Sustainability Conference, 2011

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Ecoliteracy learning for classrooms and communities
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Griswold, Wendy; griswold
    The poster will provide a description of the use of book clubs in classroom and community settings to promote ecoliteracy. It will reference research literature on the topic as well aspractice based tips, reading lists and resources for further learning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Photopic and scotopic light perception, related to outdoor lighting design
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Bell, Michelle; Hasler, Fred; fhasler
    Current techniques in calculation, design of lighting, and measurement primarily focus on how the human eye perceives illumination photopically. What we know is that at night the eye primarily utilizes scotopic vision, with photopic vision to a lesser degree. Incorporation of scotopic analysis into the design process could provide many benefits related to human perception and overall system efficiency. It is important to first understand how the eye works, related to photopic and scotopic vision. The eye clearly views illumination differently, under a variety of circumstances. We need to be able to apply knowledge learned to identify changes in the way lighting designers go about their work. In order to verify calculations and theories we also need Illumination measurement devices to respond to the scotopic aspect of how we perceive illumination. Several studies have been performed over the past few years related to photopic and scotopic vision. These studies have suggested that the level of perceived illumination is quite different than originally believed. The spectral power density of light sources must be weighted by the photopic and scotopic response of the eye for a more realistic lumen output. By incorporating scotopic aspects into lighting calculations and measurement, it was found that in many cases we can accept significantly lower illumination levels. These lower levels also correspond directly to reduced energy consumption while providing for a more pleasing and preferred environment. In the spring of 2010 the City of Manhattan began an independent study of replacing the downtown street lighting. Their goal was to improve the perceived lighting and at the same time reduce the energy consumption and maintenance. Several high pressure sodium luminaires were replaced with LED of similar style so that a side by side comparison could be made. The department of Architectural Engineering at Kansas State University assisted in this study by taking illumination measurements, performing computer based calculations and conducting a survey to determine what the public thought about the proposed change. The results of the past work in this area and the recent study in downtown Manhattan have reinforced the fact that we need to change the standards and guidelines for lighting design, especially at night. Incorporating scotopic aspects into design will reduce energy consumption dramatically while providing a perceived illumination that is actually preferred by a vast majority of people.
  • ItemOpen Access
    University of Kansas sustainable automotive engineering
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Depcik, Christopher
    University of Kansas (KU) students, who refer to themselves as the EcoHawks, apply engineering techniques in order to solve real-world problems by approaching the situation from five vectors of success: education, energy, environment, economics and ethics. Each of these concepts individually addresses specific aspects of sustainability, shaped by the confluence of the ideals of people, planet and prosperity. It is through this multi-leveled application that the students develop the means to face the challenges of a sustainable approach to automobiles and the energy infrastructure. This presentation will discuss how the following efforts include a practical approach to sustainability for current and future national needs in this area. To date, the students have recycled a 1974 VW Super Beetle that had been sitting on a car lot for over two years and turned it into a plug-in series hybrid vehicle powered by lead-acid batteries and a diesel generator that runs on 100% biodiesel created from the used cooking oil on campus. In addition, students built a solar energy filling station on campus that allows recharging of the Beetle battery pack in a little over half a sunny day. Current efforts focus on integrating wind energy into the facility while renovating a 1997 GMC Jimmy into a modern Electric Vehicle (AC three-phase motor and LiFePO4 batteries) for use by KU Libraries on campus. Moreover, students have been able to explore advanced technologies on the small scale adding to the future capabilities of the project. This is evident by the student’s unique Remote Control car builds involving fuel cell and parallel hybrid vehicles and their smart grid demonstration project in progress. Finally, the students actively integrate K-12 education in their efforts through Engineering Exposition and work interdisciplinary with other KU peers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Eco prints: dyeing and printing with plants
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Haar, Sherry J.; haar
    Sustainable fashion is part of the growing design philosophy of sustainability, with goals to create systems which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism, economics, and social responsibility. Growing natural dyestuffs is beneficial to the environment, provides an alternative to petro-chemical based dyes, and supports the sustainable tenets of slow design, small scale production, and regional expertise (Fletcher, 2008). Information on dyeing solid colors with flowers is available; however, there is less information regarding multi-colored effects from dyeing with flowers. Therefore, my scholarship focuses on low tech, hand methods of bundling, pressing and hammering to create multi-colored textile surface design from regional flowers using solar and decomposition methods to extract the color. I grow over 30 types of dye plants in my garden, however, many trees and plants in the wild are appropriate for dyeing. In addition, some plants that do not produce good dye bath colors, work well for other color extraction techniques such as hammering. Garment designs are informed by the eco printed fabrics with a consciousness of minimizing waste; therefore, use of the draped square and rectangle are prevalent.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Community power in harnessing Kansas wind: An academic/practice partnership to assess the implications of community engagement in the development of sustainable wind energy projects
