South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Sustainability Month emphasizes achievements

Miranda M. Sampson

October is Campus Sustainability Month. Not only does this month encourage practicing sustainability, but also offers a time to reflect on sustainability accomplishments.

In the past six months, SDSU Facilities and Services has achieved multiple sustainability advancements in the realms of operational sustainability, including renovating Harding Hall to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building, adding solar panels to the Stanley J. Marshall Center, the home of Jackrabbit Athletics and becoming a Bee Campus USA. 

Over the course of the past year, Harding Hall has been repurposed and transformed from a minimally renovated former dormitory into a contemporary office and classroom building, built using LEED standards. 

As stated on its website, LEED provides a “framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.” Many of the LEED features of Harding Hall are not seen by the common passerby but play a critical role in decreasing the building’s energy usage.

 A few highlights include: upgrading the envelope thermal performance so less heat is lost from inside the building, installing more efficient heating and ventilation equipment and installing LED lighting. These features and more contribute to a 16 percent reduction in overall energy usage compared to the baseline. 

The construction of this building also contributed to its sustainability. By renovating Harding Hall instead of building new, it reused approximately 13,500 cubic yards of concrete and 8,400 pounds of steel. The renovation to Harding Hall has created a building that will serve the university for another 70 years.

This summer, the first nonresearch-based solar panel array was installed on campus. The 50kW solar panel system sits on top of the Stanley J. Marshall addition and supplements the electrical usage for the entire building. 

Stanley J. Marshall also has a solar wall installed. It uses the south-facing wall of the equipment penthouse to preheat the ventilation air going to space. In the winter, this reduces the amount of energy needed to heat up the ventilation air.

Finally, back in April, SDSU became the first South Dakota university to become a Bee Campus USA Affiliate. 

Through this affiliation, SDSU practices and promotes grounds-keeping beneficial to pollinator plants. Already, you can see multiple pollinator gardens across campus. Beds north of Harding Hall, between Pierson and Caldwell, and on the southwest end of the stadium are just a few examples.

Facilities and Services sees the importance of sustainability and is looking forward to future sustainability projects. Keep your eyes open for upcoming efforts.

Jennifer McLaughlin is the SDSU Sustainability Specialist  and can be reached at [email protected]

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