By Nisa Taylor, IDEASS Intern
The IDEASS (Impact Designs: Engineering and Sustainability through Student Service) course has given many students, like my IDEASS project partner Sarah and me, the opportunity to pursue hands-on projects that promote sustainability through outreach and green energy retrofits.
Our project, the Porter Greenovation Project, has worked on retrofitting the Porter Study Center to make it more sustainable. We have performed energy efficiency measures and analysis, and we used this information to receive a grant from the Carbon Fund to retrofit the Porter Study Center to increase its efficiency and save money. With the help of the Carbon Fund Grant, we were able to install a new energy efficient lighting system that uses maximizes the use of natural light. It incorporates pull-down blinds, occupancy sensors to sense when people are in the room, and light dimmers.
To demonstrate to students how sustainable the study center can be when we use it with energy in mind, we plan to install lighting system information and waste diversion signage in collaboration with the UCSC's Zero Waste by 2020 campaign. Next year's annual Porter Fall Student Mural will be painted in the Porter Study Center with a sustainability theme to remind students about their healthy study space! Email Nisa if you want to learn more about getting involved with the project!