Green Buildings and Grounds
“Globally, buildings account for 40% of energy use, 38% of greenhouse gas emissions, 12% of potable water and 20% of solid waste streams in developed countries” (USGBC). Constructing buildings in a more sustainable and efficient manner can help lessen these environmental effects.
University Importance & Buildings
The University of Mississippi is home to several sustainable buildings.
- Law School LEED Gold Certification
- Insight Park – Geothermal
- Medicinal Plant Garden
- Burns, Minor, and Pittman Residence Halls
- The Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME)
There are over 400 solar panels on the roof of the CME building. The panels generate about 108 kW – enough to run the entire building except for the machinery on the manufacturing floor.
Ian Banner responds to a question on the relationship between energy efficiency and building construction:
“It does, in terms of all new construction and major renovations that are done on campus, which includes 180 buildings, plus or minus. It involves energy in terms of materials that we build for new buildings, because we think of where the energy comes from to make the materials.”
Green Building Program
The University has made a commitment that all new buildings on campus will be LEED Certified. The Green Buildings Program is currently in development, which will operate within the Office of Facilities Planning.
Ole Miss is also a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
The Physical Plant Department has enhanced its building mayors program to engage mayors within each building to be responsible for “green” outreach, education, and implementation. The building mayors will serve important roles in supporting the upcoming energy conservation and campus-wide recycling programs. The mayors participated in their first professional development workshop in Spring 2009 on the topic of energy conservation.
What can you do?
To help lower the energy use in a building you can:
- Turn off the lights when the room is empty
- Use natural daylight when possible
- Keep the thermostat at a constant temperature
- Unplug electronic devices that aren’t in use
- Power down computers when not in use
“It’s like driving a car, really. You can drive a car in very inefficient ways or you can drive it more efficiently. If you come up to stop signs slowly, and you don’t hit the brakes – it doesn’t wear your brakes out as much. Then, if you don’t accelerate as quickly, you’re driving the vehicle more efficiently. But, if you want to come up to the stop sign, squeal the brakes, stop, and leave some rubber on the road (I have a 19-year-old that enjoys that as a pastime – he’s buying his next set of tires), that’s quite an inefficient way to control the vehicle.” -Ian Banner
More energy saving tips here.