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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 Silver
Overall Score 51.95
Liaison Erin Stanforth
Submission Date July 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-26: Water Use

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.12 / 4.00 Steve Heinitz
Recycling Manager
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Level of water risk for the institution’s main campus:
Medium to High

Total water use (potable and non-potable combined)::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Total water use 315,953,630 Gallons 320,726,000 Gallons

Potable water use::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Potable water use 304,140,470 Gallons 310,816,150 Gallons

Figures needed to determine "Weighted Campus Users"::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 5,700 4,706
Number of residential employees 11 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 28,159 23,884
Full-time equivalent of employees 6,392 5,210
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Gross floor area of building space::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area 4,819,720 Square Feet 3,820,371 Square Feet

Area of vegetated grounds::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Vegetated grounds 720 Acres 224 Acres

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year June 30, 2013 July 1, 2014
Baseline Year June 30, 2007 July 1, 2008

A brief description of when and why the water use baseline was adopted:

The water use baseline was adopted in 2008 to coincide with the 2008 emissions baseline.


Water recycled/reused on campus, performance year:
0 Gallons

Recycled/reused water withdrawn from off-campus sources, performance year:
0 Gallons

A brief description of any water recovery and reuse systems employed by the institution:

Rainwater is collected and stored in a 12,000 gallon cistern and is used for landscape irrigation at the Cary Street Gym on the Monroe Park Campus. Rainwater is also captured for irrigation at the VCU Rice Center.


A brief description of any water metering and management systems employed by the institution:

There are water consumption meters for most of the buildings owned and operated by VCU.


A brief description of any building retrofit practices employed by the institution, e.g. to install high efficiency plumbing fixtures and fittings:

VCU replaces plumbing fixtures and fittings on an ongoing basis and always replaces outdated equipment with the most efficient option possible.


A brief description of any policies or programs employed by the institution to replace appliances, equipment and systems with water-efficient alternatives:

VCU replaces plumbing appliances, equipment and systems on an ongoing basis and always replaces outdated equipment with the most efficient option possible.


A brief description of any water-efficient landscape design practices employed by the institution (e.g. xeriscaping):

Green Unity completed a two phase stormwater awareness and management project called "Gardens 4 Life". The first phase involved replacing existing evergreen vegetation in beds at the Trani Center for Life Sciences with indigenous plants (xeriscaping or “bayscaping" aka landscaping for the Chesapeake Bay). The second phase was the creation of a “rain garden,” in the courtyard of the Grace E Harris Building. The rain garden is a landscaped depression surrounded by berms and filled with native plants. The plants filter and clean rainwater runoff from walkways and roofs, reducing pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay.


A brief description of any weather-informed irrigation technologies employed by the institution:

VCU has rain-sensors installed in some of the irrigation systems on campus.


A brief description of other water conservation and efficiency strategies employed by the institution:
---

The website URL where information about the institution’s water conservation and efficiency initiatives is available:

Vegetated Grounds Acres includes Monroe Park Campus , Medical Campus, Ashland Farm and Rice Center for Performance Year. Rice Center was not included for the Baseline year.

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.