green

Solar Decathlon team gearing up for 2015 national competition

Rising gas prices and climate change are hot-topic issues that are drawing attention to the need for alternative energy sources. Drury University and Crowder College hope to be a part of this energy solution — they are designing, building, and operating an off-the-grid home as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015 competition.

The Solar Decathlon is a “green” home building competition among colleges that apply and are selected by the Department of Energy. It is meant to educate students and the public about the benefits, affordability and availability of renewable energy.

Crowder approached Drury to join forces on the project last year. Crowder offers programs in renewable energy and competed in the Decathlon in 2002 and 2005. Recognizing the strength of Drury’s architecture program, the Crowder team thought both colleges could benefit from each other’s expertise in order to design a top-notch home. They’re now competing against teams from Yale, Vanderbilt and Missouri S&T, among others.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

At Drury, this project has attracted about 50 students from architecture, communication, economics, finance, and other majors. This interdisciplinary approach is actually a requirement of the Decathlon, making Drury a great fit.

“I’m extremely excited to be involved in such an interdisciplinary project that allows me to utilize all the liberal arts informed skills I’ve picked up while studying at Drury,” said Alaa Al-Radwan, a fifth-year architecture student at Drury. “Seeing so many students from so many different areas of study come together to work on one project is a humbling experience.”

Students from both schools are working hard to design a one-of-a-kind, solar-powered home that exceeds the competition’s requirements in 10 categories. The home must run appliances and even power an electric car, produce as much or more energy than it uses, and remain cost-effective.

To set their project apart, the Drury/Crowder team has added another element to their project: storm resistance. Inspired by the devastation from the Joplin tornado, Drury/Crowder recognized the importance of providing relief shelter to individuals affected by natural disaster.

They call it ShelteR3, which is based on three R’s: respond, recover and resist. The home will require minimal assembly at the destination, provide a comfortable living space for families, and withstand high-speed winds. Drury and Crowder students want to use this competition to show how people can protect themselves from unpredictable storms and have an affordable, stylish home that runs “off the grid.”

“As the effects of climate change become more and more obvious, the necessity for alternate forms of energy is becoming a self-evident reality,” said Evan Melgren, a senior advertising and public relations major. “I’m proud to be a part of such a large competitio that works towards a solution.”

The Solar Decathlon will be held in Irvine, California in October 2015. For more information on the Solar Decathlon, visit www.solardecathlon.gov. For more information on Drury and Crowder’s project, visit shelter.drury.edu. If you would like to support the project with a gift or in-kind donation, contact Traci Sooter at (417) 873-7416.

###

Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally ran in the Springfield News-Leader.

 

Drury is named to the Princeton Review’s Green Guide for the 4th straight year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 22, 2013 — Drury University is one of the 322 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company profiles Drury in the fourth annual edition of its free downloadable book, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges.

“Being included in this ranking four years in a row is a testament to our solid progress on our sustainability initiatives,” said Dr. Wendy Anderson, director of campus sustainability. “Drury’s LEED Gold O’Reilly Family Event Center and other major renovations have incorporated established green building standards. Moreover, we remain committed to helping create a more sustainable region by offering three environmentally oriented majors and connecting students to regional organizations for service learning, research and internships.”

The Princeton Review chose the schools for this guide based on a 50-question survey it conducted in 2012 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges. The company analyzed data from the survey about the schools’ course offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation to measure their commitment to the environment and to sustainability.

The 215-page guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

The 322 school profiles in the guide feature essential information for applicants – facts and stats on school demographics, admission, financial aid – plus write-ups on the schools’ specific sustainability initiatives.  A “Green Facts” sidebar reports on a wide range of topics from the school’s use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs to the availability of environmental studies and career guidance for green jobs.

In the guide’s profile on Drury, The Princeton Review writes, “The elimination of trays in the university’s dining commons has served to conserve food, water and energy, thereby reducing environmentally damaging chemicals and detergents and reducing food waste by 25 to 30 percent per person. Bicycle rentals are available for students for $25 per semester as an environmentally friendly alternative to driving.”

