Sustainability at the UC
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
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.