Power Down - SAS Sustainability

February 12, 2016

From College Hall to Leidy, the School of Arts and Sciences can be found across a wide variety of campus buildings. To discuss the challenges surrounding sustainability in SAS, we talked to Brittany Gross, Space and Projects Coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences.


Green Campus Partnership: What are you main responsibilities?

Brittany Gross: I am a project coordinator and space coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences. We do a lot of construction projects and it gives us an insight as to how our buildings are built, how we’re renovating buildings, and what kind of building upgrades we’re implementing, many of which are geared towards reducing energy consumption in older buildings.


GCP: Could you talk a little bit about sustainability at SAS?

Brittany: We do have a sustainability plan here at SAS and it really combines a lot of our projects and sustainability day-to-day tasks. Our plan has three cornerstones: energy, operations, and education and outreach. We’ve recently started a SAS-wide Green Team to help us increase our reach across the school. A lot of our accomplished projects are geared towards buildings upgrades, including exhaust, lighting and HVAC [Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning].


GCP: Moving forward, where do you see SAS heading?

Brittany: Moving forward, we are continuing to focus on building upgrades. We are looking at more lighting and HVAC upgrades, system shutdowns during unoccupied periods, and other energy-reduction initiatives. We’re also working on publishing a SAS metrics report to communicate our achievements and by making that data more transparent, we hope to encourage more people.


GCP: What have you learned about sustainability through your experiences at SAS?

Brittany: A lot of sustainability is behavior change. We can implement certain initiatives, like LED lights, but if people are leaving them on it is still wasteful. And that takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. One of the challenges with sustainability is that it may not be everybody’s top priority.

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