Media Contact:

Dr. Wendy Anderson, Director of Campus Sustainability, Office: (417) 873-7445, Email: wanderso@drury.edu

###

President Parnell asks the Drury family to conserve water

Recently, City Utilities informed its key accounts that, barring major rainfall, it would impose water restrictions this fall. Here at Drury, our goal is to reduce our water consumption by 25 percent compared to the same time last year. Facilities has turned off the fountains in the FSC Circle and they’ve stopped watering the grass, except recently seeded areas and that is being watered on an as-needed basis.

Drury President Todd Parnell

Given that we have thousands of students and hundreds of employees, we can make a major impact through small changes. I encourage all of you to do what you can to decrease your water consumption. Residential students will receive water conservation tips as they come to campus, and I urge all of you to try to conserve as much water as possible, on and off campus.

Here are some of City Utilities’ recommendations:

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving.
  • Take shorter showers. Aim for 5 minutes or less.
  • Keep bottles of water in the refrigerator for drinking rather than running the tap to cool off the water.
  • Only run clothes washers and dishwashers when they are full.

Additionally, homeowners can install low-flow showerheads, faucets and water-saving toilets. If you’ve been thinking about making those changes, now would be a good time.

My counterparts at Evangel, Missouri State and OTC have also committed to cutting back on water consumption on their campuses. If we each reduce our water usage a little, we will hopefully delay water restrictions and lessen their impact.

Thanks for your help,

Todd

Drury makes Princeton Review’s Green Guide three straight years

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 19, 2012 — For the third straight year, Drury University is highlighted in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition. According to the Princeton Review, the free downloadable book profiles institutions of higher education that “demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.”

The book can be downloaded at http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide and http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

In the past few years, Drury has embarked on several projects aimed at sustainability, including:

  • The O’Reilly Family Event Center earned Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
  • Converted Stone Chapel to geothermal heating and cooling.
  • Established the Central Street Recycling Center.
  • Installed solar panels on the roof of Smith Hall.
  • Drury students, faculty and staff built a Platinum LEED certified Habitat for Humanity home.
  • Eliminated trays in the cafeteria to reduce water and detergent usage.

The Princeton Review made note of several of these accomplishments in Drury’s profile found on page 64 of the book. The profile also includes this statement, “The University is focusing its energy management efforts on its buildings through renovation and retrofitting. The Trustee Science Center features bamboo flooring and energy efficient fixtures.”

“”Drury is honored to be recognized, once again, by the Princeton Review. Our widespread efforts across campus to operate with minimal environmental impact and our commitment to integrating themes of sustainability throughout our curriculum ensure that we are modeling the sustainable lifestyles we hope all students will carry forward from their years at Drury,” said Dr. Wendy Anderson, director of campus sustainability.

Drury and the University of Missouri are the only two schools in Missouri listed in theThe Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.

As part of Drury’s sustainability efforts, on Monday, April 23 it will host the Campus Consciousness Tour. The Campus Consciousness tour describes itself as, “Half music tour, half environmental campaign, the Campus Consciousness Tour aims to inspire and activate students in an electric atmosphere while leaving a positive impact on each community the tour visits. In addition to educating and mobilizing students, the tour includes many greening elements and is run to have a minimal environmental footprint.”

Grammy nominated rapper J. Cole will headline the Campus Consciousness tour with a show at 8 p.m. in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Ticket prices range from $20-$38. Tickets can be purchased online at drurytickets.com, by calling (417) 873-6389, or in person at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office.

CONTACTS: The Princeton Review / Joseph Iovino, 888-865-7737 ext. 5678, jiovino@review.com

WEBSITES:
www.princetonreview.com/green-guide www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide

REPORTER RESOURCES:
Lists of the 322 colleges in the book—alpha by location (state/school) and alpha by school—are posted at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide

###