Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wiki notes

I was poking at the Wiki page today and I found a few features.

If you DON'T want to get notifications every time I change the font on my page:
Log in and go to the Settings link at the top.
Find the link on the left that says Notifications.
Take your name off the list.

There is a Files option with 10MB of storage. We could put the Carbon Calculator here where we can all access it, using 3-4MB of that storage. Any images or graphs we use on our pages are also going to come out of that 10MB, so we may need to keep an eye on the size of our files. Should we post the Calculator for just a day or two next week so we can all add our data to a common file? Maybe after the presentations so we can incorporate any suggestions? Or is it possible to post just the input sheet so we can past things into our own files? Thoughts?
Hey guys,

So I looked at Ron's email and Gabe was right, that was the price to switch solely to coal (not what we want!). I emailed him again and it would be more that 5 million dollars to switch to all natural gas. So I will look at other rations to decrease GHG while still using some coal--ouch!

Here is what the email said:

The $101,400 refers to replacing the natural gas we actually used with coal. To reverse this - e.g. switching from coal and natural gas to all gas would be a lot more expensive. To replace the 25,863 tons of coal would require 542,592 MCF of natural gas at current unit price of $10.98 per MCF or $5,957,660!Our actual energy cost for steam was $1,937,974 (coal $1,468,492, natural gas $469,482). To produce it all with coal would be $1,569,892 (coal $1,468,492 + equivalent coal for gas $101,400). To produce it all with natural gas it would be $6,427,142 (natural gas $469,482 + equivalent gas for coal $5,957,660)

As you can see, the total cost is about 3.3 times the original cost and why such a radical shift in the fuel used for steam production is such a huge economic decision!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New method to display the cost of electricity use

Hi everybody,

Just wanted to let you know that our team devised another method to display the cost of electricity use in campus buildings. This is intended to help those who don't grasp the true meaning of MMBTU consumption understand the relationship between OU's electrcity consumption and each building's efficiency/consumption habits.

Assuming OU's current electrical rate is $.04/kWh (as provided by Ron Chapman), I multiplied the kWh totals for each building (on South Green at least) by $.04 to get the total amount spent in the FY(06-07).

Next, to show how each building's electrical efficiency and use habits affect the cost, I divided the total amount of money spent for each building by its GROSS square footage to illustrate $$ spent/SQFT in the 06-07 fiscal year. This seemed to correspond wonderfully with the MMBTU's / SQFT I wrote about the other day.

If you have any suggestions on how this method could be improved or modified, please let me know.


Air Travel Changes

In a previous blog I mentioned analyzing the travel data by looking at the first and last fiscal years.
I thought that I had detailed notes (who, where, why) for 2006 (making it the last fiscal year) however the last full fiscal year that has detailed notes is 2002.


Also even with the notes, there are still a number of flights that do not provide locations, or are not listed on the "Notes" spreadsheet that was given to me.

The deeper I go into these spreadsheets the more problems seem to come up.

Final word on the landfill

I called them back, figuring that whoever picked up the phone would know the answer. I was right - there is no methane recovery. Not at all surprising, but nice to have it confirmed. Handily all the data is already in short tons, so all I have to do is enter it to the calculator and get numbers for the missing years.

Thoughts for the Future

While brainstorming with Sarah and Matt A. about what we are doing and what the next steps should be of our efforts, I thought of an idea. If the University wants to take this commitment seriously and continue to inventory our green house gas emissions (which it should) then standards need to be in place in the departments where we are gathering the data. The GHG Inventory needs to be one of "T's" crossed and "I's" dotted for each department. So that when whoever is put in charge of that years inventory, the information will be there. I think that this would be key in maintaining our efforts for the future.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Solutions update

Just an update on the solutions progress: we have approximately 200 responses on the surveys and will keep collecting data until the end of this week. This will make for a good pilot study and I definitely think we should refine the questions and I can send it out again to faculty, staff, and students next quarter.

I heard back from Third Sun (solar and wind energy) as to what they could possibly implement at OU and how much it costs. This is a PDF though so I can bring it too class.

Additionally, I heard more from Ron regarding some specific questions we had about the univeristy's current system. Here are the relevant questions and his responses:

1. Do you have dollar figures as to how much the residence challenge saved the college, how much it cost to implement and how much it reduced energy consumption?

The Residence Challenge saved us $5256.96 in water, $4183.77 in electric and 106.6 tons of CO2. No figures were kept on actual costs. Actual KGAL water was 685,000 gallons and 96,917 kWh of electric.

2. Is the university set up for natural gas heating? If so, do you know how much more it would cost to switch from natural gas to coal?

