Table of Contents

Executive Summary.....................................................................................................................................................2 Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................2 Meet the USF Office of Sustainability......................................................................................................................2 Green Building Initiatives and LEED Certification...............................................................................................4 A Cost and Benefit Analysis of USF’s LEED Certified Green Building Project ..............................................6 A Look at USF’s Sustainability Rating .....................................................................................................................8 Social Responsibility and Going Green ...................................................................................................................9 Mentoring Young Adults into Environmental Stewards .................................................................................10 Sustainability Champions Programs....................................................................................................................10 Sustainability Mentor Programs...........................................................................................................................11 Sustainability Fellows Program ............................................................................................................................11 Involvement in Community-Wide Sustainability Efforts ................................................................................11 Social Responsibility around the World .............................................................................................................11 Leading the Way ..........................................................................................................................................................12 Works Cited..................................................................................................................................................................13 Annotated Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................14

Going Green at USF!

April 5, 2012

ENC 3250, Professor Francis Tobienne By Joseph Bronner, Blake Davis, Richard Godfrey, Eloisa Osorio, and Yvonne Scroggins

Executive Summary
The University of South Florida displays a commitment to green building projects. The focus areas include 1) the role of the Office of Sustainability, 2) a description of Green Building Projects and the need for LEED Certification, 3) the costs and benefits of utilizing environmentally friendly building processes, and 4) building project examples. The social responsibility involved in focusing on architectural trends that lead to long-term sustainability are also explored. These socially conscious choices are analyzed both on the local level as well as the impacts globally.

The LEED Certified Science and Technology Building at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus.

The project team provides a comparison of traditional building programs and green building efforts in order to research the most sustainable form for the future of the environment. A costbenefit analysis is explored for both types of construction projects displaying data in both narrative and comparative charts. The outcome analyzes the importance of academic institutions leading the way for their communities to incorporate green practices into their daily lives. By developing a matrix of high quality green building practices for various departments throughout the University of South Florida’s community, best practices can be established for partner agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

Meet the USF Office of Sustainability
As we are getting closer and closer to achieving our degrees and finishing out our time here at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, we develop tunnel-vision towards the required classes that are left to complete. Very rarely do we think about the facilities that got us to this point and how those facilities of the university play a major role in the sustainability of USF’s environment as well as the surrounding community. USF’s Tampa Campus Master Plan has been involved in the conservation of the environment as far back as 1995. The Office of Sustainability is operated today by Christian Wells, the director who has a supporting staff that includes an assistant director, administrative assistant, four graduate students, and two undergraduate students. Christian Wells is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida Tampa and also the Deputy Director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability, which is completely LEED certified. He operates an office that has made many contributions to the USF community environment that includes planting over 2000 trees, creating bike lanes and sidewalks, and also starting a shuttle service (Office,History, 2012). These three initiatives, which were put into place in the first 10 years of the 1995 plan, helped clear up vehicle traffic, which reduced the emissions given off from the exhausts of vehicles and also the planting of those trees improved the USF community with an increase of oxygen being emitted from the trees. USF still has “Go-Green” initiatives going on today and everyday that include recycle bins located throughout each USF campus. Going forward, some

