LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—Viterbo University celebrated its respect for the environment today with campus sustainability day.
The school became the 14th catholic university in the nation to take the St. Francis Pledge to care for creation and the poor.
As a part of the celebrations, Viterbo highlighted some of their recent efforts to become sustainable.
The Dahl School of Business has replaced windows and upgraded the heating and cooling control systems.
"The vast majority of the floor tile in the corridors is 100-percent recyclable," Gene McCurdy, Director of Viterbo Physical Plant said. "It's luxury, vinyl tile. It's expected to last roughly 20 years."
The School of Nursing is roughly the same size as the Reinhart Center, but uses only 25-percent of the energy that it takes to run the Reinhart Center.
One of the reasons is a new air conditioning system.
"This unit here is the chilled beam unit," McCurdy said. "Essentially what it is, it takes less energy to move water than it does to move air. So water comes to the unit. Travels through the unit and a simple way of explaining it is air will go up through the center and actually get pushed out the sides and down into the space, cooling the space."
The School of Nursing is the second building in the state to have the new chilled beam air conditioning unit.
Even as we're walking on campus, their green efforts were evident at our feet. They used an organic fertilizer on the court yard grass.
"And it appears to be responding fairly well so we're probably going to expand that practice to the rest of campus next year," McCurdy said.
This summer, they upgraded the lighting in the Mathy Center.
"It used to be that we had to turn all the lights in the whole gymnasium to happen. now they're occupancy sensor controlled so that when somebody comes on and wants to use the track only the track lights comes on or if somebody wants to shoot baskets only that particular gym that they're in lights comes on," McCurdy said.
The lighting upgrade alone, in the Mathy Center, is expected to save $10,000 per year.
Viterbo hopes all of these upgrades attract new students to the university.
Viterbo suggests people work to become more sustainable at home. A few of their suggestions are:
Buy local, buy less, buy in bulk- the fewer miles you stuff travels, the less energy is used for transportation and refrigeration. Packaging contributes to a third of all household waste generated.
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