Question is a little ambiguous. We heat primarily with steam produced by Coal and Natural gas in a 88% coal and 12% natural gas ratio at the heating plant. Coal is $53.00 per ton and natural gas is presently $10.98 per MCF. Cost per MMBTU is 4.63:1 (gas to coal). We used 25,863 tons of coal and 376,652 CCF of natural gas at the heating plant. The coal cost was $1,468,492 and the natural gas cost us $469,482 Replacing the natural gas MMBTU with coal is only 21.6% the cost! the natural gas could be replaced with coal costing about $101,400.

3. Are our buildings set up with thermostats that we potentially could lower a degree or two in the winter and raise in the summer?

Some are, a lot are centrally controlled and we exercise control over the temperatures remotely. A lot of the buildings, primarily the residence halls have no thermostats for heating and are zone controlled. We have much difficulty regulating the temps in these buildings. Also, individual controls on window A/C's are difficult for us to dictate control!

4. Are there any buildings that would function with passive solar heating and/or could we potentially have solar water heating?

Anything is possible. Solar heating in our region of the US dictates a redundant back up so it results in a higher first cost. To my knowledge, no life-cycle costing has been done on solar heating. It was initially considered for the natatorium I'm told but was discounted due to high need for heat in the winter with low sun hours and a concern as to how to reject all the heat in the summer time when the heat was not needed as much. It is something that bears additional investigation.

See you in class

Further progress on building data

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I added another column to our "Building Energy Use" spreadsheet.

The additional column is "MMBTU's / square foot" for electricity only.

Given what we all discussed, additional columns can be added for water, natural gas and steam once the meters are installed.

I figured it would be good to calculate the energy use (for electricity) per square foot using the GROSS sq. footage numbers, considering that would account for all the additional energy that's inadvertently used because of the gaps in the walls etc., although I'm also open to using the NET sq. footage numbers too.

(For those of you not familiar with the difference between GROSS and NET square feet, GROSS indicates the total square footage of the building footprint, whereas NET stands for all the usable space (excluding interior walls, gaps, voids etc.).

What do you think?

comming together

i met with gabe last friday and she was able to give me some information concerning the actuall area of each of the fields. i have finally heard a reply from david hamill, but i still have to wait for his answere. this is so frustrating, i just want to know how much fertilizer we have used. is that such a big deal?

anyway...i should have all of it together soon, im excited. ill se everybody tomorrow in class.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Baker Escalators

After getting no response from anyone in the Baker Center about the escalators I decided to call the KONE elevator and escalator company to see if I could find anything out there. I talked to Rick Baretta who originally could only give me the technical specifications of the escalator. But, he then offered to talk to some engineers to see if they could figure out what the kW usage would be. Long story short, one empty escalator uses 2.2 kW as it runs per hour. A full escalator, which would mean completely full with a person on each step, runs at 7.5 kW per hour. Rick said that escalators almost never run completely full so a good estimate would be in the 5 kW range.

To calculate the usage you would have to find out how long the escalators run, during what hours people actually ride them, and how many people ride them during those busy hours.

The escalators used by the Baker Center are the KONE Eco3000. Rick said that the engineers are working on a Ecostart after market device that can be retrofitted onto existing escalators. This device will supposedly reduce electricity usage by 30% for the escalators.

By my calculations a completely empty escalator running 24/7, 365 days a year would cost $4,625 a year. The escalators are never completely empty so the number would in fact be higher. But the university is paying at least this much.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Building consumption

Hey all,

The solution group was wondering if anybody had data on how much electricity each individual building intakes. We thought that somebody was doing this or that it was around somewhere but we can't find it.


Commuter / Faculty Parking Permit Data

This afternoon I spoke with Serena McCollum at the Office of Institutional Research about my project and the problems I was having obtaining electronic data. She said that they had no way of creating such a spreadsheet. While they do have a database with student names and addresses, they had no way of telling if they commute or if they live at an Athens residence.

Avionics Program - in the GHG Inventory?

Dear Class -

I had one of those head-slapping moments the other day.

Is anyone looking into the Avionics GHG footprint?

If yes, please respond to my blog and mention it in class next week.
Thanks! --KJB

kill-a-watts worked well

I haven't got a chance to disseminate surveys at Baker due to my full schedule of classes, exams and papers. But I've sent the online survey link out to my grad classmates, so if they reply, Nicole should have got them.
At the same time, as Dr Brown suggested, I am doing a micro-examination on the four graphics labs I am supervising about the power use and student behavior. I used the kill-a-watts tonight to find out how much electricity a computer uses and found out it actually consumes almost the same amount of electicity with people using it or simply leaving it running. I have been documenting my lab student's behavior of using computers, so I believe I will be able to add something interesting in the report.
I have also made an appointment with Sonia to talk about a computer educational program her office is going to launch.
So, go go everyone!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The data collection is going well--we have about 100 people so far. I was wondering if anyone was going to look into how much we would have saved had we used LEED standards on our new buildings. This was on our list of solutions, but if someone else is looking in to that, we wont double up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


i just heard from kimthe prez and the provost will be attending our presentations. cool. hopefully we can get some local media reps and some student based organizations to attend too!