of the buildings located on the campuses are under construction to become LEED certified and then there are new buildings under construction that are built LEED certified. The Patel Center for Global Solutions was the first the LEED certified building on a USF campus (Office, Green, 2012). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, is a foundation for building and constructing buildings that are environmentally friendly or Green (U.S.Green, 2012). So the Office of Sustainability holds the key to keeping USF and the surrounding community in high regard by starting initiatives in the past, to the present, and continuing on into the future with environmentally Green routines. The Office of Sustainability has four goals. Two of these goals are building a sustainable campus environment at USF and constructing an up-to-date bank of information about all the sustainability engagement activities currently in place at USF and encouraging and rewarding faculty, staff, and student engagement in sustainability initiatives (Office, Mission, 2012). Now that we have pinpointed a couple of the goals, how else would we reach those goals without putting ourselves on a mission to achieve them? In order to make some improvements, conserving resources, recycling, discovering pure energy sources, and decreasing waste is heavily promoted to aid in reaching those goals. When staff, faculty, and students all contribute to this mission, the reward comes from within, knowing that you have made a difference and that your actions have made an improvement and will continue to be a benefit to the USF community. The other two goals that are in the process of being met are creating a sustainable environment that supports an expanded and improved teaching and research mission, a more engaged residential community, and a university-based global village and strengthening and supporting integrated and synergistic interdisciplinary research across disciplinary, departmental, college and campus boundaries(Office, Mission, 2012). The Office of Sustainability contributes to these goals by implementing four programs; Sustainability Champion Program, Sustainability Mentors Program, Sustainability Fellows Program, and Sustainability Scholars Program. These programs combined, allows for faculty, staff, undergraduates, and graduates to come together and work collectively towards achieving those strategic goals to keep USF Green. Students can join different missions based upon the cause, for example, the Student Environment Association is a group of students who set out to educate the community on environmental health and also how to maintain and improve their community’s environment. Another Go-Green promoting group is Emerging Green Builders whose mission is to obtain and maintain a good relationship with local business leaders and the community in the field of building Green-friendly structures and sustainability. The staff of the Office of Sustainability show interest in preserving the environment by researching improvisations of campus sustainability, researching alternative energy sources, introducing sustainable business practices to student government employees, and even implementing a composting program. Based upon the interest of the staff and their personal missions to nurture USF’s environment, the office of sustainability is stacked with key players that will do a great job of improving the University’s community and surrounding area. Having a mix of knowledge of undergraduates, graduates, and faculty opens up a realm of limitless possible solutions to environment sustainability that have not yet been thought up.


In 2008, Judy Genshaft signed the Historic American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (University, 2008). This commitment is an agreement to put forth all possible efforts to create a sustainable university and promote environmental-conscience behavior. USF has pledged to always use 100% recycled paper, reduce wasted energy by turning off lights and computers when not in use, return ink cartridges back to the manufacturers for recycling, recommend carpooling, and implement low flow fixtures. These pledges are only five of many commitments that USF will continue to stand by allowing for the commitment to be upheld and practiced. President Genshaft shows great initiative by signing this commitment, and she also sets out to be an influential leader whose influence will trickle down from the “higher-ups” to the students by taking pride in their university, especially knowing the University of South Florida provides superior higher education and is very active in the GoGreen initiative to preserve and restore the university’s community and surrounding areas.

Green Building Initiatives and LEED Certification
The LEED 2009 guide for New Construction and Major Renovations by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is important information pertaining to the construction of a LEED certified building. Before any design or construction takes place, there are steps and prerequisites that must be finished. Any team interested in constructing a LEED certified building must visit the Green Building Certification Institute website and register. Following registration, LEED interested teams have access to contact GBCI and many helpful tools to use during the design and building process. After registration has taken place and the building has been approved for obtaining prerequisite credits and a minimum number of points, teams will be certified and qualified to obtain all other LEED credit points based on the rating system (USGBC, p. xiv). The Green Building Council’s rating system is based on accepted energy and environmental principles. Although the USGBC is a fairly new group, most of the ratings are based on established practices with a good balance of new, emerging concepts (USGBC, p. xi). The rating system is categorized into five different environmental concepts: (1) sustainable sites, (2) water efficiency, (3) energy and atmosphere, (4) material and resources, and (5) indoor environmental quality. Credits earned from these categories can add up to 100 LEED base points (USGBC, p. xii). An additional 10 points can be earned through two separate categories, innovation in design and regional bonus points (USGBC, p. vii). Innovation in Design addresses the expertise of sustainable building project managers and the design aspects that are not covered within the basic five categories. If the entire category is met, it accounts for 6 of the 10 additional points. The other 4 are for regional bonus points. These address the importance of local conditions. Local conditions can drastically affect the building’s environmental design and what construction practices take place (USGBC, p. xii). There are four different levels of LEED Certification. The lowest level of

