Grounds/Landscaping | General Campus
Harvey Mudd College recognizes sustainability as one of this century’s biggest challenges.
As part of its new strategic vision, “HMC 2020: Envisioning the Future,” the college is reducing the rate at which it contributes to the depletion of natural resources, incorporating concepts of sustainability into the college’s academic and daily affairs, and increasing use of renewable resources.
HMC has two LEED-certified (“green”) buildings, a specially appointed Sustainability Committee and numerous faculty and students involved in environmental research efforts both here and abroad. President Maria Klawe is also a signatory on the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
The following offers a brief summary of the many things HMC is doing to help lessen its impact on the planet:
Center for Environmental Studies
Established in 1999, HMC’s Center for Environmental Studies provides educational opportunities in environmental studies and establishes the conditions necessary for a critical and creative discussion of responsible professional practices. Learn more…
Clinic Project Sponsored to Evaluate HMC’s Sustainability
During the 2007-08 academic year, the HMC Board of Trustees Physical Plant and Campus Planning Committee sponsored a Clinic team to evaluate recommendations for improving sustainability at HMC. The team compiled a comprehensive list of 77 recommendations, prioritized according to metrics they had developed. Three projects the group considered particularly beneficial across all areas of sustainability included: electricity metering, a significant step towards carbon neutrality; replacing grassy areas around campus with native plants to save water; and lining HMC’s Linde Field with synthetic turf, which would also significantly reduce water consumption.
Council of Presidents of the Claremont Colleges Sustainability Initiative
In 2007, the Council of Presidents of The Claremont Colleges established a Sustainability Initiative, providing funds to faculty, student and staff research teams to develop and implement new approaches for advancing the environmental sustainability of the Claremont campuses. To kick off the project, a team of 15 students and a handful of faculty performed a first-pass sustainability audit of the Claremont campuses. They documented the historical usage of key resources and utilities in order to establish baselines against which to compare future usage, and identified targets for conservation programs. The team also studied emissions, waste disposal and recycling programs to assess the feasibility of achieving carbon neutrality within the next two decades. Learn what the team found…
CTG Energetics Clinic Project Focuses on Sustainability
CTG Energetics, Inc., a technical consulting firm that focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency in buildings and communities, sponsored a 2007-08 Clinic project designed to help the company expand its sustainable communities model (SCM) to a campus context.
Building Tune-Up Program
In 2003, Quantum Energy Services, in association with CTG Energetics, Inc., conducted a full analysis of HMC’s heating, ventilating, air conditioning and lighting systems. A detailed investigation into the operation and performance of the systems resulted in a list of retro commissioning measures, an energy management plan, and operation and management measures, which resulted in energy and cost savings for the college. Read the full report (PDF)...
Getting the Most From the Sun
Since 2001, an array of 2.5-kW photovoltaic cells, which convert solar energy into electricity, has lined the roof of HMC’s Case Dormitory. Read the full story…
Electric Meters Begin Monitoring Dorm Energy
The capability to measure utility consumption on a “time-of-use” basis is an important component of sustainability research conducted by faculty and students. In 2008, HMC took the lead in working with the Claremont University Consortium to identify low-cost electric meters to allow for real-time monitoring for individual buildings, beginning with its Linde and Sontag residence halls.
Additional Monitoring Devices Track Dorm Energy Consumption
Using real-time data from a wireless technology developed by Rhizome Systems—a single-source supplier of low-cost utility monitoring devices and systems operated by HMC’s Joseph King, professor of engineering, and students and alumni Ben Margolis ’10, Matt Jeffryes ’08, Bart Oegma ’07, and Josiah Larsen ‘07—the power usage in HMC’s outer dorms (Sontag, Case, Linde and Atwood) was tracked and displayed in 2008 on a television display located in the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons. An exciting energy competition ensued between the dorms. Read the full story…
CHEER Lighting Survey
Conducted during fall 2007 and spring 2008, a team of students—eight from HMC and three from Scripps College—participated in a Campus Housing Energy Efficiency Retrofit (CHEER) light survey of the residential side of their campuses. The team visited each of the campuses’ dorms and common spaces, looking for incandescent bulbs that could be replaced with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Additionally, they looked to identify 1.5-inch-diameter fluorescent lights driven by magnetic ballasts that could be replaced with 1-inch-diameter fluorescent lights driven by electronic ballasts.
Vending Machines Start Saving Energy
Vending Miser, a technology that significantly reduces the energy consumption of vending machines without compromising the vended product, is being installed on vending machines throughout the HMC campus. Utilizing a custom passive infrared sensor, the units power down vending machines when the area surrounding them is unoccupied. The technology then automatically repowers the vending machines when the area is reoccupied.
Showerheads Slowing the Flow
Low-flow showerheads are being installed throughout the dorms for students who express an interest and request installation.
