Behind the Scenes of LEED

12/25/2011 § Leave a comment

Many students walk around campus and see (if not hear) the construction occurring in the large fields along Jordan Avenue and Third Street. As a student, I would have come to the same conclusion as the majority of student the student body: another building (academic or residential) building was going up. However, as a LEED intern responsible for understanding the process of certifying all the new IU buildings to a silver LEED standard, I’m aware that there is so much more than meets the naked eye.

For instance, take the new Jacobs School of Music Faculty Studio building. As the monthly meeting to evaluate the progress of design and construction approaches, I consider how long the previous month felt as a student, but how short the month would have felt in the world of engineers and architects and other environmental consultants. The process to estimate the energy usage in a not-yet-built building, to calculate how much of that energy can be supplied through green energy, to search for the right correspondents at the university to see if the school has enough RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) to purchase the proposed energy, and finally complete the correct paperwork that claims the new LEED building will use a specific percentage of green energy. And this process is just for one LEED credit! Granted, not all LEED credits are incredibly time-intensive, nor do they have to go through three different groups of people, but as a whole, LEED certification is not as straightforward as checking off boxes on a checklist. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Expansion of Sustainability Education at IU

12/20/2011 § Leave a comment

A week ago, I was pulling cardboard across the frostbitten ground, the sun already arcing downward at 4:30, lighting the surrounding fields up like a scene from an Asher Durand painting. I was up at the Hilltop gardens, at the newest addition to the campus garden project, putting the beds to rest for the winter (while also feeding them nutritious cardboard and dead leaves). Looking back on this moment, and on all the other fantastic sustainability projects that are continuously happening around campus, I feel so excited for the possibility of a concrete academic counterpart to this extracurricular realm.

As a part of my internship with the IUOS, I have been offering support and a student presence to the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Committee, along with my fellow student Julia Denison. The committee met weekly throughout the semester to draft a proposal for a sustainability-related degree, discussing such things as the degree’s name, what shape the introductory course will take, how to structure the concentrations, and how to ensure both breadth and depth in the degree. The goal was to create an academic program focused on sustainability that incorporated both the liberal arts and science-in comparison to the BSES’s mostly science-minded approach. If everything goes according to plan, Indiana University may boast of a B.A. and a minor in Environmental Sustainability Studies within the next couple of years.  « Read the rest of this entry »

This Week in Sustainability 12.12.11

12/12/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to (or reply to this email) by the Saturday evening before your event occurs. Occasionally, we will send out additional notices, but we’ll try to keep those to a minimum.

IUOS Website | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Read our Blog

Upcoming Events:

Monday, December 12
Call for participation in Trashion Refashion Show Steering Committee

When: 5:30 PM
Where: Rachael’s Café (Third & Lincoln)
Description: The Trashion Refashion Show is an annual fundraising event held each spring for Bloomington’s Center for Sustainable Living. The event showcases submitted fashion in two categories: pieces made from recycled items (bottles, tires, you name it) or those refashioned from an existing garment.  Students who would like to contribute to the planning process and assist in promoting the show to students (both potential designers and attendees) are encouraged to come to the meeting. If you cannot attend but are interested in helping, please contact Jeanne Leimkuhler at

Wednesday, December 14
“Assessment of Carbon Storage Potential in the New Albany Shale Gas Play with Enhanced Gas Recovery using Reservoir Simulation”.  Colloquium by Faye Liu, IU Department of Geological Sciences.

When: 3:00 pm
Where:  Geology Building Room S-201
Description:  The final seminar in the Indiana Geological Survey’s Carbon Sequestration Colloquium Series features Faye Liu from the IU Department of Geological Sciences who will discuss the potential to sequester carbon dioxide while simultaneously increasing natural gas production from the New Albany Shale Formation in Indiana.

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This Week in Sustainability 12.6.11

12/06/2011 § Leave a comment

If you are interested in having an event sent out over the listserv, please send an email with the title, time, date, location and description to by the Saturday evening before your event occurs.

IUOS Website | Follow us on Twitter | Like us on Facebook | Read our Blog 

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, December 7
“Public Perceptions of Carbon Capture and Storage: Survey Evidence from Indiana”.  Colloquium by David Warren, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs

When: 3:00 PM
Where: Geology Building Room S-201
Description:  David Warren will be speaking on the initial results from their new study on the public’s perception of CCS being conducted throughout the State of Indiana.

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You are currently viewing the archives for December, 2011 at Indiana University Office of Sustainability.