Managers and administrators from Ohio University Design and Construction and Facilities attend a professional development workshop hosted by the Office of Sustainability to learn more about sustainable practices in building design and demolition.

Managers and administrators from Ohio University Design and Construction and Facilities attend a professional development workshop hosted by the Office of Sustainability to learn more about sustainable practices in building design and demolition.

Photographer: Elaine Goetz/Ohio University

Featured Stories


OHIO Office of Sustainability facilitates discussion about sustainable building design, demolition

Monthly workshops held for Design and Construction project managers, Facilities employees


Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability is working towards creating a more sustainable, energy-efficient campus by helping Design and Construction project managers and Facilities employees navigate and integrate sustainable practices into the institutional planning process.

Several upcoming workshops are being designed as part of the Office of Sustainability’s Project Managers Professional Development Program, which provides up-to-date developments about sustainable building practices and facilitates communication about sustainability topics across administrative departments.

Jerry Yudelson, president of the Green Building Initiative in Portland, Ore., visited campus on Jan. 28 to provide information about the Green Globes Rating System, a stringent green building rating system. He discussed how it compares with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system and how it might be used for projects at the University. Officials from the City of Athens as well as Athens County attended the event, in addition to OHIO administrators.

Workshops for February and March are still in the planning phases, but will likely target sustainable storm water management practices, and also will include city and county officials, as well as staff from the University’s Environmental Health & Safety Department.

The first workshop will explore green infrastructure for managing storm water and the second will be a collaborative workshop with the city to set standards on storm water management to meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Possible topics for spring and early summer workshops include vegetated roofs, green cleaning, alternative transportation, optimization of building energy performance and on-site renewable energy.

“I’ve been very impressed with the participants in the workshops,” said Sam Crowl, OHIO Sustainability Specialist. “When I was developing the program, I was worried that it was going to be difficult to persuade staff to embrace sustainable practices. But quickly I discovered that, for the most part, sustainability has already become part of the conversation at Ohio University. The challenge has become turning this acceptance into sustainable practices that are institutionalized by becoming documented University standards.”

Previous workshops have been held at Hocking College’s Energy Institute in Logan, which features multiple green building design aspects, including a vegetated roof, photovoltaic array, geothermal heat pumps, innovative placement of windows and light shelves to decrease the need for artificial light during the day, and a solar water heating system.

The October 2014 workshop focused on the United States Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, and was led by USGBC’s Central Ohio Chapter Chair of Program & Education Committee Lori Dahm, who presented a webinar titled, “Building as an Organism.”

Following the webinar, participants discussed a number of topics related to LEED, including recycling and waste management efforts during demolition and construction. An additional workshop on the topic was held the following month and focused on demolition and construction recycling and waste management practices with the goal of writing new University recycling standards for projects, particularly for smaller budget, non-LEED projects.

Cooperation between the offices of Design and Construction and Recycling & Refuse during the workshop led to dissemination of information that was not previously available to both offices. Participants agreed to the drafting of new language for recycling practices at the University and to cooperate on increasing recycling rates on non-LEED projects.

“I believe the program plays a valuable role for the University,” Crowl said. “By regularly putting staff from various administrative departments in a room together to discuss important issues and collaborate on developing institutional standards about Ohio University’s built environment, impressive sustainable improvements are being accomplished.”