TGIF 2012-13 Funding Cycle Awarded Projects

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) Grant Making Committee is pleased to announce the selected projects for the 2012/13 funding cycle! A total of 23 projects applied for TGIF grants this year requesting a total of $341,310.93. Of those projects, two were removed from the review process, as they received funding from other sources. The TGIF Grant Making Committee awarded funds to 13 projects, totaling $171,172.33. Below is an overview of the projects that you can expect to see completed within the next academic year.

Bren Hall Inverter Upgrade ($25,000)

Bren Hall currently has a 45-kW photovoltaic array mounted on its rooftop. However, the inverter for the array has not been functioning properly since last spring (2012). The 45-kW inverter and isolation transformer will be replaced with six 8-kW string inverters using the TGIF grant. This multiple inverter configuration ensures that Bren Hall will still produce electricity in the event that one of the inverters has a problem. Bren Hall serves as living example of green building on campus. The dashboard located in the Bren Hall Edison International Visitor Center will inform students and the public of the improvements.

CHESC Scholarships for UCSB Change Agents ($4,150)

UCSB is hosting the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) on June 23rd-27th, 2013. This TGIF grant will be used to provide scholarships for 20 students and about five change agents from UCSB to attend the event. CHESC is designed by and for campuses from each of the four systems of higher education in California. CHESC provides top quality sessions highlighting the most innovative best practices in campus-based sustainability efforts from the past year.

Educational Energy Efficiency Video for the Residence Halls ($950)

This TGIF grant will go towards the production of an educational energy audit video aimed at students living in the UCSB residence halls. The video will cover different energy and water saving techniques one can implement daily in a dorm room. It will be produced just before the start of the PowerSave Campus annual energy competition in the residence halls and will be one of the main ways of marketing the event and promoting energy conservation on campus.

Electric Hand Dryers in Library Bathrooms ($11,148.60)

This project will complete the installation of energy efficient electric hand dryers in each of the four bathrooms on the first and second floors of the library as a pilot. The amount of paper towels purchased and used in these areas will be greatly reduced, thus saving the campus money and reducing our use of natural resources.  Educational plaques will also be installed near the dryers to educate users about the project. The monetary savings and impact on electricity will be monitored during the project.

Energy and Comfort Re-commissioning of the ICA Building ($15,550)

Leveraging two successful previous TGIF projects (SRB and Student Health), this project focuses on another UCSB Student Affairs building to perform re-commissioning for building environmental systems. The ICA building is relatively new, but consumes a significant amount of energy. An initial walk through suggests that better operation of the HVAC systems can be performed to save energy. Interns will use energy modeling and data analysis to identify optimal operation of the building.

UCSB Farmer’s Market ($8,000)

The UCSB Farmer’s Market project was brought to us by a group of staff participating in Human Resources’ new Gaucho U program. The TGIF grant will be used as initial funding for a one-year pilot project in which a weekly Farmer’s Market is held on campus. Farmer’s Markets provide local and sustainable food, and soon faculty, staff, and students will be able to stock up on fruits and vegetables for the week and learn the benefits of local and organic food.

Green Grow Lights for Greenhouse Expansion ($38,785)

The Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology department is finishing construction of a $1.7 million research greenhouse project funded by the National Science Foundation, which includes funds for 1000-watt high intensity discharge (HID) light bulbs and ballasts. The TGIF grant will enable the acquisition and installation of 325-watt light emitting diode (LED) grow-lights instead of the planned HID lighting. The LED lights produce the same light intensity but eliminate 70% of electricity consumed by HID lights. LED lights also facilitate plant growth and last over twice as long as HID lights.

Interactive Campus Map Mobile Application ($8,861)

This project will increase the number of impressions via the Interactive Campus Map (ICM) Sustainability Dashboard by developing a mobile application that can be used on smart phones. This is an exciting opportunity to further raise the bar regarding how universities can demonstrate to the online community the advanced, cutting-edge use of spatially displayed data. Recently, an Energy Dashboard module that works on standard computing platforms has been integrated into the ICM. The TGIF grant will allow for the continued development of this and other modules (sustainability tours, hydration station locations, TGIF projects, etc.) for use on a mobile application for smart phones, reaching a significantly larger part of the student population.  Check out the ICM Sustainability Layer here!

Last Mile Delivery ($5,050)

At UCSB a large fleet of gas burning vehicles delivers packages to hundreds of locations in and around the campus every day. Many of these deliveries originate from a small population of vendors that could significantly reduce their carbon emissions by consolidating delivery routes to a single delivery point for “last mile” delivery by a dedicated campus-based fleet of low impact green vehicles. The TGIF grant will allow a student intern to work with purchasing staff to identify and convert high impact vendors to a last mile delivery model.

Refuse & Recycling Research Center ($5,425)

The Refuse & Recycling Research Center (R3C) will refine existing waste management programs and develop new programs and practices that will assist UCSB in meeting the University of California’s Zero Waste by 2020 goal. The TGIF grant will fund two student researchers that will have opportunities to collaborate with faculty, staff, and other organizations at UCSB, as well as local, regional, and state agencies. They will investigate new waste management technology, the UCSB community’s behavior towards waste, and best management practices.

Sustainable Food Distribution and Education ($1,861)

The goal of this project is to increase students’ access to healthy and sustainable food by offering fresh produce at the Associated Students (AS) Food Bank and educating students about how they can grow more at home. In order to accomplish these goals, TGIF is granting funds that will be used toward cold storage for fresh produce and other perishable items at the AS Food Bank.

UCSB Students GIVE! ($2,060)

TGIF is supporting a brand new component of this project. Funds will pay two students to develop educational and outreach materials to explain the impact of our actions on the environment and raise awareness about sustainable and practical actions students can take locally, highlighting the benefits of donating items they no longer want or need to GIVE. The goals of this new educational component are to promote conscious consumption, showcase GIVE as an opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle, and generate a spirit of giving to the community. The students will disseminate the materials widely to their peers during student organization meetings, in classrooms, at events, in the residence halls, and through social media.

Water Minimization ($44,450)

This grant will be used to install faucet aerators and dual flush valves in the balance of the restrooms across campus. We anticipate that the water reduction from this project will garner an annual potable water savings of approximately 23,767,400 gallons, decreasing our total potable water consumption on campus by an additional 8%. This project will unify all restrooms on campus with the same low-flow infrastructure.