or water, planted on a two-story roof extensions to help stabilize temperatures inside the building.
  • Offers bike racks, showers and locker rooms for employees who ride their bicycles to work.
  • Equipped with an energy-efficient heating and cooling system.
  • Recycled steel, concrete, carpeting, and other materials from rapidly renewable sources, such as bamboo and cork, were used throughout the facility.

CGC

The Center for Global Citizenship renovation project, completed in 2013, shows our commitment to adaptive reuse of historic buildings on campus. Built in 1925, the former West Pine Gym was converted from a recreation facility to a global student commons and auditorium space. SLU was nominated for the 2014 "Emerging Leader" Growing Green Award, provided by the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter, for the sustainable building practices implemented in this project.

  • Natural daylight utilized in the common area
  • Low flow fixtures installed in restrooms
  • LED lighting installed throughout the building

Scott Hall

2013 saw the transformation of a 47-year-old former office building in downtown St. Louis into the new home for the School of Law, Scott Hall. The project aimed to expand the office building into a state-of-the-art facility designed to accommodate the law school's programming needs. Over 90 percent of the building's core and shell were able to be retained, conserving 1,400 tons of steel and 4,225 tons of concrete.

  • Existing mechanical equipment repaired or reconfigured to improve efficiency
  • LED and CFL lighting used throughout the facility
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures installed
  • Water bottle filling stations installed on every floor of the facility

Spring Hall

The new residence hall at Laclede and Spring opened in 2016. The $42.8 million, eight-story, 154,000 square foot project takes advantage of both recycled and regional materials, using at least 20 percent recycled and 20 percent regional materials.
built to LEED silver standards.

  • LED lighting in high occupied spaces
  • Heating / cooling system is 25 percent more efficient than standard system for building type
  • Stormwater detained and diverted from sewer system and filtered for water quality
  • Water bottle filling stations throughout
  • Carpeting made from 45-78 percent recycled content material

Grounds

Tree Campus USA

SLU has been designated an official Tree Campus USA and continues to make efforts to maintain this designation.

Integrated Pest Management Plan

IPM is a process to solve pest problems while minimizing the risks to people and the environment.
The use of natural fertilizers and minimal use of pesticides are two of the main objectives of this plan, which covers 55 acres of campus grounds.

Sustainable Landscaping

Implemented in 2010, native plant installation is emphasized on all new projects with a target goal of 50 percent of plant material used being native plants. Varieties planted include Blue Wild Indigo, Aster, Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, Rattlesnake Master, Wild Bergamot, Yellow Gray Coneflower, Goldenrod, and Golden Alexander.

The University strives to use perennial flowers and shrubs in all areas when possible. In addition, Fescue grasses are planted in all new installations. Fescue grasses are drought tolerant, require less fertilizer and are more heat resistant than other grasses

Additionally, the majority of all yard waste is composted and reused on-site. In 2010, the Grounds Department implemented a composting/mulching practice which includes all landscaping waste including but not limited to grass, leaves and other landscape related debris. This practice has led to an 85 percent reduction in disposal and landfill fees over previous fiscal years.

Difficult to compost items, such as tree stumps, are transported by SLU's waste hauler and puts it through a composting process that allows them to use it for an additive to the soil cover at the landfill site.

Natural fertilizers are used in flower beds and athletic fields, collected from the on-site yard waste composting location. Four applications of fertilizer are completed each year, of which three are organic.

Snow and Ice Removal

SLU's Snow and Ice removal policy calls for the minimization of salt runoff . Calcium applications are applied in early winter and late spring along all turf and landscape areas to help remove salt from the soil profile.

SLU's Organic Teaching Garden

The south campus is home to the Saint Louis University Department of Nutrition and Dietetics teaching garden. The garden is used to extend the classroom outdoors and combines the study of nutrition and dietetics with culinary arts with a focus on sustainable food systems.

In 2014, the garden expanded to include an Urban Orchard, when 61 fruit trees and plants were planted. Besides being used as a classroom, the fruit from the orchard will be used in the Fresh Gatherings Café and Fresh Gatherings Harvest. Any remaining fruit will be given to Campus Kitchen to be used in their food preparations.

