The decision to renovate, rebuild and reimagine the Ruth S. Harley University Center (UC)—rather than demolish and rebuild—is a major recycling event. Many materials used are environmentally friendly and reflect a dedication to green building practices. Here are the UC sustainability facts to know.

Energy-efficient, bio-based, reclaimed and recycled construction materials, an expansive exterior green space, and overall reduction of waste all contribute to the launch of a more sustainable University Center.

Overall Sustainability Efforts

  • The improvement to and reuse of an existing building
  • Use of energy-efficient glass, LED lights and many reclaimed and recycled construction materials
  • Dining Services will be reducing food and plastic waste and offering more organic and locally grown food

Percentage of Recycled Materials Used in Ceilings Throughout the UC

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List of the recycled, bio-based, eco-friendly materials selected for interior finishes:

  • Student Lounge: 60 percent recycled PET (plastic from water bottles)
  • Ballroom: 60 percent recycled PET (plastic from water bottles)
  • Offices, Restrooms, Storage, Health Services Floor: 80–84 percent recycled content
  • Conference Rooms, Meeting Rooms, Corridors, Ballroom Lobby: Plant-based; 71 percent recycled content, manufactured with a plant-based binder
  • Student Lounge Perimeter: 25 percent recycled content
  • Food Areas and Kitchens: 41 percent recycled content
  • Lower-Level Concourse Perimeter, First-Floor Atrium Infill: 40 percent recycled content
  • Lower-Level Dining, Seating Areas and First-Floor Concourse: 20 percent clear plateglass recycled content
  • Carpet Tile for Corridors, Meeting Rooms, Conference Rooms, Offices: 45–66 percent recycled product
  • Student Lounge, Ballroom and Interfaith Center: Bio-based material produced from sugarcane plant
  • Aluminum mullions at exterior glass facades: 60 percent recycled content
  • Soaring glass walls throughout the UC are made of energy-efficient Solarban glass.
  • Energy-efficient and state-of-the-art food storage, preparation, cooking and cleanup equipment
  • ORCA food prep waste management system: This innovative machine thoroughly processes scraps produced from food preparation (not meal waste) until reduced to liquid form, which can then be safely discharged down a dedicated drain.
  • The dining hall’s significantly larger dishwasher can handle 25 percent of dishes produced during times of peak capacity in each washing cycle.
  • Food Donation: Our dining partner, Chartwells, has worked and continues to work with Island Harvest to donate unused food.
  • Water refill stations are located throughout the building to support the use of reusable bottles instead of single-use bottles.
We are currently following public health guidelines with food preparation and distribution at the UC in order to keep our community safe and avoid the spread of COVID-19.
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