Taking the LEED
In 2005, Harvey Mudd College’s new Frederick and Susan Sontag Residence Hall became the first building in The Claremont Colleges consortium to be granted LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for energy efficiency and environmentally sensitive design. Read the full story…
Furniture Recycling Continues
Starting with Case Dorm in 2006, and every dorm renovation since, HMC has recycled its used dormitory furniture through the Institution Recycling Network (IRN), a cooperative organization that works with more than 125 hospitals, colleges and universities, and other organizations to improve the performance and economics of their recycling programs. Managing the transportation, processing and marketing of recycled commodities, IRN handles everything from cardboard and fluorescent lamps to concrete and Astroturf, and is particularly known for its effective recycling of complex commodities like electronic equipment, construction and demolition wastes, and surplus property. Read the full stories from 2008, 2007 and 2006…
Students in HMC’s dormitories recycle their own bottles, cans and plastics, and transport the items to a recycling center, keeping the funds for the dorm. Each residence hall has a large recycling container the college has provided for this purpose.
Regular Maintenance Equals Healthy Trees
As a part of a tree maintenance program, HMC’s Facilities and Maintenance Office makes sure that trees throughout the campus are regularly groomed and trimmed for their good health and well being.
Native Plants Added to Campus Landscape
In 2008, a new California native plant garden was installed as a part of the East Dorm renovation project. In accordance with HMC’s Campus Landscape Master Plan, this area includes beautiful Sycamore trees and stone-lined pathways with benches for relaxing. It is also serviced by a drip irrigation system, which uses significantly less water than the previously installed spray irrigation system. In fact, new drip irrigation systems installed throughout the campus have resulted in an average savings of nearly 155,000 gallons of water per week—that’s a total of more than 8 million gallons of water per year. Read the full story…
Green Waste Recycled
HMC’s Grounds Department mulches all of the smaller-sized yard waste on campus behind Thomas-Garrett Hall. The college uses a city-owned green waste container located in the Linde parking lot.
College Commits to Sustainability
In February 2008, HMC President Maria Klawe signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Read the full story…
Sustainability Committee and Policy Statement Established
In February 2008, the HMC Board of Trustees appointed a Sustainability Committee composed of representatives of all stakeholder groups in the college to develop priorities and implement decisions regarding the college’s sustainability program. Read the full story…
HMC Dining Hall Receives LEED Certification
Constructed in 2005, the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons was the second building on campus to earn a LEED Silver rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, making HMC the only college or university in California at the time with two LEED-certified buildings. The 28,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art dining hall was named for HMC Trustee R. Michael “Mike” Shanahan and his wife Mary, and trustee Richmond J. Hoch ‘63 and his wife Diane.
Standard Set Forth for New Buildings and ENERGY STAR Products
In February 2008, the HMC Board of Trustees passed a resolution that new buildings on campus meet at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard, or the equivalent. They also passed a resolution that calls for premium-rated or ENERGY STAR-certified products to be purchased for use on campus wherever possible.
E-Waste Program Still Going Strong
Since 2005, HMC’s Facilities and Maintenance Office has coordinated an e-waste recycling pick-up program on campus at least two times each year.
“Green” Dining at Its Finest
Since 2006, HMC’s Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons has worked to ensure that the college’s eating utensils, dessert plates, and to-go boxes, cups and lids are all made of biodegradable materials. Read the full story…
Sustainable Produce On the Menu
HMC’s dining hall offers The Claremont Colleges community sustainable produce, which is grown in a system that emphasizes protecting and enhancing natural resources, using alternatives to pesticides, and caring for the health and well being of farm workers and rural communities.
Recycling Taking Place Throughout Campus
In addition to trash receptacles, recyclable waste receptacles are offered throughout HMC’s Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons and Jay’s Place. The Dining Hall staff recycles all clean cardboard in a large compactor, which is then taken to a recycling facility. There is also a small HMC-owned recycling compactor located behind Platt Campus Center that the city of Claremont picks up weekly. In addition, two city-owned recycling bins, located at the Jacobs loading dock, are picked up each week.
Recycled Paper Products Used Throughout HMC
The Facilities and Maintenance Office stocks as many of HMC’s restrooms, labs and kitchen areas as possible with recycled paper products.
Public Transportation Encouraged
Harvey Mudd College has conducted a rideshare program for several years. The program offers incentives to encourage faculty, staff and students to carpool and use public and alternative forms of transportation whenever possible.
Reuse of Packing and Shipping Materials Practiced
HMC’s mail room provides bins for students to store reuseable packing and shipping materials such as cardboard boxes, packing peanuts and bubble wrap.
Student Club Committed to Green Practices
ESW/MOSS is an HMC student club devoted to promoting sustainable practices and environmental awareness both on-campus and in other parts of the world. Current and past projects include a water purification project in Ngomano, Kenya; better agricultural practices in Koundara, Guinea; increasing the placement of recycling bins around campus; and energy competitions, movie nights, hikes and field trips.