Soil Remediation

In May 2014, the department began an initiative called "Phytoremediation through Sunflowers." The process involves using plants to remediate soil contaminants. This specific program utilizes these techniques and the steps involved in using sunflowers as a remediating agent. The sunflowers were planted just south of the garden near the southwest corner of Compton Ave and Caroline St.

Milkweeds for Monarchs - St. Louis Butterfly Project

In November 2014, SLU's Grounds Services planted approximately 300 square feet of flower beds as part of the City of St. Louis Sustainability Milkweeds for Monarchs Plan. Three flower beds were installed with two beds outside Shannon Hall and one just west of Monsanto Hall. (Gardens are located inside the Koenig Plaza.)

Plantings included: 15 Purple Coneflowers, 15 Orange Coneflowers, 15 Goldenrods, 15 Bee Balm/Bergamots, 15 Asters, and a combination of 15 Whorled Milkweeds, Common Milkweeds, Swamp/Marsh Milkweeds and Butterfly Weeds.

Stormwater Management

  • Ellen Clark Sculpture Park: Located at the northeast corner of Lindell and Grand Boulevards, this park was previously home to a Jack in the Box restaurant, a bar and a two-story commercial building. Remediation of land like this is sustainable because it reduces the amount of stormwater runoff and provides green space to the urban campus area.
  • Honeycomb Grass Paver System: Installed at both the Medical Center Recreation Complex and the Doisy Research Center in the emergency and service vehicles parking area, these pavers reduce the amount of stormwater runoff and allow water to seep into the ground replenishing groundwater.
  • Campus Stormwater Management System: Located on the east side of the Busch Student Center, an area prone to flooding and erosion, this stormwater garden was designed by four engineering students as part of the EPA's Campus RainWorks Challenge. Funded by MSD and installed by SLU's Grounds Department, the total area of the project was 2,585 square feet of impervious surface and is projected to redirect 7,473 cubic feet of water from the sewer system. It includes three rain barrels, two bio-retention basins, a pervious path, and re-grading of the entire site.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality refers to the quality of a building's interior environment in relation to the health and wellbeing of those who occupy space within it. Together, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Services strives to ensure that Saint Louis University maintains a healthy indoor air quality environment.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) is responsible for ensuring that people have a safe work environment free from exposure to health hazards. Facilities Services maintains and coordinates building operations such as air handler systems that supply a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, air filters and air ducts are routinely inspected through planned work orders which mitigate negative impacts on indoor air quality. Despite these efforts, workers may at times be concerned that they have symptoms or health conditions from exposures to contaminants in the buildings where they work.

Problems with indoor air quality can originate from a variety of sources. Some main culprits of indoor air quality problems are chemical pollutants, air contaminants from inside or outside and improper building ventilation. Poor indoor air quality can cause nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness or uncomfortable work environments.

Varying degrees of indoor air quality may affect different people in different ways. Some people may not be affected, while others can be strongly impacted. Personal allergies, asthma or respiratory diseases can contribute to some individuals being more susceptible to contaminants than others. Saint Louis University aims to create a healthy environment for all building occupants.

It is important to be aware of indoor air quality year-round, but some seasons cause extra issues. In winter months, cold and dry air can cause itchy skin or nose and throat irritation. In spring and fall, allergens from outside can impact individuals inside, as well.

For more information about indoor air quality:

Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website

Possible Indoor Air Quality Contaminants

  • Air contaminants from outside which may cause indoor air quality problems include airborne mold/ fungi, dust (especially from nearby construction) and pollen.
  • Air contaminants from inside which may cause indoor air quality problems include mold/ fungi, dust from carpets or air ducts, cleaning agents such as sprays which bounce into the air, and microbiological growth in cooling system drip pans or humidifiers.
  • Issues with building ventilation that may cause indoor air quality problems include proper ventilation allowing contaminants to move freely out of spaces or improper ventilation creating an opportunity for contaminants to increase or breed.
  • Chemical pollutants which may cause indoor air quality problems include radon, carbon dioxide and other laboratory chemicals.