Monday, October 22, 2007


I passed out the surveys to my cluster class and business fraternity. Overall looking at how much people would pay for green energy was quite interesting. I just browsed through as we are still working on compiling the data, but people where willing to spend up to $500 dollars in some cases. Although there was also a lot of people who didn't want to pay any money at all.

Also we are working on putting together some ideas for an educational program

I am also working on trying to figure out how long would be the pay back period to install solar panels to some degree on an existing building.

Late but not least I think it would be a great idea for us to do something in our presentation that would get the audience involved or at least get more of their attention then a normal presentation.

"Are you a Good Landfill, or a Bad Landfill?"

Today after another answering machine plea, Mark-the-Engineer of the landfill called me back. Our trash goes to a "Sanitary Landfill" which means it is compacted rather than incinerated, and isolated from the water table. I unfortunately forgot to ask about methane reclamation, but this is usually used in cities where the capped landfill may be used as an industrial park or golf course. I'll start entering my data into the calculator to see what it looks like, and I'll call back to verify that there is no methane recovery.

As for the missing data - for landfill-bound trash I have 4 recent years of the coveted 18 - the landfill records the tonnage by the hauling company, not by the source. I believe our hauling company is Athens/Hocking Recycling Center, but I'll have to check my notes and maybe call Ed Newman back. If I provide the landfill with a hauling company, they can give me annual tonnage brought by them. That hauling company would be another data source possibility. Recycling data on the other hand is far more complete.

Faculty / Commuter Permits...

This morning I was contacted by Teresa at Parking Services about my request for commuter and faculty parking permits. They have records from the previous three years only, because they are not required to keep them for more than three years. Furthermore, the only available records of the addresses to which the permits were issued are on individual sales receipts and not in any electronic form. I went down to the Parking Services office to go through the permits. However, there are roughly 3,000 commuter permits and 2,500-3,400 faculty permits for each year. This figure includes permits that are given as replacements for ones that are lost or stolen. I'm not entirely sure about where to go from here. I am considering going through a portion of the permits to get a sample of the data, but I'm not sure how many would represent an adequate sample.
Here is the email Marty from Parking Services sent earlier this morning.

Hi Sarah,
> Attached are 2 files we have on computer that will give you 05 miles & 06 miles and make of vehicle (you'll have to match the 29- numbers - license tags to 05 data) - we found everything else - but it is in boxes and on paper back to 2002, which you are more than welcome to go thru - some of the vehicles we don't have mileage on because we are not a centralized fleet - please let me know if you need anything else.
> thanks - marty
> Marty Paulins
> Director Transportation & Parking Services
> Ohio University
> 100 Factory Street / University Garage
> Athens, OH 45701
> PH : 740-597-1586
> FX : 740-593-9608
> email :

Master of Science in Environmental Studies

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Student survey

The IRB is in, so soon we will be collecting data from the students. Information on student "green" fees, air travel, commuter travel, beliefs in global warming, computer use, and similar topics will be collected from students in the business and psychology departments, business frat, and various individuals around campus. We will keep the transportation people posted!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Plan for Travel Data

Yesterday in class Kim, Josh, Sarah and I took a look at the travel data and came up with a plan of attack for analysis.

The first full FY of data is 1998 and the most recent is 2006. I am going to focus on these two years to determine:
  • how many people flew
  • where they went (how many miles)
With these I am going to plot out miles flown per person for those two years, and then determine how many people flew for the years in between and make assumptions from there.

Most other schools did not have hard data for their air travel and they just made general hypotheses for calculating the air travel. I think this is the best way to utilize the data that we have in the time we have for the class.


Carbon Offsets

Hey All,

My friend Courtney started a tree planting club last year through the University. In total they planted 1400 pine saplings and this November they are planting roughly 20+ trees behind White's Mill.

Josh, can we use this as part of our offsets?


