ENVIRONMENT College facilities go green
Rising energy costs is one reason behind building with the environment in mind.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Spurred on by student input and future savings, more colleges are keeping the environment in mind when they build new facilities, experts say.
In Ohio, each residential house in a new complex at Case Western Reserve University has a kiosk that will display statistics on the building's energy use. Oberlin College has a wireless monitoring system in four residence halls and plans to expand the system.
The U.S. Green Buildings Council is receiving more certification applications from colleges, spokeswoman Taryn Holowka said. The council has certified 231 buildings nationwide since it began the voluntary process five years ago and another 1,900 are seeking certification, she said.
The University of Cincinnati, Oberlin and the Art Academy of Cincinnati are pursuing certification. Case Western and Cleveland State University both said they are waiting until their projects are finished before they start the process.
Rising energy costs is one reason behind the going green trend but some colleges said students are spurring changes.
Students at John Carroll University suggested using low-energy windows and recycled steel in the $66 million science building.
"Universities have a special place in that they are pillars in the community and should set the example for what is possible," said Kristen Swords, a John Carroll graduate who helped with the suggestions for the building. "When you have a university taking the lead, the surrounding community is more likely to follow suit."
Energy consumption will be monitored in Case Western's $126 million, seven-dorm complex and broken down into per house and per occupant data when it's completed in the fall. The data also will be available on the Internet.