Saturday, January 21, 2017

U. of TX San Antonio

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University of Texas San Antonio

Sustainability Leader

School details:
Total enrollment: 29,100
Location: San Antonio, Texas


  • The university has a formal sustainability policy and is considering signing an environmental stewardship commitment.
  • The Sustainability Task Force implements sustainability programs on campus.
  • The school is currently working on a green purchasing policy that will require Energy Star appliances and analysis of lifecycle costs of products.
  • Sustainability is emphasized in the school’s master plan.

Green Building

  • New buildings are designed to meet LEED Silver building standards. So far, 36 buildings on campus have been built to LEED specifications, and 4 more green buildings are under construction. The school is working on formalizing its green building policy.
  • Energy-efficient technologies include economizers, building automation systems that are tuned up every semester, variable-speed drives, electric metering, LED lighting, other energy-efficient lights, and sensors to adjust light levels based on daylight sensors.
  • Low-flow faucets and showerheads have been installed in all buildings, and two halls feature dual-flush toilets. Waterless urinals have also been piloted on campus.
  • All new buildings are metered individually for water consumption, and buildings that consume a high amount of water will be retrofitted.
  • Water condensate from cooling and heating coils is collected and reused.
  • To save water in landscaping, the university uses native plants and weather-informed irrigation.
  • A fountain on campus utilizes ground water.

Climate Change & Energy

  • The campus’s HVAC systems have recently been re-commissioned.
  • Building temperature set points are lowered according to occupancy patterns.
  • A cogeneration plant on campus produces electricity along with heat.
  • Energy audits are performed in partnership with the colleges of architecture and engineering.
  • Fliers, bookmarks, and other publicity materials encourage the campus community to save energy. Signs have also been placed next to fume hoods in science labs, reminding students to shut them when not in use.
  • The university plans to install solar panels on two buildings, generating 149 kilowatts of electricity.


  • Traditional materials like aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper, and some plastics are recycled.
  • The school also recycles its used batteries, cell phones, computers, and printer cartridges.
  • Printing quotas have been established to reduce paper usage.
  • During move-out, students have the option to donate unwanted items.


  • Local food is served in the dining halls.
  • Trays have been removed from dining halls to reduce food waste and save water and energy.

Student Involvement

  • Sustainability-themed speakers are invited to campus throughout the semester.
  • Students are engaged with sustainability by participating in road clean-ups and competing in Recyclemania.
  • The university hosts an Earth Day celebration.
  • Two student groups, Emerging Green Builders and the Green Society, focus on environmental issues.
  • Students are represented on the sustainability council.
  • A recently implemented student green fee will fund sustainability projects that students choose.


  • Anyone with a school ID can take public transportation for free to the downtown campuses.
  • The school offers incentives for community members to carpool to campus.
  • In the master plan, bike lanes and walkways are emphasized.
  • written by admin

Copyright 2011 UNCF ICB Building Green Initiative