Student Center incorporates sustainable practices, materials

A student center spokeswoman said the center's infrastructure consists of environmentally-conscious material.
A recycling station sits in the newly opened lower level of the MU Student Center. There are about 20 recycling stations placed around the new building.

The MU Student Center, which expanded to include Mort’s Grill, The Shack and the Mizzou Traditions Lounge this semester, is the largest undergoing construction project on campus. With increasing pressures to keep buildings and facilities eco-friendly, the university adopted a number of strategies in an effort to keep the new student center, sustainable.

Student Sustainability adviser Ben Datema said this involved using some of the standards included in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program.

“I know for this building they looked into getting LEED certification,” Datema said. “They didn't decide to go with that, but they still incorporated a lot of the ideas and sustainable practices.”

Student Auxiliary Services spokeswoman Michelle Froese said the university incorporated environmentally conscious materials into the basic infrastructure of the student center.

“In terms of actual features, we used a structural steel with a high level of recycled content and concrete that's made with fly ash, which is also a reuse of material,” Froese said.

Along with energy-saving sensors on lights and plumbing throughout the MU Student Center, Froese said the facility implemented other interior designs to increase the sustainability of the building.

“We try to maximize indoor air quality and reduce emissions through the selection of different finishes and furnishes,” Froese said. “Our carpeting meets requirements for the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus program. We've also got furniture that is SCS (Scientific Certification Systems) certified, meaning it doesn't emit a lot of chemical emissions.”

Froese said the student center’s efficient HVAC system has also contributed to the building’s sustainability.

“We've doubled the size of the old Brady Commons, but with the entire building open we've only seen about an increase of 30 percent in our utilities, so we think that's going well,” Froese said.

The model of sustainability present in the MU Student Center is being adopted across campus through various initiatives promoted by the Sustainability Office, Sustain Mizzou and Student Life.

Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said the university will participate in the annual RecycleMania competition to promote environmental responsibility among students.

“It’s a national competition to see which campus can recycle the most per person during a 10-week time period,” Seville said. “We'll be advertising that in MU Info. We've placed pretty high in the past, and we just want to improve our record with that.”

Campus Facilities is focused on encouraging students, faculty and staff to take part in making MU more sustainable, Seville said.

“We want to start really working with students, staff and faculty on behavior modification and the fact that all of us contribute to the university’s carbon footprint,” Seville said. “Even little things like turning off your computer or turning out your lights can make a difference.”

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