Sustainable Practices in University Housing

In support of the University's initiatives related to sustainability, University Housing has made a commitment to green practices in our work and business processes. Here are a few examples of sustainable or green practices being utilized in our department:

Business and Technology

Converting from a paper purchase requisition to an online form

In the past, the paper purchase requisition form was completed by staff members requesting to purchase goods and services. The electronic form allows our staff to save paper, toner, fuel in driving the form to the office that receives the forms and staff time.

Converting from a paper Missing Punch form to an electronic form

In the past, staff had been required to complete a paper form to provide a business justification for missing a punch on the time clock. The electronic form allows our staff to save paper, toner, fuel in driving the form to the office that receives the forms and staff time.

Residence Education

Converting from paper RA applications to an online RA application

Residence Education created an online RA application (utilizing Sharepoint, a secure site) to reduce the amount of paper and to make the RA applications more accessible to the selection committee and professional staff. This saves paper, toner and staff time.

Coordinator for Residence Education recruitment materials

In the past, recruitment guides/brochures were developed to market the Coordinator for Residence Education position. The CRE Recruitment has now created a flash drive with various documents and information to give to CRE candidates. This flash drive saves paper and on printing costs. The flash drive also allows for various multi-media to be utilized in one location (text documents, videos, presentations, etc.).

Administrative Services

Online housing contracts

By allowing our residents to contract online, University Housing saves money on printing two-part NCR forms and it allows the students to complete the contract in a quick and efficient manner.

Residential Facilities

Addition of 25 Energy Recovery Units (ERUs) over the past five years

The ERUs recover the heating and cooling (depending on the season) from the exhausted air. Normal exhaust fans would lose this air. The ERU is equipped with an energy wheel that recovers this air. This results in energy savings for the department (and our residents) and assists with keeping air temperature and humidity levels at a comfortable level.

Retrofitting all T-12 light fixtures to a T-8 light fixture

The T-8 is a smaller energy efficient (and brighter) bulb. Motion detectors have been installed in study rooms and hallways to shut off lights when not in use.

Installation of actuators and controls on all fan coil units

This installation has allowed the Facilities staff to set the temperature range from 68 to 74 degrees. Variable speed pumps were also installed in equipment rooms. This has been done under an Energy Service Group contract that guarantees our department (and our residents) energy savings.

Installation of bottle filler water fountains in Yocum and Pomfret Hantz (C and D wings)

This has helped to eliminate plastic bottles in the landfill. More bottle filler water fountains will be gradually introduced over time to other residence halls.

Cleaning Products

Three primary cleaners are used by University Housing Building Services staff for routine daily cleaning.

  • Terminator is a one-step disinfectant that can be used in a variety of application methods including Smart Centers, spray, mop and bucket, wipe and as a non-acid bowl cleaner. The general purpose dilution is 1:64 rating on the pH scale is 9.9. The heavy duty dilution is 1:16 rating on the pH scale is 10.5.

The other two products, True 7 and Star Spray, meet the Green Seal environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners based on reduced human and environmental toxicity and reduced volatile organic compound content.

  • True 7 is a pH neutral cleaner (pH 7.0) and will not contribute to pH problems in sewer discharge. It is for use on floors, walls, restroom fixtures and other hard surfaces where water is used. It is an unscented product formulated without perfume, APEO and EDTA.
  • Star Spray is formulated without alcohol, amines, butyl or ammonia. This product is used to clean glass, windows, mirrors, countertops and stainless steel surfaces. The pH factor when diluted 1:16 is 7.0.

Smart Centers are installed in every custodial closet. Smart Center is a push button proportioning system to ensure proper dilution of cleaning products which reduces the excessive use of cleaning products.


University Housing provides centralized collection sites in each residence hall where students may take plastic, metal and paper. University Housing also makes a dedicated effort to reduce the amount of cardboard that ends up in the landfill by sending cardboard to the campus recycling center.