Procedure to Submit a Concern

Any issues with indoor air quality can be submitted via the FM:Interact work order system or
directed to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

When an environmental health and safety concern is noticed, determine whether you are capable of resolving it either by correcting the issue yourself or by notifying the correct department (e.g., submitting a work order using FM:Interact).

If you are not able to resolve the concern, complete this form to report a safety concern.

For emergency situations that create unsafe conditions, call Facilities Services at 314-977-2955. Facilities Services can assist with unworkable indoor conditions such as dust or debris plumes, severe irritation from chemical cleaning agents, etc.

You may also call the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) at 314-977-8608. OEHS can assist with biological or chemical spills, gas smells, etc.

For after-hour emergencies, call the Department of Public Safety at 314-977-3000.

Remediation Procedures

OEHS personnel perform indoor air quality inspections upon request. indoor air quality inspections include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Visual inspection of occupied spaces and air-handling systems serving the space.
  • Evaluation of building ventilation rates to ensure that occupants are receiving an adequate quantity of outside air and dilution ventilation.
  • Evaluation of building temperature and relative humidity to ensure occupant comfort and to prevent microbial growth and amplification.
  • Quantification of possible chemical contaminants that have been identified during the visual inspection.

Upon completion of the indoor air quality inspection, OEHS will work with Facilities Services and all other parties involved to resolve any indoor air quality issues identified during the course of the inspection.

Additional indoor air quality services that OEHS and Facilities Services may provide include:

  • Responding to occupant reports of chemical odors to assess employee exposure and recommend remedial activities.
  • Providing consultation for the selection and installation of new building materials and furnishings that will have a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
  • Working with departments to minimize the impact on indoor air quality during renovations and demolitions of occupied buildings.
  • Providing recommendations for air-cleaning equipment when deemed necessary.

Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality

  • Keep building materials dry: Many building materials can support mold growth when they are wet for extended periods.
  • Report water leaks: Occupants are in the best position to recognize new water leaks and notify Facilities Services to take corrective action. Facilities Management can replace damaged ceiling tiles or drywall that has been wet for too long or dry large water spills efficiently by extracting water from the carpet and using fans to speed dry time.
  • Keep windows closed: Outdoor air carries pollen, mold spores, and humidity, any of which may cause problems indoors. Air that is brought in via the building HVAC system is filtered and conditioned, removing allergens and excess moisture. Leaving windows open may cause allergic-type symptoms in sensitive individuals, and may lead to condensation (and later mold growth) when humid outdoor air comes in contact with cool indoor surfaces.
  • Do not block air vents: HVAC systems are designed to provide and circulate air from each part of the building. Blocking the vents can compromise this design. If needed, Facilities Management can place a deflector over the grille to redirect the air so that it doesn't blow directly on building occupants.
  • Remove visible mold: If you notice mold growing on building materials, submit a work order to have the mold removed.

Reporting an Odor

  • Natural gas: call Facilities Services immediately to check for leaks.
  • Isolated odors: If the odor is present only in a single room, it is most likely caused by something in that room, such as rotten food or something in the trash. Look around in the room to see if you can determine the cause. Dry sink traps are notorious for producing sulfur-like odors. If you have a sink or floor drain that is not frequently used, pour some water into it to fill up the trap and block odors from the sewer line. If the odor is a localized odor that seems sulfur-like but you cannot find a dry trap, submit a work order for plumbing concerns and ask to have a plumber check for a hidden drain or uncapped pipe.
  • Widespread odors: Look around your work area for any out-of-the-ordinary activities, such as painting, construction, custodial or grounds activities. If you are not able to determine the cause of the odor yourself, contact Facilities Services through the FM:Interact work order system. They may know of activities that could be causing the odor, or they can check your HVAC system to see if the odor source may be near the air intake.
  • Diesel odors: These are usually transient, but may be near air intakes. This allows odors to come inside through the HVAC system. In this case, ask the drivers/operators to move away from the air intakes or ask them to turn off their engine. SLU abides by the "No Idling" ordinance by the city of St. Louis. Signs are posted by many loading docks to prevent this occurrence.
  • Tobacco and smoke: Saint Louis University is smoke-free. Smoking-related odors are not considered safety issues. Please refer to the administrative policies that apply to your entity for more information.
  • Recurring odors: If there is no apparent source for an odor, keep a record of the days and times that you notice the odor. This may help you identify a pattern and thereby recognize the cause.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory

 

Purchasing

Facilities Services supports the use of environmentally and socially preferable products wherever possible through the balance of economic feasibility and environmental responsibility. We support services and companies with strong commitments to sustainability.