certification is “certified”, which a building qualifies for if they have a total of 40 to 49 points. Silver continues the spectrum until 59 points, next is gold, and the highest LEED honor is platinum if a building earns 80 points or more (USGBC, p. vii). As mentioned previously, there are prerequisites that must be met before a building can be approved for LEED certification. Each of the five categories has at least one prerequisite that must be met to get any of the points for that category. Prerequisite 1 for sustainable sites is Construction Activity Pollution Prevention. The intent of this pre-requisite is “to reduce pollution from construction activities by controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation, and airborne dust generation” (USGBC, p. 1). Those involved with constructing the building must create and maintain a control plan for all construction during the project to control erosion and sedimentation (USGBC, p.1). All prerequisites and listed credits have an explanation that includes the intent and requirements for each to better understand what the USGBC is expecting from a LEED certified establishment. Prerequisites and credits are not all geared towards construction of the building. Many are focused on maintaining and operating a facility and how to continuously keep a building running green. For example, the prerequisite for the water efficiency category is Category Points (for a total of 110) Sustainable Sites Water Use Reduction. The object of this is to reduce the use of water Water Efficiency 6 4 26 within buildings to help lower the Energy & Atmosphere 15 stress on municipal water supplies Materials & Resources 10 14 (USGBC, p.25). One category very Indoor Environmental Quality focused on construction practices is Innovation in Design 35 the materials and resources category. Regional Priority Many of the credits in the materials and resources category are intended for the pre-use construction of a new LEED building. MR Credit 4, Recycled Content, is to promote the incorporation of recycled content material s in new construction, rather than the extraction and processing of new materials. Credits are not mandatory, but in order to fulfill this credit, construction must include recycled content materials (USGBC, p.56). Another promoted material is regional materials, required by MR Credit 5, and requires the use of materials that have been extracted or harvested within 500 miles of the project site. The intent of MR Credit 5 is “to increase demand for building materials and products that are extracted and manufactured with the region” (USGBC, p. 58). An important MR Credit is Credit 2 which pertains to the management of construction waste. Any non-hazardous debris must be recycled or salvaged to earn this credit. Their intention for this credit is to divert debris from landfills and incineration facilities. The materials should be used at appropriate sites (USGBC, p. 54). The indoor environmental quality category touches some other important construction points. IEQ Credit 3 is concerned with the construction indoor air quality. It is broken into different parts, where 3.1 and 3.2 are for “during construction” versus “before occupancy”. The intent of

these are to promote the well-being of the construction workers and occupants by reducing air quality problems caused by construction or renovation (USGBC, p. 74-76). Credits 4.1 though 4.4 of the IEQ category promote using low-emitting materials such as adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, flooring systems, composite wood, and agrifiber products (USGBC, p.78-84).

A Cost and Benefit Analysis of USF’s LEED Certified Green Building Project
Located in California, the first national LEED certified building, the Education Headquarters Building, was first certified as a LEED silver standard in 1999. It was then upgraded to its current LEED gold standard in 2003. Since then, many efforts have been put forth nationally to build more LEED certified, energy efficient buildings. One such organization that has adopted these methods is the University of South Florida (USF). And by analyzing the specific data gathered from the Education Headquarters Building, we are now able to calculate the cost of such buildings and the energy savings that it will provide in the years to come. Today, we are going to focus on the data gathered by the afore mentioned building and apply it to USF’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center which, by the way, is already LEED certified and was the first built at USF. After analyzing the Education Headquarters Building, they deduced that it saves taxpayers $500,000 a year in energy savings. Additionally, they discovered that an initial upfront investment of up to $100,000 to incorporate green building features into a $5 million project would result in a savings of $1 million in today’s dollars over the life of the building. That factors out to be an increase of 2% in construction costs to implement the green features. Therefore, since the average construction costs for a commercial building range anywhere from $150/ft2 to $250/ft2, it would then cost roughly $155/ft2 to $255/ft2. However, these costs do not take into account the relatively new going green technology. Since it is new, there are trial and error costs that must be taken into account. These costs and effectively raise the price of new construction to up to 10-15% more than if were to be built by traditional standards.


The Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center is a 73,500 ft2 facility. The traditional cost of building the building would cost roughly between $11,025,000 and $18,375,000 according to the previously mentioned commercial per ft2 standard. An estimation of what it would cost to build the building with the new going green standards ranges roughly from $11,392,500 and $18,742,500, with an up to 15% increase cost due to error, which would bring the total to $21,131,250. And now we will compare these estimated costs with the actual cost of the building. The actual cost of the building was $12,400,000. As we can see, the actual cost of the building falls between the low and high ends of both the traditional building and the green building designs. Furthermore, we can see that the differences in traditional building costs and green building costs are, in the grand scheme of the costs, non-existent. On the high end of the estimates, the difference in cost is roughly $400. When the total costs of a building are over $18 million, $400, in comparison, is nothing. The only real problem we have at the moment is the trial and error process that we are going through until the construction methods are streamlined. If every 73,000 ft2 building cost $21 million to build, that is twice what the low end estimation of the traditional and the green building would cost. These trial and error cost are mainly due to incomplete integration within and between projects, insufficient technical information, and not accounting for all the green features or the future green features that may end up being implemented before the construction is complete. So the main con for building green buildings is the upfront costs. However, a building saves an average of 25-30% in energy costs. This is due to lower electricity peak consumption, on-site renewable energy generation, and LEED certified green buildings are more likely to purchase grid power from renewable sources. To put the 160,000 energy savings 140,000 in financial terms, it costs an 120,000 average of $1.47 per ft2 per 100,000 year for electricity supply to a 80,000 Net Cost 60,000 building. However, with a 40,000 Energy Costs 30% reduction, this comes to 20,000 2 $1.03 per ft for green Construction Cost 0 buildings. So traditionally, the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center would cost $108,045 a year in energy costs. But as a LEED certified building, costing 30% less would mean an energy cost of $75,632 year. This is a difference of $32,413 a year in energy savings. That exceeds the initial $400 additional up from cost by 81 times. However, if the trial and error process would have cost the builders $21 million to build the center, an $860,000 difference from its actual cost, it would take 268.75 years to make up the difference in cost, if relying on energy savings alone. It is estimated that a $100,000 invested into a building only for LEED green standards, and no trial and error costs, it would net a savings of $1 million over the life o the building. That is 10 times the initial LEED certification cost. Apply that to the Dr. C. Patel Center, at $12,400,000, USF

would make up the cost of the building in 12 and half years. So…is going green worth it? In the long term, it is absolutely worth it! USF would be saving millions of dollars per building during the lifetime of the building. And to move away from the costs for a minute, think of how much energy would be conserved for future generations. However, is it worth it in the short term? The statistics suggest yes. Even if the trial and error process yields more errors, eventually these methods will be streamlined standards. And the error cost would The Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions at the USF Tampa Campus. be made up not only partially by the building that was built by trial and error, but also by the buildings that are subsequently built with no errors. Therefore, this is a win-win situation for us and our future, both financially and because of the energy conservation.

A Look at USF’s Sustainability Rating
So how well is USF doing in its mission to build a more sustainable university? According to the Sustainable Endowments Institute, USF is doing very well. The SEI prepares a College Sustainability Report Card for various colleges in the United States and Canada, giving letter grades in a variety of categories as well as an overall grade. USF achieved a B+ overall grade in 2011, and a comparison with three other Florida universities broke down in the following way:

Overall Administration Climate Change & Energy Food & Recycling Green Building Student Involvement Transportation Endowment Transparency Investment Priorities Shareholder Engagement
B+ A B B A A A A A D

B+ A A A A A A F A D

C C D C C C C C C -


Among the three major universities in Florida, only the University of Florida (UF) performed as well as USF, achieving an overall B+ grade. Florida State University (FSU) was given an overall grade of C, and the University of Miami (UM) was given a B-. This puts USF in elite company within the

State of Florida and indicates that its sustainability initiatives are on the right path and producing the intended results. ( The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education awarded USF with the prestigious Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS) Gold rating in 2011. Categories rated include Education and Research, Operations, Planning, Administration & Engagement, and Innovation. Out of 174 STARS participants in the United States and Canada, USF is one of only 30 institutions to receive a Gold rating from AASHE, yet another indicator that USF is striving for excellence and achieving that mark in the area of sustainability. ( “The gold STARS rating USF received proves that we are truly “green” and gold,” said E. Christian Wells, Director of USF’s Office of Sustainability. “The STARS system helps us track our sustainability efforts and allows us to find our weak spots. While the Office of Sustainability is only 500 days old, we’ve managed to address most of the easy targets, like increasing recycling and changing the light bulbs. Now we need to focus on the bigger picture, what a sustainable campus should look like over the longer term.” (Howard, 2011) Since achieving its first LEED certification for the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, USF has continued to strive for excellence in building sustainability practices. The USF St. Petersburg Science and Technology Building was LEED certified in 2010, and the new Student Center and Dormitory on the St. Petersburg campus is expected to be LEED certified as well. According to Suchi Urs Daniels, Project Manager and LEED Coordinator at the USF Office of Sustainability, USF construction projects such as the Patel Center have reached the 80% level or higher in efforts to divert construction waste and debris from landfills. In addition, existing structures are being retrofitted with environmentally friendly features to increase their operating efficiency and help contribute to USF’s overall sustainability rating. Ms. Daniels also stated that USF will seek LEED certification for all future building projects. (Daniels, interview)