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Ballard-Reisch, Deborah; Koeber, Charles; Granville, Melissa; Fletcher, Jeff
    Kansas ranks 2nd in wind-producing potential in the United States (Lu et al., 2009), yet wind energy generation currently contributes only minimally to the State’s electricity supply (“Kansas”, 2008). As of August 2010, Kansas had only 8 operational commercial wind energy projects; with State goals to generate at least 20% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020, wind energy project development will increase (“Annual”, 2010). This presentation reports on a community-based participatory research project to assess perceptions of community involvement in commercial wind project development in 3 Kansas counties (Wabaunsee, Kiowa, Butler). Through key informant interviews, focus groups, and document analysis, graduate students in a qualitative research methods course engaged in data-driven inductive and theory- driven deductive thematic analyses (Boyatzis, 1998) in order to study the development of wind energy projects, the importance of community involvement and collaboration, and the implications of both process and response for project sustainability. This unique academic/practice partnership built skills in student participants and contributed to an understanding of the factors that impact the sustainability of wind energy projects. Additionally, implications of project findings for state policy, stakeholder engagement, and wind developer practice are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainability related activities for electrical and computer engineering students
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Pahwa, Anil; Kuhn, William B.; Miller, Ruth Douglas; Rys, Andrew; pahwa; wkuhn; rdmiller; andrys
    A shortage of students pursuing electrical and computer engineering, coupled with both the need for sustainability and the desire of today’s students, especially women, to involve themselves in work that benefits society, suggests that incorporating sustainability principles throughout the electrical and computer engineering curriculum can bolster enrollment, while producing a diverse group of engineers equipped to meet the growing needs of society. As a field that is traditionally presented in a mathematical and abstract manner, electrical and computer engineering education must transform itself. Voltage and current must be felt and visualized. Students must realize that their daily life – cell phones, video games, computers, cars, electricity – are grounded in electrical and computer engineering. Moreover, with growing concern for our planet, they should be made aware of the career opportunities in alternate energy and in the development of sustainable technologies. The main goals of this project, funded by the National Science Foundation, are to recruit and prepare the next generation of electrical and computer engineers to meet the growing needs in alternate energy and sustainability, while revising the ECE curriculum to aid in recruitment of future students needed for this new workforce. Specific activities of the project are • Integrate substantial sustainability concepts into required freshman courses. • Enhance the freshman laboratory experience by introducing hands-on experiments in renewable energy • Increase the percentage of renewal energy and sustainability concepts and design projects in upper level classes. • Integrate discussions and writing assignment of sustainability in Senior Seminar • Develop fixed and portable demonstration systems to show generation of electricity from solar and wind to students as well as to general public. • Create a web site for the project to showcase ECE’s role in our future and thereby recruit high school students who seek the opportunity to make a valued and lasting impact in society. The presentation will focus on details of implementing the above mentioned activities and their outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable Manhattan 2050: master plan and multimodal transportation system
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Pitts, Ian; itp
    Transportation is both the skeletal structure and the circulatory system of a city. It is the foundation upon which all development happens. Currently, Manhattan’s transportation options are centered on the tyranny of the automobile; its development options are based on the suburban result. Progress in Manhattan’s future will depend on having a transportation system that can weather the storm of peak oil and provide expanded travel options. The master plan provides for densification within an urban growth boundary, to help support the emergence of a finely-grained multimodal transportation system. The system, centered on a new “Union Station” transit hub near the original Union Pacific Depot, will include buses, streetcars, intercity rail, and bicycles. Citizens of the future Manhattan will be able to walk or bike to the nearest transit stop, and seamlessly travel from any point in the city to any other, and connect to interurban streetcars to Keats and Riley, or Ogden and Junction City, or intercity rail to places such as Kansas City, Denver, and beyond. Moving people will only be one part of the equation, however. The master plan will also include locating a regional intermodal freight facility with easy hybrid or electrically powered truck access to the denser core of the city. The interurban streetcar lines will be fundamental in bringing the agricultural bounty of outlying Eco-Villages into the city for consumption and processing. With a sustainable, low-energy and varied transport system in place, Manhattan will continue to be a prospering and growing city to 2050 and beyond.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An investigation of water usage in casual dining restaurants in Kansas
