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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.39
Liaison Maria Kirrane
Submission Date July 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Maria Kirrane
Sustainability Officer
Office of the Director of Buildings and Estates
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

As part of the UCC Works programme, two students undertook a project to measure the carbon footprint of the UCC campus. The students were jointly supervised by the sustainability officer (buildings and estates department) and an academic in the Cleaner Production Promotion Unit. Through the UCC works scheme the students work is noted on their diploma certificate and they must prepare a reflective learning report at the end of the process.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

The campus 21 research project run by the School of Engineering in UCC, used UCC buildings as Living Laboratory to assess integration of ICT technologies to improve the energy management of buildings and CO2 emissions.
http://www.sirusinternational.com/casestudies/Sirus_Energy_11_Campus21.pdf


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

The campus 21 research project run by the School of Engineering in UCC, used UCC Buildings as Living Laboratories to assess integration of ICT technologies to improve the energy management of buildings and CO2 emissions.http://www.sirusinternational.com/casestudies/Sirus_Energy_11_Campus21.pdf


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

The UCC Community Garden hosted a living experimental aquaponics system in 2017, developed by student start-up company "NuLeaf Technologies". The system which was installed in the student run garden, demonstrated a closed system of wastewater treatment to grow plants and potentially food products.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

The BioBlitz is an experiential learning activity undertaken over 24 hours on campus each year. Students from numerous departments take part and are trained in species identification skills and database management. Over the course of a number of years the BioBlitz has provided a longitudinal survey of species present on campus and in the last year the developers of the initiative, together with one of the students, have written an academic paper about its use in monitoring campus biodiversity and ensuring that biodiversity is an integral part of campus sustainability initiatives.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

The Climathon was a joint event hosted by the Environmental Research Institute in UCC, Blackstone LaunchPad and UCC Green Campus. Held over one day in October 2018, 35 students were presented with the "problem" of developing a sustainable transport solution for UCC. The students heard lectures from business, engineering and campus management and were split into teams and asked to develop a viable solution. The winning team developed a travel app that offered discounts to students that used low carbon transport options.
As part of the UCC Works programme, an student intern has been analysing the data from UCC travel surveys over the last number of years. The data will be used to inform the next UCC Commuter Plan and the student will have the work credited on their diploma certificate, and write a reflexive report on the experience.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

As part of the "Ditch the Disposables" campaign, UCC Student's Union carried out research on what preferences students had with regard to reusable coffee cups. The information gathered was then used by the SU to inform the purchasing of cups for incoming first year students. This project was funded by the Southern Waste Region Management Office and Cork City Council.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Throughout the development of the Green Campus programme, UCC has served as a living lab for the application of a "green flag" methodology to a university setting. This is particularly important in Ireland, where coordination and planning for sustainability in HE is in its infancy. The green campus committee in UCC continually share their experiences with other campuses in Ireland, and increasingly in other parts of the world (for example the National University of Colombia, which is starting out on a campus sustainability initiative). Faculty, sustainability staff, and students have delivered conference presentations and published research articles on this very subject.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

The PG6014 module is a postgraduate module in UCC aimed at encouraging public outreach in science. In 2015/16 two postgrad energy engineering students took part in a pilot project to integrate Green Campus into the module. They undertook a "greening events" project, where they tested their methodology on a conference on UCC campus and then promoted that methodology to other organisations. The students gained university credit for the work and supervision from the sustainability coordinator in UCC.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

An indoor green wall was recently established in the Boole Library and a survey is in preparation to assess people's response and whether or not the greenery improves their mood and or cognitive function.
As part of of the Saver Saves scheme, surveys of staff and students are being undertaken in focus buildings to assess how users interact with the buildings that they are in. These surveys include questions on wellbeing, and an ultimate aim of the process is to assess how improvements in the environmental performance of buildings might also impact on the wellbeing of those people within them.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.