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Our building group added up electric & AEP kilowatt hours for fiscal years 2001-2007. (this information can be used in the carbon calculator) . FYI, we are using the standard conversion:1 kwh =0.003412128 MMBtu.
Also Matt is emailing Ron Chapman about electric meter codes (ie OHP NHP, OHP 2 ect).
I also met with Sonia on Monday. We thought it might be helpful to have GHG emissions avoided from building renovations (calculated from dollar savings from renovated buildings). Looking at the University of New Hampshire GHG inventory emissions based on primary fuel saved at the generating plant. I am unsure of how data was converted, especially with the fuel mix, so I hope to contact someone from UNH soon on their calculations.

Google Document

Here is the link for the Google Document that our group, the building group, has been working on. GHG Worksheet Our data is going to this one document that we can all edit.

Population Data

I have accumulated all the data on full-time, part-time and summer school students thanks to Serena McCollum in Institutional Research and all the data on the faculty and staff thanks to Liz Bennett in Institutional Research. Student data for the years 1990 thru 1998 was available from notebooks stored in the Institutional Research office and data for the years 1998 thru 2007 from the Institutional Research website (Student Data tab//Student Enrollment/Degree Reports//Quarterly Enrollment Stats). I used the ATHENS(00) sections of the report as this is the main campus. Other data in the Athens reports include Continuing Education (10), Proctorville (33), Pickerington (34) and Hong Kong (99) . Serena assured me that Proctorville , Pickerington and Hong Kong students were on those campuses and not in Athens. My only concern was Continuing Education (10) - were those students physically on the Athens campus? Serena didn't believe that they were on campus and directed me to the Lifetime Learning group in Haning Hall. I spoke first with Karen Pidcock of Independent & Distance Learning. She explained that distance learning had been available in some form for the last 80 years. She was sure that anyone who took the Distance Learning was already counted in the (00) data. She directed me to Pam Brown, Director of Summer Sessions. Pam was sure that students in the (10) category were not physically on the campus. She believed that the numbers in the (00) category covered all the students on Athens campus. To check the theory would require that she go through all the call numbers and compare them with class rosters - a lot of work on her part that probably wouldn't result in different numbers. So, I deferred to the people with the experience and used (00) data.

As soon as the excel file is available on Blackboard, I will copy and paste the data.

Pam Callahan

i just got out of a meeting with Pamella Callahan and she let me know pretty much all of the information a person could want to know about the development and timing of the athletic fields and the campus parks.

im still waiting to hear from Dave about a couple of questions. i think im going to try to arrange a meeting with him sometime next week. ive spoken with him a couple of times over the phone, i may as well introduce myself.


Landfill Data

Our trash goes to the Athens-Hocking Reclamation Center in Nelsonville, run by Kilbargers Construction. I called them up a few days ago to find out more, but the guy who answered had trucks waiting and didn't have time for questions. Instead he suggested I call Mark the Engineer, which I did. I left a clear message mentioning the GHG inventory and the Office of Sustainability, and asked him to return my call. I've called back since, but so far have not reached Mark. I'll keep calling.

Visit with Parking Services

I met with Marty from Parking Services this morning. Computerized records only date back to 2005, but their should be some kind of paper trail that he is hoping to put together in a few days.

The emails Dr. Brown sent out were effective. He seemed to understand the overall goals of the project, although not all the details.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Matt and I met last night and discussed the building energy use project. We talked about the progress that has already been made and difficulties we had encountered. Then, we tried to narrow down the steps we should take to complete the project. They were as follows:

1. Record all of the meters (electric, water, and natural gas) and the buildings they are tied to (separated by Green), along with the energy usage for each during the 2006/07 fiscal year.

2. Identify any holes in the data, or areas that may be confusing, such as meters that record electric use for several buildings, or buildings for which meter data cannot be found.

3. Tally energy use for all buildings and convert all units into BTUs. Where it is possible, this will be done on a building-by-building basis. In some cases, buildings may have to be grouped together.

We will continue to use the group spreadsheet on Google Docs to record our group's data.

Campus wide actions

Nicole and I meet the other day to figure out goals as a group and to finish the survey. As she said it is completed, I will be passing out surveys to organizations that I belong to which should get us about 100 people.

One key thing that we are focusing on is putting CFL's in every dorm room when students get there so that they can use them in their desk lamps. It should be easy to show how much this could save in terms of money and the reduction of GHG's.

