The operation and maintenance of buildings and grounds shall meet or exceed statutory requirements to reduce energy and water use, provide excellent air quality and comfort, improve productivity of faculty, staff and students, and minimize materials use. Further, priority shall be given to the purchase and installation of high-efficiency equipment and facilities as part of an ongoing sustainability action plan following life cycle cost guidelines where applicable.
ECU takes water conservation extremely seriously and has worked quickly to make water conservation a priority on all campuses. Recent droughts in the area have brought into clear focus the need to conserve water, and in response, ECU is addressing the issue in a variety of ways.
When irrigation is necessary, ECU uses an advanced system equipped with a weather station that determines how much water is lost in a day. The irrigation system is then able to deliver the precise amount of water needed to the landscape, effectively eliminating over watering.
ECU Facilities Services has worked to reduce water usage in campus buildings for the past five years. In that time the university has seen water consumption decrease 33 percent annually per square foot. Apart from the traditional water-saving initiatives, such as installing low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads across campus, ECU is working on more creative ways to save water.
ECU is excited to be on track to install its first pervious paving project this summer (2010). The area on the eastern end of Wright Plaza will be modified by removing concrete, compacted soils and an old fire lane system. A pervious paver system will allow rainwater to infiltrate the soils and aquifer. The use of pervious paving is among the Best Management Practices (BMP) recommended by the EPA and other agencies for the management of storm water runoff on a regional and local basis. Pervious paving eliminates the need for retention ponds, swales, and other storm water devices, and provides more efficient land use. Pervious paving has many environmental benefits.
Storm water Management - By allowing water to soak through and infiltrate, pervious paving reduces storm water flow and pollutant loads.
Minimize Site Disturbance - By integrating paving and drainage, less site area may need to be used to manage storm water, allowing a more compact site development footprint.
Cool - The voids reduce mass reducing the heat build up associated with heat islands. Lighter colored paving can increase reflectivity. Not specifically approved for achieving LEED Credit SS 7.
As a major consumer of water on campus, ECU Grounds Department recently installed four rainwater cisterns and rooftop collection systems to collect and use rain water for landscape irrigation. Retention ponds on Health Sciences Campus and at the new North Recreational Complex also aid in irrigation by using the water that would otherwise be lost to runoff while saving the university significant amount of money in city water.
The grounds department has also begun using more native and drought tolerant vegetation on campus, which allows the university to irrigate far less than it previously did. These plants require less water, less mowing, and fewer chemicals to survive, which is also beneficial to the environment.