Green Initiatives at VWCC
VWCC is committed to conservation, and Facilities Management Services (FMS) and Information and Educational Technologies (IET) are playing important roles in it.
Here are some of the initiatives we have, or are planning to implement.
Stormwater management is an important part of college conservation and sustainability. Stormwater drains capture and control surface water run-off. These drains are checked and cleaned quarterly. This water is filtered by the college's 5 rain gardens before being stored for slow release to the streams by detention ponds. One landscaped rain garden is in the center of the new Fralin Center plaza. This building also has extensive underground rainwater detention as does Lot 15. These measures all serve to improve our environmental quality both on campus and beyond our borders. Every new construction project also has a state approved erosion and sediment control plan (E&S Plan) that is maintained by the contractor to prevent excessive sediment from leaving the site. The college maintains an MS4 permit and submits annual reports to the Commonwealth's Department of Environmental Quality. Requirements and reporting are rigorous.
Mecury Recovery From Used Fluorescent Bulbs
FMS would like to offer faculty, staff and students the opportunity to responsibly dispose of their used fluorescent bulbs. FMS has a machine that crushes the bulbs and recovers the harmful mercury inside. The machine will accept both tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs. Bulbs will be accepted during advertised events.
Celebrate Green Roofs
Did you know that VWCC has 2 green roof buildings already existing on campus? You have already walked over both and didn't know it!
The Anderson Hall green roof covers 1,320 square feet on the building's north side. It is over the entrance to the elevator at its lowest level, storage rooms, and mechanical room. There is grass and a sidewalk leading to lot 8E over this area.
At Fishburn Hall, the green roof and Four Seasons Plaza cover 3,250 square feet on the building's north and west sides. Spaces under this area include offices, break room, storage rooms, and the mechanical room.
To celebrate Earth Day and VWCC's green roofs, 12-15 new shrubs were planted on Anderson Hall's green roof in the month of April 2009.
Power to Computers
Analysis of computer labs in sleep mode at night has revealed significant cumulative power usage. By shutting off power to these computers between 10:30 PM and 6:30 AM, the savings in electrical use amounts to approximately $25,000 to $30,000 a year. FMS and IET have teamed up to provide a control system capable of powering down computer labs and capturing this energy savings. Those with offices can do their part on a volunteer basis by making sure their computer, monitor and peripherals are shut down when not in use. It is estimated this could enable VWCC to capture an additional $25,000 in savings/energy/consumption reduction.
Solar Panels Planned For VWCC
As part of T.A.C. energy management improvements, VWCC opted to include a project which includes solar panels on the roof of one of our buildings. Payback is long, but these panels will be capable of providing sufficient power to run the building's fluorescent lights. The overall project will include an upgrade to north campus mechanical systems to provide energy efficient digital controls. These improvements will reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency.