In addition to LEED certification, Villanova looks for other ways to improve our building stocks energy and water efficiency, as well as their contribution to building occupants’ health. These measures include lighting retrofits, building commissioning, low VOC paints, recycled and locally sourced furniture and carpeting, water efficient fixtures, and more.
Over the past 5 years, Villanova has explored new lighting technology, including T-8, CFL, LED, motion sensors, and day lighting sensors. Through the Energy Savings Project Fund, Villanova has been able to capture the energy savings realized from lighting retrofits and other energy conscious improvements. Some examples of recent lighting retrofits include stadium lighting controls, lighting efficiency upgrades to Falvey Library stacks and Garey Hall stacks.
Like humans, as buildings get older they need a check up to make sure all the parts are working correctly. Retro-commissioning is the process of re-evaluating all of the buildings systems, assessing how are they performing, and looking for ways to improve operations. In many cases, retro-commissioning can result in large efficiency and cost savings, averaging a 16% cost savings (reference). For Villanova’s older building stock, this is the best way to see noticeable improvements in energy usage and occupant comfort.
When possible, our designers choose products that contain recycled, and many times recyclable, materials. New products with recycled content are entering the market every day and our staff works to keep themselves informed of these changes. In addition to choosing new products that contain recycled material, Villanova also saves unwanted, but still usable furniture for reuse in other departments. If you are interested in previously used furniture, please contact Recyclin' Ric.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known to have short- and long-term adverse health affects. They are frequently found in paints and cleaning products. For the health of our students, faculty, and staff, we primarily use low VOC paints across campus.
Villanova works with Aramark to bring the most environmentally friendly cleaning solutions to campus. For a number of years we have used Green Seal certified cleaning products. These products have fewer toxic chemicals, increased biodegradability, and reduced or recyclable packaging. Products such as Green Seal not only create a safe and clean environment for students, but also for our custodial staff.
In the past year Villanova has switched over to BLUE, or ionized water, cleaning, as a way to not only save money but also to bring an even safer, more sustainable cleaning solution to campus. Ionized water cleans surfaces by electrically charging water so that it is chemically attracted to dirt. We are able to use ionized water to clean floors, windows and working surfaces. With this system we eliminate toxic chemicals, as well as countless shipments of cleaning products because the idolization process happens right on campus! If you have a hard time believing you can clean and sanitize surfaces with water check out this video by Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Villanova University, as a community of learned and learning scholars, respecting the sacredness of all creation, accepts its responsibility to the integrity of Earth and its biodiversity, to the heritage of future generations, and to the security of nations. By utilizing the Augustinian values of Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas, meaning love thy neighbor, promote community unity, and live life in moderation through our curriculum, work environment, and operations, Villanova’s approach to sustainability exemplifies an emphasis on social justice and community service.
For questions regarding campus sustainability email Liesel Schwarz