Our Recommendations

  • Use GreenSeal or EcoLabel Certified cleaning products
  • Read the Sustainable Office Cleaning Products Guide (PDF)
  • Buy office supplies through Staples Shop Green Products
  • Use printer and copier paper that is 30-100 percent recycled content
  • Use other recycled content paper products, including utlery, plates and cups that are recyclable, compostable and/or biodegradable
  • Buy ENERGY STAR appliances and computers
  • Use energy saving lamps and ballasts
  • Buy EPEAT silver or gold computers
  • Purchase from University preferred vendors
  • Contact Distribution Services for office furniture reuse

Our Practices

  • We use Green Cleaning Green Seal cleaning products and sanitation products: Our Green Seal cleaning products contract specifies green chemicals and associated pricing. These chemicals were selected based on efficacy and our goal to be as green as possible.

    Green Seal certifies products based on lifecycle sustainability standards and recognized as a Type-I Eco-label. The EPA advocates for the use of Green Seal cleaning products. Custodial Services is actively involved in using Green Seal certified products, with the aim of increasing the number of certified products over time. Claire Manufacturing, Diversey, GOJO industries, PITT Plastics, SCA and GP are green cleaning product vendors used on campus.
  • Green Cleaning Policy: Custodial Services uses 100 percent recycled fiber Tork© (towel, tissue and napkin) paper products certified by EcoLogo. Eco Logo stickers can be found on some restroom dispensers across campus.

    The EcoLogo™ program is a product certification program that is recognized as a Type-I Eco-label by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), certifying environmental leaders using sustainable products. To receive certification, products are compared to others within specific categories and scientifically tested by relevant criteria throughout their lifecycle.
  • GreenGuard certification for indoor air quality: Custodial Services has partnered with Johnson Diversey to implement the Healthy High Performance Cleaning program (products, tools and procedures. Because of this program, six buildings on campus have received GreenGuard certification (BSC, DuBourg Hall, McDonnell Douglas Hall and the Wool Center).

    The GreenGuard program, overseen by the GreenGuard Environmental Institute, is an air quality certification that incorporates the Standard for Cleaning Products and Systems. Certification can only be obtained if the cleaning products used in the building have met the strict criteria for chemical emissions limits. Building audits are done to ensure that the cleaning products, training and systems are being utilized appropriately and effectively.

Vendor Sustainability

  • Xpedx is Saint Louis University's paper and cleaning products vendor. Xpedx is our distributor for products from both SCA and Sealed Air-Diversey Care.
  • SCA Tissue believes in a holistic approach to sustainability, using a closed-loop manufacturing system to consider the product lifecycle every step of the way, even beginning the paper manufacturing process from 100 percent recycled fiber.
  • Saint Louis University works with Sealed Air-Diversey Care to increase building management satisfaction, improve cleaning efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of cleaning products and practices.
  • Staples is the office products supplier of Facilities Services.
Transportation

No Idling Initiative

In partnership with Clean Air St. Louis, Facilities Services has installed 14 "No Idling" signs on campus as part of an initiative to improve the air quality of the St. Louis area.