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) VanSchenkhof, Matthew; mvansche
    Hospitality operations are considered the heaviest consumers of energy and water per square foot of building space among commercial industries. Water and its processing may make up more than 80% of hospitality operations’ utility costs, and will continue to increase due to infrastructure upkeep, higher demand, and climate change effects. Implementing water efficiency in Kansas restaurants could save two billion gallons of water each year. Studying the current water usage in Kansas restaurants may result in decreased costs, increased awareness and more sustainable water use. The purposes of this study are to (1) identify water usage via metrics employing water and sales data from a sample of Kansas’ casual dining restaurants (CDR’s) and (2) determine whether the antecedents of behavioral intent can predict owner intent to reduce water use using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB). Objectives include: 1. Establish how much water is currently used across multiple metrics in CDR’s. 2. Understand differences of water use metrics in CDR’s between location, type of food, type of ownership, kitchen equipment, and revenues. 3. Using TpB, ascertain owner’s intent to decrease water usage.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainability education for sustainable development
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Erickson, Larry E.; Griswold, Wendy M.; Saulters, Oral S.; Hohn, Keith L.; lerick; griswold; osaulter; hohn
    There is a growing interest in sustainability education in many universities. Existing courses are being modified to add sustainability. At K-State, the Natural Resource/Environmental Science Project, DEN 582, is an example; sustainability is an important consideration in many of the recent projects. Certificate programs with significant sustainability content are being proposed and approved. Sustainability Seminar, CHE 670, and other new sustainability courses have been introduced. K-State offers a Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program. Five core competencies, systems thinking, anticipatory capacities, normative competency, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills to work effectively on multidisciplinary teams were presented and discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fourth Forum on Sustainability Science Programs. This presentation will provide information on sustainability educational developments at Kansas State University and other universities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    American concepts of "green"
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Dees, Hilary; dees
    According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2008) there are ten definitions for the word green as an adjective. The set of definitions that most concerns this paper is the tenth set which states “a: relating to or being an environmentalist political movement, b: concerned with or supporting environmentalism, [and] c: tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting)”. The goal of this paper is to examine each of these three definitions within a linguistic, cultural and historical context. The overall analysis of the definition of green will be done under the theoretical framework of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Linguistic relativity, the change in perception of the world as a result of a change in language, is a key component of this paper; therefore a weak interpretation of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is central to the understanding of the breakdown of the concept of green. Another theoretical tenet is Trampe’s (2001) idea of a language-world-system. In the language-world-system, language and world are regarded as mutually interrelated and languages and their environments form open, dynamic systems. This allows for the continuous creation, change and deletion of words and concepts as language follows the cultural system set up by the description of the world around the language users. The final theoretical position essential to this analysis comes from Berman (2001) who asserts “it is through language that we ‘create’ the world we live in-language determines the limits of our world through the creation of categories which act as boundaries.” It is these boundaries, created by language users, that has allowed there to be ten different definitions for one word, which in itself has been subdivided three times. Additional linguistic devices as well as trends of marking and unmarking language with respect to environment will be examined.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Master planning for sustainability: envisioning the future our community colleges
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Van Duyne, Wendy; Ammann, Darron
    With the spotlight shining even more brilliantly on the benefits of attending community colleges versus traditional 4-year higher learning institutions, what role do these colleges play in leading our Kansas communities toward a more sustainable future? Community colleges have been receiving extra attention these days. Economic conditions have not only required most of us to tighten our wallets, but also re-evaluate the financial commitment we make to further our careers. Additionally, the economic downturn has strained the traditional commodities upon which our country has based its markets and is requiring that we take a second look at how green collar jobs and sustainable technologies can rebuild our economy. In a new world where innovative jobs must be invented to support this growth, our nation’s community colleges are rising to the challenge of educating tomorrow’s workforce. Kansas is in a unique position to support this effort and emerge as a leader in the sustainability education of its residents. With an expansive network of more than 19 community colleges, our State has a tremendous foundation upon which to establish this endeavor, and many of our colleges have already instituted programs and initiatives for green collar learning—such as the wind energy program at Cloud County Community College in Concordia. As our colleges grow to include the upswing in enrollment and program additions, how will the campus facilities support this expansion? How can our community colleges develop a plan that, not only anticipates the growth of the campus, but also actively engages the community stakeholders in the process? How can we provide Kansas community colleges with a roadmap to enthusiastically realize our sustainable future? Our presentation will outline the efforts that we’ve conducted to assist Cloud County Community College, Neosho County Community College, and Seward County Community College in developing a strategy and campus master plan that envisions the sustainable reality of these campuses for tomorrow.