2012-13 Green Fund Awards

Printable PDF of 2012-2013 Green Fee Awards*
* Green Fee is now named Green Fund (change in 2018-19)

Green Points Pilot Program A customized “green points” mobile game for the UT campus, allowing players to calculate their own environmental impacts and earn points for different actions. Funding will partially support software development. Project owner: UT Office of Sustainability. $32,000
Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Research labs located in central campus will deliver clean, Styrofoam to the Welch loading dock one day per week. Volume and participation will be tracked by a student employee and Facilities Services will transport the foam to a local recycler. The project will allow the campus to estimate total volumes of Styrofoam and likely participation in a full-campus program. Project Owners: Department of Physics, Facilities Services. $7,200
Organic Micro-Farm (Year Two) Expand the current UT gardening footprint by transforming a UT owned vacant lot in East Campus into a small scale organic farm for production of produce for campus consumption. This farming program will generate public knowledge of sustainable agriculture, provide herbicide, pesticide, & hormone free food, create new hands on learning experiences, as well as lowering the university’s carbon footprint. This is year two of a 3-5 year cycle. Project Owners: Campus Environmental Center, Division of Housing & Food Service, Office of Sustainability. View a site plan for the MicroFarm (pdf). Blog page for the MicroFarm. $19,862
Cooling System Optimization in Campus Chilling Station The University of Texas at Austin can reduce energy consumption by 5,700,000 kWh and offset over 4,300 tons of CO2 emissions annually by improving the efficiency of the UT campus cooling system through optimization. The University of Texas at Austin is currently unable to achieve these efficiency improvements because they require the use of computer models that are capable of forecasting cooling demands and determining optimal operation, an ability that is not available in commercial software. A research group consisting of an engineering faculty member and several graduate students with the help of the Utilities and Energy Management group has been assembled to work on this project. The project will also serve as an example of the powerful impact that can be had through improved energy efficiency and through enhanced interaction between university staff and university researchers. Project Owners: Cockerell School of Engineering; Utilities & Energy Management. $22,200
Shower Timers in Jester Residence Hall A selection of shower timers will be installed for optional use by residents. The installation will allow the Division of Housing and Food Service to test the product for effectiveness and also assess residents’ feedback. Shower timers are a proven method of saving water and energy. Project Owners: student team, Division of Housing & Food Service. $2,600
Increase Bike Parking & Expand Bike Programming The Green Fee will partner with Parking & Transportation Services to help meet the near-constant demand for additional bike parking on campus. In addition, PTS will offer expanded UT community engagement programming in 12-13. Project Owner: Parking & Transportation Services $20,000
Longhorn Band Waste Reduction The Longhorn Band is going green and will begin with waste reduction initiatives such as replacing paper cups with water bottles at practices, composting and recycling in the stadium stands during games, and an end-of-year paper collection. The green initiatives will be planned and led by the 389 band members, who represent multiple majors across campus. Project Owner: Longhorn Band. $2,500
Campus Resource Consumption Visualization Students and faculty in the School of Art & Art History (Design Division) will develop a software program that will visually represent energy consumption across campus (similar to what is currently available for Sutton Hall). The project will proceed in collaboration with increased energy data available to building managers, and conservation and education initiatives led by Facilities Services. Project Owner: Department of Art & Art History $36,100
Video Outreach for UTAustin Green Fee Projects Short video clips of each project will document the results of the Green Fee projects and the project process for future applicants and the selection committee. These videos will be made permanently available online for use by the UT community and media outlets. Project Owner: Environmental Science Institute $5,150
Replace Impermeable Surfaces on Main Campus This project will identify and replace a section of impervious pavement with a pervious service that will allow increased filtering of rainwater on campus before it reaches Waller Creek. Project Owners: Student Team collaborating with Project Management & Construction Services, Parking & Transportation Services, and others $55,100
Campus Environmental Center Services The Concho Community Garden and Orange Bike Project are two of the most popular student-run environmental programs on campus. The Green Fee augments other CEC funding by adding a student employment position and supply funds for each of those two projects. The Green Fee is also funding a second year of a Graduate Program Assistant for CEC, who will focus on long-term financial planning for the organization. Project Owner: Campus Environmental Center $27,100
Analysis of Processed Algae as an Organic Fertilizer This is year two of a multi-year project. Our current Green feefunded project is assessing the effect applying dried, de-oiled algae onto Bermuda grass plots. Our greenhouse pilot study showed that a 25 kg/acre application of algae performed as well or better than a comparable amount of fertilizer that UT currently uses. The project has translated into three invited talks, an undergraduate poster displayed at the UT Energy Forum 2012, and features on the CEM website. Given the successful demonstration of algae as an effective biofertilizer by our group and others, we propose to apply algae water from our College of Natural Sciences-supported onsite commercial grower, AlgEternal to provide a consistent source of algal biofertilizer to the UT campus. The primary difference between the current and proposed study is to evaluate processed dried algae vs. unprocessed wet algae as a biofertilizer substitute on the UT campus. Project Owner: Center for Engineering & Mechanics $18,260
Green Roof at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center This project will rehabilitate a “dead zone” at the Wildflower Center while providing an opportunity to develop best practices for green roofs on main campus. This is an area of great interest for students and the rest of the UT community and the Green Fee Committee is endorsing a close study of costs, longevity, and potential academic applications. Project Owner: Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. $39,540
UTeach Outreach Field Trips The UTeach Outreach Environmental Field Trips program received funding for a second year in order to expand curriculum on solar energy and to continue the tours focusing on sustainability on the UT campus. The field trips program is based on the latest research on effective teaching and learning, as well as technologically advanced learning software programs, and involves over forty UT students per year in learning more about the campus. Project Owner: UTeach Outreach (College of Natural Sciences) $8,140
Air Quality Sensors in Labs This project tests the feasibility of controlling air exchanges in lab fume hoods by using air quality sensors, which detect gases and particulate matter and increase or decrease air exchanges according to the building’s needs. Project Owner: Student Team, with Facilities Maintenance and Environmental Health & Safety $50,000
School of Music Landscape Rehabilitation The team plans to reform an approximately 350 square yard plot of land located on Trinity Street in front of the Butler School of Music into a more sustainable, safer, and aesthetically pleasing piece of landscape for the University and the Austin community. Improvements will include: re-stabilization of the eroded ground foundations; terracing and placing solid retaining walls around the area (elevated gardens) to prevent soil erosion; planting of native drought-resistant and shade-tolerant flowers and shrubs; and installation of drip irrigation for efficient water use, and more. Project Owners: Student Team, KKY and  music fraternities, Butler School of Music and Landscaping Services $30,000
Waller Creek Beautification This is a small-scale collaboration between UT spirit organizations to improve the area next to Waller Creek at 24th St & San Jacinto. Project Owners: UT Orange Jackets, Texas Cowboys $1,000
Occupancy Sensors on Campus Buildings An informal student research group is working with Facilities Maintenance and the McCombs School of Business to reduce energy consumption. A set of occupancy sensors will be installed throughout the School of Business buildings (CBA and GSB) as a result of a student-led survey. Project Owners: Student Team, Facilities Maintenance. $5,625