DePaul University, IL Green Initiatives

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DePaul University, IL, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


In January 2009, DePaul will open the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building, a $40 million home for the departments of Chemistry and Environmental Science that will be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Among its special features are:

  • Restoring native vegetation that requires no irrigation
  • Implementing a storm water management plan to reduce runoff
  • Installing a partial green roof with highly reflective surfaces to reduce heat island effect
  • Limiting exterior lighting and controlling interior lights with time clocks and occupancy sensors
  • Specifying and installing energy-efficient heat and cooling plant equipment
  • Using dual-flush toilets and low-flow showers, sinks and urinals
  • Incorporating recycled products and locally harvested and manufactured building materials with construction waste recycled; and specifying Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood
  • Specifying low-emitting materials
  • Installing building automation systems that will improve operational efficiencies and save energy
  • Implementing a green housekeeping program and chemical resource management plan
  • Purchasing green power credits from renewable sources

DePaul is currently engages in several efforts to support alternative forms of transportation, such as:

  • Purchasing hybrid vehicles for the Public Safety car fleet
  • Participating in the Chicago Transit Authority’s U-Pass program, which provides a financial incentive to students to use public transportation
  • Studying and monitoring student, faculty and staff transportation and parking habits
  • Contracting with the “I-GO” program to place several hybrid vehicles on campus for use by students, faculty, staff and local community members

DePaul is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge and has completed in excess of $5 million in energy-related projects in the new millennium, focusing mainly on lighting and HVAC system retrofits.

DePaul has installed water-saver shower heads at all residence halls, significantly decreasing the amount of fresh water consumed on campus, and reduced campus landscape watering schedules to limit fresh water consumption.

DePaul uses refrigerants in its cooling systems that minimize ozone depletion and climate change.

DePaul has increased use of organic products free of toxic pesticides in landscape maintenance.

DePaul has modified its cleaning products and has a goal of eliminating all volatile and toxic products.

DePaul operation and maintenance programs are developed and performed in a manner that assures optimum efficiency of all primary plant equipment, particularly heating plant equipment to reduce carbon emissions.

DePaul recycles using an in-plant method through which 90 percent of recyclables are extracted by hand from the general waste stream. More than 150 tons of material are recycled from the campus waste stream monthly.

The university supplements in-plant sorting with placement of recycling containers across campus to improve quantities of materials recycled while educating the campus community. DePaul invested $50,000 in 2007 to add more containers on campus.

DePaul is purchasing 3 percent of its electrical energy requirement from renewable resources.

DePaul hosts an active 30-member student group, Environmental Concerns Organization, which engages in recycling, community service and advocacy. In 2007-08 the students performed weekly service at City Farm, a sustainable produce garden.