Social Responsibility and Going Green
Green Building Initiatives have increased consciousness among the USF community as well a significant number of other universities allows to preserve the environment for future generations that have directed how the USF an others facilities build new buildings, employing innovative technology that saves energy and other resources. According to LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications, “green building” promotes facilitates and certifies the design and construction of sustainable buildings. Even though, there is a long way to go to get the whole community involved and informed in all fields of becoming greener due to challenges and complexities of certain projects, there is a lot of evidence that shows those people mentality and behaviorally are becoming more aware that something must be done to preserve the environment. Sustainability Programs and Initiatives at USF and around the World site provide information of different alternatives in working to preserve the USF environment. The USF community is proud of the new building “Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions”, USFP

Student Building, and the some that have gone into renovation such as “Engineering II Building at Tampa Campus” have been building under LEED certification. USF is committed to reparations to save energy such as several roofs that have been replaced with high insulation and reflectivity values. Also, many volunteer organizations are taking care of issues that can be the first step of important discoveries to depend less in oil consumption. A “Sustainable” world is the goal, and one of the ways to achieve this goal is reducing the unrestricted use of energy, water, and the production of other toxic materials from construction or demolition. According the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG), the objective is to minimize the direct impact that causes to the environment the excessive waste generated from the traditional way to build new felicities. Its commitment is to promote a “sustainable design” that will help to the conservation of natural resources, therefore, preventing environmental degradation. These initiatives not only should be applied to the new facilities, but also they should be applied to those significant renovations because it reduces operation costs and environmental impacts. Sustainability also means being informed about the fundamental principles that the WBDG program is promoting to achieve a “sustainable design” in new or renovated facilities will raise everyone’s awareness in how to contribute to environmental conservation. (  Optimizing the site will affect the local flora and fauna, transportation, and the right use of energy (looking for renewable resources).  Protecting, conserving water, and recycling water.  Using environmental materials that will help to minimize human toxicity and promote people safety and health.  Maximizing delighting, ventilation, and moist control indoor of the facilities.  Optimizing maintenance practices by using less water, energy, and toxic cleaner to maintain facilities. The “Programs,” that USF Office of Sustainability promotes, center in the quality of human life while living with the commitment to protect the ecosystem. The development of these programs put all the effort in encouraging and rewarding the whole USF community to be responsive to the mentoring and participation policies. Mentoring young adults into environmental stewards Through the mentoring initiatives, the USF’s Office of Sustainability has been working as a team to endorse different programs to promote sustainable efforts to achieve an ecological campus environment. Sustainability Champions Program The purpose of this program is to motivate and highlight exceptional faculties and members of the community who are enthusiastic and hard working with the commitment in making the campus become a cleaner, greener environment to live and work. Sustainability Champions are selected based on their commitment to conserving resources, reducing waste, recycling and reusing materials, increasing energy efficiency, and other behaviors that will help make USF a more sustainable campus.

Sustainability Mentor Programs It works on sustainability activities on campus by mentoring for excellence and encouraging others to be mentors. Mentor program’s members work on sustainability issues and the impact (social, economic and environmental) than those proposed solutions can bring. Students are encouraged to participate through the faculty or any other mentoring group consisting in presenting and explaining how and where the sustainability activity is going to be conducted. The two top mentors will receive an award and will be honored in the Office of Sustainability’s website. Sustainability Fellows Program In this program FTE graduate Research Assistant has the opportunity to work 10 hours weekly to organize different sustainability activities on campus. Another task that Fellows Programs endorse is those educational and community-based initiatives on sustainability. Ex—How USF through the “Green building and design initiatives” and under the LEED standards is reducing the environmental impacts. Involvement in Community-Wide Sustainability Efforts Student Initiatives groups many associations working such as the “Emerging Green Builders (EGB)” whose mission is establishing a relationship to work together among USF students, the Tampa Bay community, and the local business to accomplish the “Build Green” commitment. Scholar Program is another initiative involved with the community, and it allows undergraduate students have the opportunity to work in academic and research programs about building projects. They will be trained to create a formal research project based in applicable methods for data collection among people in order to implement the research outcome to support or create new sustainable initiatives. The qualified projects would help facilitate sustainability, or they can also help discover what is obstructing sustainability in and out of the USF community. Social Responsibility Around the World Green Build International Conference and Expo were celebrated in Toronto in October of 2011, and it showed the growing global movement committed to become this world in a better place to life for future generations. This increasing global network grouped around 23 thousand members who support the initiative of important leaders of companies that use technology to transform this world in a better place to live. Leaders’ dedication and passion empower a sustainability transformation delivering prosperity, equality, and an ecologically word for futures generations.