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pollution prevention interns contribute to corporate sustainability
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Carter, David; dcarter
    Time and money are two obstacles preventing companies from implementing energy-efficiency projects. To mitigate these concerns, the Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) began an intern program that places engineering students at commercial facilities to conduct focused research on well-defined energy-efficiency projects for 10 weeks. During the program’s first five years, interns have identified potential savings of more than 49 million kWh of electricity; 249 million gallons of water; 9,000 tons of solid and hazardous waste; and up to $6.5 million in operating or disposal costs. Follow-up surveys revealed an implementation rate of more than 66%. The program’s success is evident not only from energy and cost savings but also from the number of companies that return for additional interns. In the second year, two companies returned to the program. Five of seven companies were repeat participants in the third year, and three of six companies were repeat participants in 2009. Two companies have applied for interns in four of the five years the program has been offered. One three-year participant has identified annual savings of approximately one million kWh of electricity and two million gallons of water, and has reduced utility payments from $42,000/month to $16,000/month. The low cost of this program and the quantity and detail of the interns’ research render intern programs an attractive tool to assist businesses in implementing energy-efficiency projects and moving the company further down the road to sustainability.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Best in CLASS (conceptual learning application for sustainable schools)
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Carter, David; Green, Ryan; dcarter; greenrm
    “Best in CLASS (Conceptual Learning Application for Sustainable Schools)” is a combination training module/computer game designed to raise sustainability awareness for high school seniors and provide high school teachers with an interactive tool to enhance education efforts. The objectives of this training is to promote energy efficiency and sustainability education and realistic practices in schools, encourage high school seniors to pursue education and careers in engineering and energy management, and facilitate active learning and engagement on energy efficiency through on-line environmental educational resources and tools. Video training modules would be developed in 5-7 energy efficiency/sustainability principles. Students would then enter the “virtual school” where they can make changes to increase the school’s sustainability efforts. Students from K-State’s Computing and Information Sciences Department within the College of Engineering will present prototypes they are developing for this project.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Joint development by the regents institutions of programs in sustainability management: a panel discussion
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Hutchinson, Stacy L.; Meyers, Keith; Reinert, Dana; Crawford, Chris; White, Stacey Swearingen; Maes, Sue C.; scmaes; dmr4159; sllhutch
    During this session, a panel will discuss the prospects of jointly developing degree or certificate programs in sustainability management by the Kansas Regents Institutions, including four-year universities, community colleges and technical schools. They will review the need for such programs in Kansas and examine what resources are currently available or would be required to establish a partnership among the institutions to develop the degree or certificate programs. The panel will also review similar programs offered by other institutions. The panel will consist of five or six members representing Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Kansas community colleges and technical schools, the Kansas Dept. of Commerce, and the coordinator of the Kansas Energy Network of Education and Training (Energy NET), a joint program of the Board of Regents and Dept. of Commerce.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable Manhattan 2050: visions for resilient community in the age of peak oil and climate destabilization
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Coates, Gary; gcoates
    It is becoming increasingly clear that the 21st century will constitute a radically new era in human history, one that will be defined by our collective response to three inescapable and interconnected problems that are already combining to create a perfect storm: The Population Explosion: The global population now stands at 6.7 billion people. By 2050 it is estimated that there will be more than 9 billion. Peak Oil and Natural Gas: There is a growing concensus among petroleum geologists and that we are presently on the “bumpy plateau” of peak oil and that the era of easily accessible, cheap oil (and other fossil fuels) is now forever behind us. With almost unimaginable consequences, it is estimated that by 2030 the world will have approximately 25% less oil than is currently available and 50% less by the year 2050. Climate Destabilization, Mass Extinctions and Ecosystem Collapse: As a direct result of population pressures and human activity we are already living in an era scientists