Senior Capstone students explore LEED certification for Olin Hall

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On December 7, 2017, the fifteen GECS seniors in the Class of 2018 presented their capstone projects on the greening of Olin Hall, the building on campus that houses the GECS program and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Students researched what it would take to make the building qualify for LEED certification, a rating system for environmentally friendly buildings.

Related projects for enhancing the sustainability of the building and its inhabitants involved developing plans for a rainwater capturing system that would provide water for flushing toilets and outdoor irrigation, a living laboratory around an adjacent stormwater retention pond/wetland where long-term ecological and hydrological research could be performed, an outdoor classroom for general use, biophilic redesign of indoor common spaces and classrooms to reduce stress levels, and engaging faculty, staff, and students in efforts to make their life habits healthier and more sustainable. Cost analysis indicates that these projects are feasible, so the next step is working with administrators to determine how to move forward with these plans.