Leading the Way
Institutions of higher education nationwide are in a position to further sustainability efforts and education in their respective communities, and some would argue that they have a responsibility to do so. If colleges and universities do not take the lead in this area, who will? USF has become a community leader in sustainability practices, leading by example as well as providing programs to educate upcoming generations of environmental stewards. One unexpected result of this commitment to sustainable facilities might be increased enrollment. In 2010, 69% of higher learning institutions incorporated a sustainability element into their recruiting, admissions, and orientation processes. (Whitmire, “A Look at the Growing Trend of Green Buildings in Higher Education”.) It appears that the students of tomorrow want to be associated with universities that place value on sustainability and the environment in which we live, and USF has proven that it is such a university.


Works Cited
“The College Sustainability Report Card.” Sustainable Endowments Institute, 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2012 "The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings." Sustainable Building Taskforce, 2003. Web. 6 Mar. 2012. Daniels, Suchi Urs. Email interview. 22 Mar. 2012 "Green Building Initiatives." Green Building Sustainable Initiative. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. "Greenbuilding International Conference and Expo." 2012 San Francisco. Web. 23 Mar. 2012. Howard, Peter and Vickie Chachere. “USF Sustainability Finds Gold”. St. Petersburg Times. 4 Feb. 2011. "LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations." U.S. Green Building Council. U.S. Green Building Council, 2009. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. “Office of Sustainability.” University of South Florida. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). History-USF Office of Sustainability. Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). Green Building Initiatives-USF Office of Sustainability. Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). Mission-USF Office of Sustainability. "Programs." The USF Office of Sustainability for a Cleaner, Greener USF. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. "Students Initiatives." Students Sustainable Initiative. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. "Sustainability Programs and Initiatives at USF and around the World." Patel School of Global Sustainability. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. "Sustainable." WBDG "Whole Building Design Guide" National Institute of Building Science. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. University of South Florida News. (2008, April 12). USF President Signs Historic Environmental Commitment. U.S. Green Building Council. (2012, March 14). What LEED is. Whitmire, Margo, “A Look at the Growing Trend of Green Building in Higher Education”. Green Building Pro. 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2012.

Annotated Bibliography Team Green & Gold – Joseph Bronner, Blake Davis, Richard Godfrey, Eloisa Osorio, and Yvonne Scroggins

Going Green at USF! A Study in Sustainability

This White Paper will present information about USF’s green building initiatives, including the history of the Office of Sustainability, building projects (past, present, and future), a cost/benefit analysis of green buildings, comparisons between USF and other universities, and an examination of the social responsibility aspect of USF’s green policies. Our sources provide general background for our topic as well as specific statistical data that will be used to illustrate USF’s strong standing in sustainability pioneers among universities statewide and even nationwide. “The College Sustainability Report Card.” Sustainable Endowments Institute, 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2012 <> This website, created by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, grades colleges on their sustainability practices. Letter grades are given for multiple categories as well as for overall performance. The website also facilitates comparisons between different colleges’ individual report cards. This site is used in our White Paper to present USF’s sustainability practices grade and to compare USF with other Florida universities.

"The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings." Sustainable Building Taskforce, 2003. Web. 6 Mar. 2012. <> This document is a report documenting the costs and benefits of traditional buildings versus green buildings. It provides researched financial findings for both types of buildings. It pays special attention to LEED certified construction in an effort to determine whether or not it is actually worth spending the upfront money to build LEED certified buildings in order to get a return on investment in energy savings. The report is very thorough and provides sufficient information on the costs and benefits of the different types of buildings. Daniels, Suchi Urs. Email interview. 22 Mar. 2012 Ms. Daniels is a Project Manager and LEED Coordinator for the USF Office of Sustainability. This interview was conducted through email by Richard Godfrey and was conducted for the purpose of learning details about specific USF building projects and sustainability policies. "Green Building Initiatives." Green Building Sustainable Initiative. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. <>.

