Subtle, sustainable living on North Campus

Residents of the new North campus dorms may not notice the many sustainability features of their buildings. If they take a closer look, they’ll find the residence halls are rich with hidden touches that save energy and make living easier. 

All residence halls on North Campus are LEED certified, meaning they were built with sustainability in mind. Students, though, might not be aware of some features that Housing & Food Services (HFS) implemented.

Solar-powered innovation on the Life Sciences Building

Life Sciences Building solar fins

Photos by Rosemary Reyes

The new Life Sciences Building under construction next to the Burke Gilman Trail features floor-to-ceiling windows all along the south side. The windows allow the sun to naturally light the space, but that sunlight also presents a problem.

In the summer, direct sunlight would overheat the building. Instead of relying on air conditioning, the team behind the building’s design found a unique solution.

EPA announces 2017 Campus RainWorks Challenge dates

The EPA has announced the rules for the 6th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design competition open to U.S. colleges and universities. Through the challenge, the EPA seeks to engage undergraduate and graduate students in designing innovative green infrastructure for stormwater management to showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.  

A floating mass of plastic has grown to twice the size of Texas

Imagine a floating mass of plastic twice the size of Texas spanning thousands of miles in the open ocean. Now realize that actually exists. Located between Hawaii and California and stretching all the way to Japan, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest floating ocean garbage site in the world, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one. And that’s not the only garbage disposal on the planet – there are four more gyres in the oceans where plastic pollution collects in large quantities.

Earth Day presentation: Sustainable Energy Infrastructure

Jessica Kaminsky is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Washington. A scholar of engineering projects and organizations, she conducts research on infrastructure for developing communities with a particular interest in topics of social sustainability. As part of the UW's Earth Day celebration, she gave a talk on how cultural values impact sustainability. Read the text below:

Aaron Tam's Earth Day talk on Tap That

UW Earth Club president Aaron Tam introduced the club's "Tap That" campaign during the Earth Day celebration, a project that is working to reduce the use of plastic water bottles on campus. Tam is a currently a senior at the University of Washington studying Environmental Science: Wildlife Conservation and Political Science. He's passionate about environmental and socioeconomic justice, and is proud to have contributed greatly to climate action in Washington and campus sustainability efforts.

Earth Day presentation: Surfrider's Barbara Clabots on the importance of water

Barbara Clabots of the Seattle Surfrider Foundation was the introductory presenter at the University of Washington's Earth Day celebration. Clabots is a social scientist focused on improving ocean conservation. Locally, she serves the community as Seattle Surfrider's Volunteer Coordinator to improve water quality in the Puget Sound, leading a program to eliminate cigarette litter.