call the Sixth Great Extinction. Without rapid and dramatic action to limit the production of greenhouse gases it is virtually certain that we will cross key climate change tipping points, leading to a world that is seriously inhospitable to all life as we know it. In order to respond effectively to these pressing problems it will be necessary for us to literally remake the human footprint on the earth, town by town and community by community. Our goal must be to create a sustainable pattern of human settlements comprised of compact, socially diverse, pedestrian-scaled and livable eco-communities that integrate renewable energy production, urban design, transportation planning, climatically adapted architecture, organic agriculture and ecologically based land use planning. The design of such resilient human ecologies, which would have to be carefully and gracefully integrated within the naturally occurring ecosystems of which they are a part, constitutes both the means and the ends of the great transformation that lies ahead. The land grant university is uniquely suited, in terms of its history, purpose and founding vision, to provide the societal guidance necessary in order to make the transition to a sustainable society worth sustaining. In order to demonstrate how Kansas State University can become a leader in the movement to create a sustainable pattern of human settlements, this presentation provides an overview of a graduate architectural design studio aimed at creating a resilient and sustainable Manhattan by the year 2050. During the fall semester of 2010 students developed a phased master plan for Manhattan and the surrounding area that is built around a multi-modal transportation system comprised of bikeways, walking paths, streetcars and roads for electric buses and autos. Within this framework students in the second semester will design specific areas of the city that are most critical in meeting the sustainability goals of the class. This presentation will provide a brief overview of these projects, which are presented in more detail by the students themselves in posters prepared for this conference. 1) Sustainable Manhattan 2050: Master Plan based on a Multi-Modal Transportation System 2) Flint Hills Place: A Green Downtown Urban District 3) Fort Riley Boulevard: The Transition to an Urbane Mixed-Use Streetcar Avenue 4) Poyntz Avenue Housing: Adaptive re-use of Existing Historical Architecture 5) Near Net Zero Energy Backhouses, Granny Flats and Garage Apartments: A Strategy for Increasing Density and Sustainability in the Older Neighborhoods 6) The North End Mixed-Use Eco-community: A Case Study in Sprawl Repair and Integrated Community Development 7) Kimball Avenue Eco-village: Agricultural Urbanism as a Context for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture As Buckminister Fuller once said, “The best way to predict the future is to design it.” The design of resilient cities, such as the sustainable Manhattan envisioned by our studio for the year 2050, constitutes both the means and the ends of the great transformation that lies ahead. The purpose of sharing our design and planning studies of what Manhattan might look like in the coming age of Peak Oil and Climate Destabilization is to begin a dialogue about the role of Kansas State University in helping to make the transition to a resilient and sustainable society.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Assessment processes for sustainability and sustainable development
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Erickson, Larry E.; Leven, Blase; Saulters, Oral; Boguski, Terrie; Green, Ryan; lerick; baleven; osaulter; tboguski; greenrm
    There is a growing emphasis to include sustainability in decisions that are made, especially in capital investments and strategic planning. The interdisciplinary tools and approaches of sustainability science are providing an essential framework for strategic planning, process design, problem solving, and decision making across systems, sectors, and scales. Sustainability assessments that encompass quantifying ecosystem services, product life cycles, and potential impacts are being integrated into leadership decision making. Governments, corporations, organizations, schools, and communities have all endeavored to establish indicators and metrics for measuring progress toward sustainability goals. Although sustainability initiatives may have moved from the voluntary realm into the “regulatory” universe in some capacities with demands from customers, shareholders, stakeholders, insurers, and government agencies there are many unknowns in this fertile transdisciplinary field of study. The results of a literature review of sustainability indices and assessment processes will be presented.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable agriculture research and education - a model for cooperation and collaboration
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Ebert, Kerri; kebert
    Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture since 1988, the SARE program is a participatory and inclusive system that supports and promotes sustainable farming and ranching. SARE offers competitive grants and educational opportunities for producers, scientists, educators, institutions, organizations, and others exploring sustainable agriculture. The SARE mission is to provide grantmaking and outreach to advance sustainable innovations to the whole of American agriculture. Through its outreach activities SARE provides field-ready, field-tested information in print and electronic formats. The SARE model takes a holistic approach to research and education. Agricultural producers, university researchers, non-governmental agencies, and Extension educators are included at all levels of program administration. SARE provides competitive grant opportunities for formal university-based research and education; farmer/rancher/producer research; on-farm partnership studies; graduate student research; and youth/youth educator programming. In addition, each state receives funding for professional development activities to facilitate transfer of current sustainable agriculture research and practices to professionals who work directly with farmers, such as Extension educators and USDA employees.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Interpretive materials for the flint hills discovery center