This page gives a general overview of sustainability. It gives different alternatives in which the USF community is working to preserve the environment for future generations. It gave me information on LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) and also showed the steps the university has taken to become greener and cleaner. The goal is to save energy in the new constructions and buildings that are going up on campus. "Greenbuilding International Conference and Expo." 2012 San Francisco. Web. 23 Mar. 2012. <>. This link contains shorts of videos of the events occurring in Toronto during the Greenbuidling International Conference and Expo. More 23,000 members and supporting leaders were a part of this event in which they promoted a greener Earth. Howard, Peter and Vickie Chachere. “USF Sustainability Finds Gold”. St. Petersburg Times. 4 Feb. 2011. This article reports on the STARS Gold Rating achieved by USF in 2011. It describes the criteria used in awarding the Gold Rating. Quotes from USF administration officials were extracted from this article. "LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations." U.S. Green Building Council. U.S. Green Building Council, 2009. Web. 7 Mar. 2012. <>. This document is the project checklist established by the United States Green Building Council for new construction and renovation of LEED certified buildings. The document provides the current and future goals of LEED certification and the checklist credit weightings. A specific number of credits determine how a building is LEED rated from "certification" to "platinum". It provides the basic requirements to qualify for LEED application and then breaks the checklist into specific categories. Each category contains a number of items, with each item adding up to a number of credits. It continues by giving an explanation of what is expected from construction and how the credits are determined for each item. “Office of Sustainability.” University of South Florida. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. <> This website provides information about the USF Office of Sustainability. The information includes projects and initiatives that USF started in the past, to the current care of the environment, to what USF has projected for future environmental health. Information from this website will be used throughout our White Paper to present facts about USF’s sustainability practices and policies.


Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). History-USF Office of Sustainability. Retrieved from http://usfweb2.usf.eduSustainability/about_history.aspx Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). Green Building Initiatives-USF Office of Sustainability. Retrieved from Office of Sustainability. (2012, March 14). Mission-USF Office of Sustainability. Retrieved from "Programs." The USF Office of Sustainability for a Cleaner, Greener USF. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. <>. The USF Sustainability office’s programs promote the students’ participation to work in adopting sustainable practices to achieve cleaner & greener USF campuses through his four main courses: mentors, champions, fellows, scholars program. The purpose of these programs is incorporate ideas of sustainability on the whole USF community and makes the community to be accustomed to these practices in order to influence people to adopt these strategies even out of the USF campuses. This website provides information about how USF”s students participate in these strategies that are helping to create a strong relationship among students, community and businesses about these important issues of “green building and sustainability.” These programs not only work on the green efforts to encourage sustainability, but it also work on what might be obstructing that sustainability. "Students Initiatives." Students Sustainable Initiative. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <>. There are various groups in this website that participate in making USF safer for future generations, but especially the Emerging Green Builders (EGB). The EGB works to establish connections within students, the Tampa Bay community and local businesses to bring them together for this green purpose. This cause is supported by investigation projects with data collected by all these groups to create new sustainability ideas. "Sustainability Programs and Initiatives at USF and around the World." Patel School of Global Sustainability. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. <>. This page gives is another general explication of sustainability. It gives different alternatives in USF in working to preserve the environment, and it also provides information on LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design). It goes on to detail USFs plans for a greener institution and its energy saving goals. Also, it goes into details of all sorts of practices that are being used for this cause, such as green roofs and recycling of materials to name a few. Some examples of the buildings that have been modified or build with this purpose in mind are the new “Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions” and the old “Engineering building II building.” "Sustainable." WBDG "Whole Building Design Guide" National Institute of Building Science. Web. 21

Mar. 2012. <> This page gives information about the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG). The WBDG works towards a common goal to reduce the unrestricted use of water and toxic materials. This gave me information of basic principles the program is promoting to achieve this “sustainable design.” Some of the principles are optimization of the location, perseveration and recycling of water, minimization of human toxicity, optimization of maintenance practices and maximization of ventilation. University of South Florida News. (2008, April 12). USF President Signs Historic Environmental Commitment. Retrieved from This article reported on the details of USF’s participation in the Historic American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in 2008. U.S. Green Building Council. (2012, March 14). What LEED is. Retrieved from Whitmire, Margo, “A Look at the Growing Trend of Green Building in Higher Education”. Green Building Pro. 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 Mar. 2012. <> This article explores the green building trend in higher education institutions, from the actual features that make a building “green” to student involvement and the growing importance of sustainability practices in recruiting today’s students. Statistical data as well as trends in green building will be extracted from this article.