Also I am trying to figure out a way to get a program together to educate students.

share with my teammates

One of my classes required me to go to the survey center and call people across Ohio tonight, so I missed the meeting with my teammates. As we discussed last Thursday, I contributed my thoughts in a written form. But probably I sent out to them too late today. Anyway here is an outline about my suggestions:

After a rough examination over current energy policies of Ohio University, carbon neutrality report of Middleburry College and renewable resource development plan of Ohio State, I would suggest we take the following steps to build our solution package for Ohio University.
1. Settle down the major areas that require immediate solutions to reduce the carbon emissions
My suggestions:
1) Electricity use for lighting, heating and machine running in each building, including student dorms
2) Transportation, including campus fleet and private cars
3) Fertilizer use
4) Personal consumption habits
5) Education
6) Offset activities
2. Map out possible solutions for each area
My suggestions:
1) Electricity:
A) Lighting: change all lighting bulbs into LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs
B) Heating:
According to Middleburry College, the possible ways to reduce the power use for heating are updating windows facing the south to energy-saving windows in each building, adopting biomass as the energy source and resorting to solar energy as an alternative. These solutions are all applicable, but at considerable expenses. Placing meters in each building and student dorms to help control power use will be a more down-to-earth step currently and can be used as the first step. Cost evaluation must be conducted first before replacing windows and switching to biomass or solar energy.
It is also advisable to suggest the school maintain indoor temperature during winter time to around 26 C (about 78.8 F), the recognized temperature that saves energy and keeps people warm.
C) Machine running:
Computers, projectors and printers are among the most frequently used machines in the campus, not to mention those big machines to mowing the grassland and maintenance the golf course.
The first solution would be to diversify the power source of the campus, such as developing biomass and solar energy, to reduce the carbon emissions as well as to save the costs in the long run.
The second solution would be to educate machine users including the maintenance staff and students to keep the machines running in a low consumption manner. Good habits should be developed to reach the goal, including shutting down the computers if they are not supposed to be used in a considerably long time and avoiding leaving the machines running while not really working.

2) Transportation:
A) Campus fleet:
Adoption of biofuel or natural gas instead of diesel or oil is the first solution to reduce carbon emissions of cars and buses. Compared to private cars, campus buses are actually much better a way of transportation for students and faculties and therefore should be encouraged to develop, in my personal opinion.
B) Private cars:
Athens does not have an advanced transportation system that people can rely on to reduce their activities on cars. However, it is also because the place is small and most of the areas are within the walking distance. Therefore, encouraging less driving is the foremost solution. And like campus fleet, resorting to alternative fuels is also a good way of reducing carbon emissions.

3) Fertilizer use
So far I have little idea about how fertilizers are used in Ohio University. The possible solution I can think of is to reduce the usage as much as possible, and to purchase environmentally-friendly solutions instead of chemical ones as much as possible. But it is an area that requires further examination.

4) Personal consumption habits
This would be a big part of solution package that we can immediately start doing. It is an area that actually has many overlaps with above areas.
The habits that usually lead to high consumption of energy include: leaving computers, lights or air conditioning machines on while they are not in use; driving most of the time even within short distances; wasting papers in printing; keeping water running while it is not in use; never recycling wastes.
The solution to this can be combined with the following area – education. Notices can be posted in classrooms, libraries and labs to remind everyone save energy. Campaigns can be held to encourage people to drive less. For example, take the advantage of a soccer match to reward people who don’t drive to watch with T-shirts or extra tickets. Different clubs and associations in Ohio University can be included into a campus campaign that encourages them to integrate the notion of “low energy consumption” into their respective activities.
This is an area that we can do a lot of about.

5) Education
It will be advisable to persuade the school to set up an introductory course for freshmen and new staff of Ohio University about climate change effects and consumption behaviors. It can be a course that other levels of students or faculties can also take to earn some extra credits, but should be a compulsory course for freshmen.
I believe once this course is set up, it can have a more extensive effect than any other campaigns or activities we hold occasionally.
It is also advisable to cooperate with some non-profit organizations in this area. They can give lectures or hold activities in the campus to promote the notion of climate friendliness.

6) Offset activities:
Anyway OU will emit carbon dioxide. So, offset activities cannot be disposed. Tree planting is a common way of offsetting carbon emissions. Buying wind power or solar power can be another way. But it depends on the school budget and how we can first save the energy use for the school.
3.Evaluate costs and benefits on each area by using valid data.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Donny and I met to go over the survey questions and potential solutions. Copies will be made and dispersed this week. The IRB will be submitted but to ensure some student responses before the end of the quarter, we thought it best to start collecting info now.

We are investigating cost-benefits of energy reduction using solar panels via Third Sun. We may need info on the square foot of building and energy consumption of the buildings. Does anyone have this data (or is the CA-CP tool spreadsheet available to us yet?)

Additionally, if we could get the # of commuters both students and faculty/staff from whoever has that data that would be great!