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Hasler, Fred; fhasler
    In 2004 the City of Manhattan created the entity we now call the Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC). Funding was established in 2006 via $50 million in STAR bonds. The center is part of the South End Redevelopment and is currently under construction just south of the Manhattan downtown area. The emphasis of the center is to present information about the Flint Hills and surrounding areas. Because of this focus, it has also been deemed necessary to us the building as an example of “green” design. The design team is pursuing a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), via the LEED Green Building Rating System. Credits that are proposed cover all 7 major topics of the rating system. In fact, one of the Innovation and Design credits proposed involves sustainable design education programs and displays inside the building. Fred Hasler, P.E., LEED AP, with the support of members from the USGBC Student Chapter is currently developing ideas, concepts and materials for the educational programs and interpretive displays proposed. These focus on what the LEED Rating System is, how the building uses its systems and materials to be “green” and finally what can visitors of the center take home and apply in their daily lives to lessen our consumption of resources and the strain on our environment. Static and dynamic displays are planned in order to engage visitors of all ages and get them excited about all the things they can do personally to make a difference. The creation of the FHDC offers a great opportunity for the center staff and faculty/students of K-State to build a relationship that can last for many years. It is critical for students to gain knowledge about the process of sustainable design and this project gives them a hands-on opportunity that is difficult to duplicate in the classroom. Students will have an opportunity to develop interdisciplinary relationships between themselves, K-State faculty, the building design team and the FHDC staff. This initial program is allowing students to use their creativity to teach others about what they have learned as well as define a framework for future work at the FHDC. In conclusion, all parties benefit from this program. The FHDC is gaining an insight/point of view from a constituency they are targeting; Faculty at K-State are providing an educational service to the community; Students are able to learn practical skills related to sustainable design practices; Visitors to the center learn intimately what is involved in the sustainable design of buildings and how they can apply that knowledge at home or their workplace.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Community sustainability discussion and strategy session
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Griswold, Wendy; Dickinson, Torry; Wigfall, LaBarbara; griswold; dickins; lbjw
    The shift to sustainable communities requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders in making and implementing decisions and solutions. The decisions that individuals, communities and policy makers are facing often involve highly complex scientific, economic, and social factors. To make strategic policy and planning decisions that address local needs, communities and policy makers must have a solid understanding of sustainability and their role in prioritizing, choosing, and implementing solutions. Colleges and universities are well suited to provide communities and policy makers with the information and capacities needed to participate in decision-making regarding climate change and sustainable practices. The purpose of the Discussion and Strategy Session is to convene a higher education group interested in developing a model for community sustainability approaches and practices. The three pillars of sustainability will be introduced by representatives from environmental, economic, and social disciplines, with a focus on community development. The purpose of the panel is to begin to develop a common language/context for interdisciplinary action around community sustainability. Following these brief presentations, presenters and the audience will participate in a facilitated discussion to explore ways that higher education institutions in Kansas can work collaboratively address community needs related to sustainability issues. The goal is to develop a strategy/action plan for continued work beyond the conference.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainability: measuring social responsibility
    (Kansas State University, 2011-05-12) Boguski, Terrie; Boguski, Rebecca; tboguski
    In his book, The Triple Bottom Line, Andrew Savitz highlights the need to evaluate human decisions and activities from the perspective of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. In the late 1960’s, methods for evaluating the life cycle environmental impacts of products and services were beginning to be formulated. This work led to the current methods and standards for conducting environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies. LCA is a recognized method for evaluating the long-term environmental impacts of human decisions and actions. Likewise, standard methods have been developed for measuring life cycle costs of products and services through Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA). In recent years, more attention has been given to social sustainability. In 2009, the UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative published guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA), outlining a framework and best-practices for assessing the social and socio-economic impacts of product life cycles. Many companies have independently developed and published their own social responsibility performance goals and measures. Currently, there is no commonly accepted standard for evaluating social sustainability. This presentation discusses the author’s research in the area of social sustainability, highlighting common themes and indicators, as well as difficulties with definitive measurements.