District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge

Image: Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray looks on as President Hurwitz signs The District of Columbia Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) on February 29, 2012.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray looks on as President Hurwitz signs The District of Columbia Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) on February 29, 2012.

On February 29, 2012 nine university presidents in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area joined Mayor Vincent C. Gray to sign the District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP). The goal was for the District of Columbia to be able to declare itself the “Greenest College Town in America.”

The approach to sustainability was the first of its kind in the nation. When it was signed, no other U.S. city had formed such a compact between its entire higher education sector and its local government to advance sustainability. The pledge is an agreement by the schools to pursue a myriad of sustainability measures related to energy use and buildings, green education, transportation, waste reduction, grounds maintenance, purchasing, and the management and reporting of progress. Each signatory selected its own commitments and goals for sustainability.

Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz, along with presidents from American University, Corcoran College of Art + Design, The Catholic University of America, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, Trinity Washington University, and the University of the District of Columbia, signed the pledge.

Gallaudet committed to the following sustainability goals to be implemented by 2014:

  • Achieve (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED Silver standards or equivalent in all new construction and major renovations.
  • Reduce energy use in buildings by 3 percent per square foot, compared to the FY 2009 baseline year.
  • Purchase or generate at least 13 percent of total energy consumed from renewable sources.
  • Reduce potable water use by 3 percent per square foot compared to the FY 2009 baseline year.

Achieve LEED Silver standards or equivalent in all new construction and major renovations

In the fall of 2012, Gallaudet opened a new residence hall, Living and Learning Residence Hall 6 (LLRH6). It includes water saving and high efficiency fixtures, recycled and regional content and materials, the use of mechanical (HVAC), electric, and plumbing systems, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. All these efforts were undertaken to assist the building in attaining LEED Silver certification.

The 2022 Gallaudet University Campus Master Plan was approved by the District of Columbia Zoning Commission in January 2013. The plan consists of multiple construction projects that will benefit the University and the community. For all future major projects, architects, construction companies, contractors, and all other stakeholders will be instructed that the building must meet with LEED Silver standards. Sustainability was a factor in the Master Plan from the beginning, with a sustainability workshop held on November 29, 2011 to encourage the campus to provide feedback. The Gallaudet Campus Design and Planning Office will ensure that future construction meets with the LEED Silver guidelines and is sustainable.

To learn more about the 2022 Campus Master Plan, click here.

Reduce energy use in buildings by 3 percent per square foot, compared to Fiscal Year 2009

Gallaudet currently is implementing a campus-wide energy project with Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) to help reduce energy costs on campus. The project was slated to be 80 percent complete by the end of 2012 and the remaining 20 percent to be finished by late 2013. JCI produced an extensive report on ways in which Gallaudet can reduce its energy. Some of these energy conservation measures are:

  • Mechanical upgrades and Central Utility Plant Upgrades
  • Lighting system upgrades and occupancy sensors
  • Water fixture upgrades and irrigation system upgrades
  • Building automation system upgrades
  • Underground piping valve replacements
  • Building insulation upgrades
  • Computer and vending machine power management controls
  • Renewable energy – solar thermal and solar PV

 
Furthermore, in the summer of 2012, Gallaudet installed a geothermal field to provide energy to its new residence hall, LLRH6. This geothermal system uses renewable energy, is simpler to maintain, and will save almost $250,000 in energy costs each year in the LLRH6 building.
 
Purchase or generate at least 13 percent of total energy consumed from renewable sources
 
In order to achieve this commitment, Gallaudet will examine its utility contracts and engage in discussion with utility partners. Purposeful utility contract review and analysis with University utility partners will result in continued renewable energy credits investments of 13 percent or higher.
 
Reduce potable water use by 3 percent  per square foot compared to FY 2009
 
Within the energy conservation project, the teams have studied and installed campus-wide water meters, energy efficient water fixtures, and environmental control programs, and will also perform a measure and verification process of the installations and analyze commodity invoices to measure the water reduction. These efforts are expected to reduce water use by 3 percent or greater.

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