Fertilizer Paper Trail

i have spent quite a bit of time this morning calling everyone under the sun in an attempt to find purchasing records for the fertilizer used by the university. im doing this in the hopes this will provide supplimental information to my mission. ill be meeting with Pam Callahan on thrs to discuss how the greens have changed over the last 17 years and i thought if i had some kind of paper trail it might provide some concrete data on tonnage bought. i figured i could also use it to back check my calculations and estimates.

i spoke with Pam, she is going to help me work out acreage and how and when things like the golf course have changed. this will no doubt involve some GIS work on my behalf, and with the info Gabe gave me last week it should work out. i spoke with Jullie Allison and she informed me how the grounds staff purchases their fertilizer. wether or not they use purchasing orders or the university p-cards, and why there is a difference when they do. i spoke with Ralph Six, he's in charge of purching orders. purchasing order records are only kept for three years (shoot!) and he let me know there hasn't been any purchasing orders for fertilizers in the last 3 years. so that means all of the fertilizer has been purchased with a p-card latley. he also let me know i would need the name of the fertilizer companies used by the uiversity to check with the p-card department. waiting to hear from David Hamill about which companies we have used. once i know that i can call Shannon Bruce in the p-card dept and cross refernce the records.

so thats where i am right now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Recycling & Waste Data

Ed Newman's folder contents were easily deciphered, and I have the recycling heavy-hitter data (cardboard, plastics, papers, cans, etc.) solid for most of the past 10 years. I'll be returning his files tomorrow. [Edit 10/15/07: Files returned.] What's missing is landfill totals for half of those years, and the special item recycling, like fluorescent bulbs, tires, computers, mattresses, and Re-Use donations. I have a list of names to call to fill in that data, starting at the landfill and filling in the rest as time permits. Hopefully when I'm done I can hand Ed back a complete & working spreadsheet.

Recycling and trash data is recorded as campus-wide totals, so I won't be adding this to the per-building analyses. I suppose we could get really creative and estimate building-level data from the recycling and trash pick-up schedule frequencies, but with that much estimation it wouldn't be "low-hanging fruit".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Travel data is intense

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this posted ...
A couple weeks ago a nifty little disk from Ron Chapman that contained every flight purchased on the Ohio P-Card since March of 1998. A spread sheet with over 40,000 lines to it, only about 18,900 of them have details pertaining to who, what, why, and where. So there is still a lot of investigating to be done. I am getting through it and will have more info this weekend.
Also in case anyone else is using P-Card transactions, Ron said to use the Transaction Date (not the Post Date) when splitting them up by fiscal years.

Search for Ground Transportation Info

In regards to finding out transportation data for vehicles used by the university:

I have spoken to various people in the University system who do extensive traveling or management of van use, specifically, Dan Vorisek who manages the Challenge Course, and Danny Twilley, an instructor in Recreation Studies. I was directed to some various financial assistants who directed me to Tom Tesar who manages Outdoor Pursuits, who directed me to MotorPool, who directed me to the Pilchner building and legal records/John Burns. Hopefully this will turn up something more than another campus tour.


Fertilizer and Nitrogen numbers

hey everyone,

i just figured out the Fertilizer and Nitrogen numbers the David Hamill sent me the other day. Wow are they big! I'd like to find out how much is average for a school to use and how we compare, just out of curiosity. There is still some information that wasn't included in his e-mail so i've tried to contact him in hopes he'll be able to fill in the gaps. He did not give me the numbers used on the greens, just the fields and the golf course.

i think after i get this figured out and completed, im going to work on how much gasoline is being used by the lawn care specialists at Ohio University.

Hi all,

The IRB for the student survey is about ready to be sent off but I havent gotten any suggestion as to what should be included except for what Donny has written here. Does anyone from other groups want anything included?

A potential solution for air flights (although maybe not ideal) is buying conservation offsets in exchange for the flights. These programs are now getting into the mainstream light as they are on travelociy's homepage and Icelandair has them available for every flight--documenting how many trees will be planted in exchange for the mileage/carbon emissions in your flight. Although it will increase travel funds for faculty/staff it sounded like a decent option to consider.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Requesting Commuter Records


I was the male with brown hair who was at parking services earlier this week. I was looking for commuter permit records and I was the recipient of about six raised eyebrows, as I had anticipated. I went to Pilcher House on Tuesday and submitted a request for the records. I am currently waiting to hear back from Legal Affairs.

Recycling Data

Today I met with Ed Newman to get the data Nicole mentioned. We spoke for an hour or so about the history of recycling at OU and where he'd like to see us go as a campus. I learned a great deal about what happens to our recyclables after they leave campus, and the plans for the composting program. Then Ed showed me the relevant websites on campus recycling and recycle mania. The campus site is out-of-date, but he handed me hard copies of the more recent data. In fact he handed me a massive folder of fax print-outs and pamphlets and invoices and notes. Chances are, most of what we need is in there, and he gave me a list of phone numbers for any missing data, and for the landfill to determine what kind of treatment they use. I'm working on getting it digital and on one sheet right now.