Bicycles

  • Bike racks are available throughout campus.
  • Changing and showering facilities are available to bicycle commuters.
  • Bikes can be registered through the Department of Public Safety .
  • Trailnet, a community partner of SLU, provides additional bicycle information, services and engagement opportunities

Other Sustainable Transportation Options on Campus

  • Free On-Campus Shuttle: A variety of shuttle services are available on campus. Get more information about the shuttle routes and schedules.
  • SLU Ride: SLU RideProvides safety escorts around campus when the shuttle is not running, especially after dark. For more information or to arrange an escort, call 314-977-7433 (RIDE).
  • SLU Van Service: Reduce the number of vehicles on the road for University events by reserving a van for your next event through Transportation Services.
  • Metro / CMT: The closest MetroLink station to SLU is the Grand stop, located on the Grand Bridge. The SLU Grand shuttle offers connections between this station and SLU's campuses. Pre-tax Metro passes are available to full-time faculty/staff through payroll deduction, a $100 subsidy is also allotted to employees making under $37,000 per year and purchase their passes through the Parking and Card Services office.
  • Enterprise Car Sharing: Car sharing is when members of a community share a fleet of vehicles. You must be a member to participate, but all SLU students and employees are eligible to join. For more information, visit the Enterprise CarShare website.
  • Carpool Matching / RideFinders: RideFinders provides a free ride matching service to help commuters carpool to work. Register through their online program to find a match or add members to your already existing carpool. RideFinders also offers a Guaranteed Ride Home Program for registered carpool members. GRH vouchers are available at the Parking and Card Services office in DuBourg Hall, Room 33. For more information visit RideFinders or call 1-800-847-7433.
Utilities

Facilities Services is responsible for the management of all utilities (electric, natural gas, steam, and water) for the north, south, and downtown campuses. In spring 2014, the division finalized reduction goals for energy and water consumption on campus. To meet these goals, Facilities Services is actively implementing sustainable energy and water practices.

Energy

Energy Goal: 20 percent reduction in energy intensity (BTU/GSF)

Energy Projects
  • Building Sub-Metering: Many of SLU's buildings are clustered onto one electric meter. Sub-metering has been installed on many buildings to collect individual energy consumption numbers for tracking and analysis.
  • Occupancy Sensors and Vending Misers: Occupancy sensors for room lighting have been installed throughout campus to improve the energy efficiency of those buildings. In 2010, 105 vending machines were equipped with Vending Misers to manage the machine's lighting and compressor cooling cycles. The installation reduced energy usage by 157,000 kWh annually, for a savings of $10,229.
  • LED Nativity Scene Christmas Lights: 2013 saw an upgrade for the Nativity Scene display located on the south campus from incandescent to LED lighting. This upgrade saves 81.6 kWh of energy each night for a operational savings of $277.00 for the seven weeks the display is standing.
  • Young Hall Auditorium: In 2014, Facilities Services replaced the auditorium lighting with LED bulbs. This upgrade saves 37,370 kWh of energy for an annual cost savings of $2,997.

Water

Water Goal: 20 percent reduction in potable water consumption (gallons/campus acre)

Water Projects
  • Building Sub-Metering: Many of SLU's buildings are clustered onto one water meter. Sub-metering is being investigated for those buildings to be able to collect individual water consumption numbers for tracking and analysis.
  • Water-Saving Technologies: Where applicable, Facilities Services has installed low-flow faucets, showerheads, urinals and toilets.
  • Low-flow faucets use on average 30 percent less water than conventional faucets. (Current plumbing codes in St. Louis City and St. Louis County prohibit the use of water-free urinals.)
  • RainBird's Maxicom2 Irrigation Management System: This centralized control system manages the operation of the irrigation system to reduce water usage. For example, the system is capable of suspending irrigation if it is raining or recently rained.
  • Rainworks Stormwater Management Garden: In 2014, four civil engineering students designed and were awarded a grant from MSD to install a stormwater management garden on the east side of Busch Student Center, which is prone to erosion. SLU's Grounds Department installed the garden It is projected that the garden diverts 7,473 cubic feet of water from the combined sewer system

Measurement and Tracking Initiatives

  • 25 X 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Pledge: This initiative, ties seamlessly with our energy and water reduction goals and aligns with the City of St. Louis' goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. According to Energy Star data, companies that benchmark have an average energy savings of 7 percent over three years.
  • Metasys Building Automation System: The system has been configured to enable night setbacks as well as unoccupied and centralized operation of remote buildings. It is used to turn air handlers and pumps on and off according to the scheduling needs for a particular building or zone within a building.