Archive for category Energy

The NAU Sustainability Course Directory Has Been Launched!

The NAU Office of Sustainability is excited to introduce the NAU Sustainability Course Directory – a new online database system for all the courses from any department that are focused on sustainability or simply have a sustainability component in them. Both undergraduate and graduate students can now enjoy a constantly updated list of classes that cover a wide range of topics related to environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability.

The courses are submitted by their instructors using a specially designated online form. After being approved by our administrator, the course appears in the online database and can be looked up using a convenient search engine that provides 3 criteria options that helps a student find a better fit.

The challenge of spreading awareness about sustainability and creating an environmentally conscious behavior always comes down to nurturing eco-literacy. In order to provide a deeper understanding of the global climate change challenges we face nowadays, NAU is attempting to ease an access to the list of classes that serve as an educational tool about that issue and offers diverse strategies of addressing it. The introduction of this course listing system is a great step towards creating a culture of sustainability in the Northern Arizona University, bringing a better understanding of the need for a more environmentally responsible behavior to its students.

Useful links:
For NAU students – NAU Sustainability Course Directory
For course instructors – Sustainability Course Submission

The list of classes is constantly being updated so make sure to check back regularly!

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At Home Sustainability

Not living in the Resident Halls this year? Are you a “do it yourself” kind of person? Or maybe interested in sustainable home projects? Either way, we have your fix! Read the rest of this entry »

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GNEI Overview Video

After a couple of weeks of hard work, our brand new video is available for your viewing pleasure! The GNEI Overview Video is a short promo featuring the Green NAU Energy Initiative. Check out what we are up to!

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Carbon Neutral Laundry in the Residence Halls

Northern Arizona University’s Housing and Residence Life’s partnership with Mac-Gray Campus Solutions has resulted in NAU becoming become one of the first colleges in the state of Arizona and in the Southwest to have a carbon neutral laundry program. NAU is one of about 47 colleges and universities in 17 states that are participating in The “Lighten Our Load” initiative which provides for the installation of water and energy efficient laundry machines and a 100% offset of the calculated 787,655 pounds of carbon dioxide annually produced by NAU residents.

Mac-Gray Campus Solutions partners with for their offset projects using the guidelines set forth by the November 2008 ACUPCC Voluntary Carbon Offsets Protocol. To ensure compatibility with ACUPCC protocols, only projects that represent absolute and immediate GHG reductions are chosen for funding.

Housing and Residence Life has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability with ongoing facilities upgrades and retrofits and by providing residential programs that include the Eco-House Learning Community and Eco-Rep peer educators. “We have adopted sustainability as a department-wide value and are looking through that lens in everything that Housing and Residence Life does. Implementing a carbon neutral laundry program is yet another innovative strategy for us in our endeavor to make all of our practices more sustainable,” Scott Perelstein, Associate Director for Facilities.

Pictured, from left to right: Scott Perelstein, Associate Director of Facilities; Cori Cusker, Coordinator for Sustainability; and Dr. Rich Payne, Executive Director, Housing and Residence Life.


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ABOR Approves $18 Million in Campus Energy Retrofits

In the latest example of Northern Arizona University’s commitment to Sustainability, the Arizona Board of Regents has just approved an $18,000,000 performance contract between Northern Arizona University and the energy services company NORESCO. This contract will allow NAU to save approximately $1,500,000 a year in utility costs and will reduce NAU’s green house gas emissions to below 1990 levels by 2014. The construction will begin in late May and will take approximately 22 months to complete. This contract represents Phase 1 of the campus audit and retrofit with the Phase 2 audit taking place in the Fall.

Lindsay Wagner, the Director of Sustainability and Energy Services for NAU Facility Services says, “This project is the first major step in NAU becoming a carbon neutral campus. This is an opportunity for the university to upgrade lighting and heating and cooling equipment, as well as involving students, faculty and staff in the process which will increase awareness of the campus sustainability efforts and ultimately aid in creating the Culture of Sustainability that we are after. I am very excited to get this project started.”

Some of the highlights of the NORESCO contract include:

  • Interior Lighting Upgrades
  • Plumbing Fixture Upgrades
  • Heating and Cooling Controls Upgrades
  • Utility Metering
  • Behavioral Change Program

In addition to the infrastructure and building improvements the contract includes a focus on creating a culture of sustainable behavior to further reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Bryan McLaren, the Coordinator of NAU’s Office of Sustainability says, “The NAU NORESCO project will be the single most significant step that NAU has taken towards our Carbon Neutrality 2020 goal since signing the Association of College and Universities President’s Climate Commitment. I am extremely excited to start moving this project into the implementation phase and advancing our culture of sustainability.”

For questions, please contact

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North Plant Boiler Tour [Video]

Do you know how buildings on campus are heated or how you get hot water in your office or residence hall? NAU recently purchased 3 new boilers that significantly increased the energy efficiency of heating on campus. Check out the exclusive video tour below!


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Be Heard: Help Shape Your NAU Campus

Northern Arizona University is seeking your feedback by inviting you to take an online survey regarding energy usage. Please follow the link below to participate.

Survey Button

Those who complete the survey will be eligible for a chance at one of the following incentives redeemable at the NAU Bookstore:

  • 1 respondent will receive an iPad2
  • 4 respondents will receive a $50 NAU Bookstore Gift Card
  • 30 respondents will receive a $10 NAU Bookstore Gift Card

The survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete and your responses will be kept confidential. The survey can be taken only once and participation is voluntary.

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Wind for Schools and the NAU Green Fund Collaborate to Install Wind Turbine

The turbine was donated by Southwest Windpower, as was a 45’ tower. SWWP also had four staff members provide technical assistance for the entire day of the installation. The Facility Services department (formerly Capital Assets) at NAU did considerable work managing the project at no charge. Shaum Electric donated some of their labor. GLHN design from Tucson donated the design work including work on the electrical drawings. Time lapse footage by Christopher Ray.

The data for the turbine will be used by the Wind for Schools project, and will be uploaded to the Idaho National Labs site so schools nationwide have access to it. It will also be used locally in the Wind Energy and Renewable Energy classes in the Mechanical Engineering department, and may be used in individual student research projects.

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