Requesting Public Records

Today, my search for transportation records took me to Parking Services on the West Green. Instead of the usual raised eyebrows that I am growing accustomed to, the receptionist said someone from the class (a male with brown hair) was there earlier in the week and I should submit a request to Public Records at the Pilchner House for these records.

If you are that person, please post. I'm thinking that one submission is better than two.

Hi Everyone,
I met with Ron Chapman Monday Oct. 8- we went over OU's energy for buildings and metering of OU buildings. After talking, our first step as a group would be to copy and paste meters from OU electric meter readings 06-07.xls file to the Building Metering.xls file for 06-07. (Which we hope to have done by thurs. oct. 11).Then following the Project Scope paper to get energy per square foot.
Also, I want to see if I can attach Kyle Brown's thesis to this blog- I think it would be useful to the class and our group. (couldn't attach- so i posted link- does anyone know a way to attach files to a blog?) See you Thursday.

fertilizer reply

here is the reply from David Hamill. Yeah!!!i'll be working out the percentages of Nitrogen tonight, im sure it'll take me forever.

Josh, I cannot go back that far on Nitrogen usage here on campus. Records are incomplete. What I can tell you is the approximate usage since about 2003. I picked 2003 because that is the year that the golf course reopened with the new configuration. Basically, since the opening, we are using about 4 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet per year. This is primarily done on the greens and fairways where where the maintenance is the highest. The analysis is generally 32-5-7 but other ones are used. Say in the fall when seeding is done we will typically use 12-24-9 so that the phosphorous enhances germination of the seed. Factors that enter in are weather. The past two summers have been extremely hot so we haven't applied as much nitrogen because we didn't want to stress the grass. Almost all the fertilizer that we use is poly-plus sulfur coated urea which breaks down much slower than the readily available nitrogen type fertilizers. Last year on the golf course we used approximately 7700 pounds of fertilizer. Not all of this was high nitrogen. What we call spoon feeding was done to the greens this year using 3-0-0 and 10-0-0 foliar feeds with micronutrients containing magnesium, iron, manganese, and calcium.It actually is a complicated thing but, maybe you will get from this what you need. On our athletic fields comprising of practice football, baseball and softball, are sand based fields which require a little more care due to irrigation requirements. Because they are sand based, the holding capacities are not as good as native soils. Since these fields have been installed around 1997-98, we have put about 5-8 pounds per thousand square feet per year of nitrogen and other nutrients when required. Soil samples are taken each year to determine the needs of each field. The athletic fields are approximately 12 total acres and on the golf course, the areas that we fertilize is somewhere between 45 and 50 acres. The soccer complex is about 80,000 square feet, is native soil, so it requires less nitrogen per year, about 3 pounds per thousand square feet.Some natural products that we have used in the past include turkey manure, kelp and kelp byproducts. But, due to the fact that our budgets have been cut significantly over the past six years and these natural products are expensive, we no longer use them. I hope this information will be of help to you. If I can be of any additional help let me know.Dave Hamill

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

fertilizer numbers

i still have not gotten the numbers on the fertilizer from david hamill, he keeps telling me: yes, yes, yes. but so far i have not seen them. he has promised them to me by thursday, all i can do is wait. he seems like a nice guy, and he's awfully busy if you listen to him tell it. i think if i dont have them in hand thursday i'll have to go down to his office (where ever that is) and chain myself to his door.

"i wont leave untill i have the numbers!!!! save the wales!!!!"

-this may get political

lawn mower gas usage

i talked to ron chapman about where it would be appropriate to put information reguarding the gasoline usage of the ground maintenence mowers and this is what he told me in a nutshell:

Josh -Just to confirm our conversation that regarding gasoline use for other than transportation purposes, we had considered that the appropriate means would be to quantify fleet gasoline purchases, determine that portion used for fleet use and that the balance would fall under the "OTHER" category for university fleet gasoline use for mowers - grounds maintenance etc.Ron

Update on survey and solutions

I met with Ron Chapman last Friday and Ed Newman today about potential solutions and what is currently being done to reduce waste/energy especially in the dorms. Ed is going to look into dollar values saved in the past through recycling initiatives and see what previous data he can find. Additionally I have an email contact regarding who can send out a web-survey and am waiting to hear a reply before sending off the IRB. That's all for now...

