Eastern Connecticut State University has a longstanding commitment to sustainability on campus. Use the interactive map below and the tabs on this page to learn more about the sustainability features and initiatives at Eastern.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a national set of standards used to design, construct, operate and certify green buildings. Eastern has five buildings on campus that have been built to LEED standards. Constitution, Laurel and Nutmeg Residence Halls; the Science Building; and the new Fine Arts Instructional Center.
With three 800-foot vertical wells, Eastern’s High Rise Residence Hall is the largest geothermal installation in Connecticut. Before the geothermal system was installed, the residence hall did not have air conditioning. Geothermal allowed for the building to be both heated and cooled, reducing energy use and costs by 12%.
There are several places on campus where regional materials have been used in the construction of buildings, including local wood and stone. The LEED rating system defines regional materials as those that are extracted and manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the building site. This is done in an effort to minimize the impact of sourcing and having materials delivered from extreme distances, which increases the carbon footprint of the building.
The bioswale filtration system located just outside the main entrance of the Science Building collects rainwater runoff and is specifically designed to conserve and recycle natural rainwater as well as simulate a natural riverbed.
Eastern uses a variety of sustainable landscaping methods on campus, such as planting larger vegetation on steep slopes to reduce erosion.
The J. Eugene Smith Library operates with an Encelium Energy Management System, which uses a variety of strategies to reduce the energy consumption of the building. This includes fitting each lighting fixture with sensors to adjust light levels based on occupancy and available daylight. In the first year of operation, the system reduced energy use by 26 percent.
Eastern’s fuel cell was installed in April 2012 behind the Science Building. It is a 400 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell, which provides electricity and onsite heating, cooling and hot water from the fuel cell’s byproduct heat. During the first academic year of its operation, energy use was reduced by just over 2 million kWh and the fuel cell operated at an average efficiency of 87% per month. The fuel cell will prevent the release of around 1,356 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of planting over 300 acres of trees. The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions is equivalent to removing nearly 140 cars from the road. Additionally, the fuel cell saves nearly 3.8 million gallons of water per year since it is designed to operate in water balance without consuming or discharging water.
Eastern’s shuttles move students all over campus, with several stops like this one. The lights on the stops are solar powered, and are not connected to the main grid so that they will still work in the event of a power outage.
There are several solar pole lights on Eastern’s campus, like this one by the science building. These lights are not connected to the main electric grid, so they will function even in the event of a power outage.
In December of 2014 Eastern installed a level 2 electric vehicle charging station, available for use by faculty, staff, students and the community. In 2015 Eastern joined the Workplace Charging Challenge, a program of the US Department of Energy to promote access to electric vehicle charging stations, and participated in National Drive Electric Week by hosting an event showcasing electric vehicles.
Eastern provides not only optimum accommodation for resident students, but also for commuter students. For Eastern students who bike to campus, shower facilities and lockers are open for commuter use in the Sports Center with showers also located in the Science Building. Bicycle racks are also available at some academic and residential buildings. For Eastern students who choose to carpool, Eastern is a partner in the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s CT Rides program, which is an alternative transportation resource for Connecticut commuters.
Among other services, NuRide is available through CT Rides. NuRide is an online service that rewards people who carpool and use other alternative transportation options for their daily commute. In addition, carpools are provided with preferred parking, with desirable parking spaces reserved for high occupancy commuter vehicles. Eastern students who drive an electric vehicle will find the two level 2 charging stations in the Shakespeare Parking Garage very useful. These charging stations are free and can be used by students, staff and the general public.
Eastern’s Energy Dashboard shows current energy use on campus. Electricity use can be broken down by building, and viewed as yearly comparisons. Users can view and download building electricity use data for whatever time period they select. The Energy Dashboard can be accessed through the website of the Office of Facilities Management and Planning.