One more thing...Ed Newman has data on recycling and waste if anyone is working on that...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Full-time and part-time students

I spent the morning at the Institutional Research office going through enrollment data from 1990 - 1995. Data from 1995 - current is available from their website (I received instruction from Serena McCollum on how to retrieve the information that I need). One task completed, a thousand more to go. : )

Project Scope for Building Inventory

Hi everyone -

We met with Ron Chapman last week to determine the objectives and goals for the project being done by the Building Team.

This is a copy of the document that Ron sent me regarding the nature of our project as we all see it -



Develop a complete listing of the main campus (Athens) buildings, their square footage and the various utilities they have. In addition, identify whether they have metering in place for these utilities; electric (AEP or OU distributed), natural gas and steam.

Ø A base file Building Metering.xls has the start of a complete listing.
Ø Buildings for which we have OU electric metering are included in the file named OU Electric Meter Readings 06-07(copy).xls I’ve added the building numbers into the current version of the file OU Electric Meter Readings 06-07(copy2).xls that should assist you in your effort
Ø Buildings for which we have AEP electric metering are in AEP Electric 07-08.xls file
Ø Buildings for which we have Columbis Gas metering are in Nat Gas 07-08.xls file
Ø Water meters are for those accounts as listed in the Water Invoice FY06-07.xls Please note that I’ve compiled a cross-reference listing of those buildings with individual water meters and their building numbers in a tab named Bldgs included within the file Water Invoice FY07-08.xls


Using supplied data, determine the amount of energy per square foot (MMBTU/ft2) in campus buildings. I would suggest that you start with a small group of buildings and work your way through the complete list as time permits.

Ø Electric use data is available in OU Electric Meter Readings 06-07(copy).xls
Ø Natural Gas use data in available in Nat Gas 07-08.xls Summary data for Natural Gas use (annual) is found in NAT GAS DATA.xls
Ø Water use data for FY07 is available in Water Invoice FY06-07.xls
Ø I’ve compiled a cross-reference listing of those buildings with individual water meters and their building numbers in a tab named Bldgs included within the file Water Invoice FY07-08.xls
Ø Common identifier (Building Number is available in part in each data file for Nat Gas, AEP Electric and Building Square Footage files
Ø The hard copy document titled All Campuses All Buildings has the building numbers to be used as a common identifier. In most cases, the number has already been incorporated into the data files but you may need to add these numbers to others."

All the files listed here will be posted on blackboard as soon as possible...


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Building info

i got some information on the building square footage from Diane Mack the other day. i tried to post it on the Bb drop bok, but there seems to be a problem with my flash drive. look for it monday, i'll be using the universities computers.


Thursday, October 4, 2007


we should be hearing from the fertilizer guy by the end of this week (tomorrow). he'll have the numbers as far back as he can go, he'll also have the tonnage bought each year, the organic/synthetic ammounts, as well as the N-P-K ratios of it all. with that info i can figure just how much nitrogen has been dumped on the lawn in the last ten years. that should be cool, or maybe it'll be scary.

last week we got the most current version of the carbon calculator from ron chapman, it should be a big help with our project.

i just sent an e-mail to Diane Mack, she shold be able to finally provide us with accurate numbers for the building square footage. i'll post her reply, than maybe i'll finally bean active part of this blog.

everyone please remember the copy of the carbon calculator should be on the Bb site by the end of the night... as long as i can figure it out. please feel free to contact me if any one needs some help doing ANYthing.



Southern Oregon University passed a bill to add $15 to every college bill so that they could offset their energy use.

This passed with 85% of the vote of their student body.
The offsets are for both their electric use and natural gas use.

In our survey we could ask the student body the amount of money they would be willing to pay for offsets.

This is the link to the website if anybody would like to take a closer look.

GIS files

Yesterday Matt sent me the GIS files he got from Dave Simon. Thanks, Matt!

Looking through the files, they are spiffy. We got athletic field outlines (including the mini-golf yard at the ridges), the golf course, parking lots, some campus roads, water, and of course buildings. The buildings file especially has ALL campus buildings, including the ones in Albany at the OU airport. I'll have to double check to see if that includes buildings we lease. Attached data includes fun things like when the building was built and whether or not it is occupied (OU has 10 derelict buildings on campus). Together with Athens county material like roads and towns, we're well set.

I'm not sure how to put this stuff somewhere the class can reach. Do only the GIS team need to access the data? Ideas?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

P3 International Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

Here's the link for the Kill-a-Watt meter at It seems pretty cool.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Comparison schools

I am looking into several of the schools (though not to overlap with Chong Wu and Donny) that have posted their tech report of the inventory results on the clean air cool planet website. Potential solutions can be discussed tomorrow in class.

Additionally, I will contact Ed Newman regarding what is involved in the residence challenge and recycle mania or who to contact about that.

Hasta manana~