Reed Sustainability Practices
The following list is abridged version of the Updated 2008 Draft Report on Current Sustainability Status at Reed College. It should be considered a work in progress and not a final document. Please send comments, suggestions, or corrections to our webmaster.
- The office of sustainability is part of the facilities services department.
- Responsible for project management, new construction, & tenant improvements.
- Staff consider life cycle impact of building mechanical systems & continually review operational efficiencies.
- Staff maintain over 60 buildings totaling one-million sqare feet, on a 116-acre urban campus.
Energy & Utilities Usage
- Facilities maintains a database of comparative analysis of all utility use.
- We consider lifetime efficiency in specifying building materials and mechanical systems.
- Limit use of air conditioning to cool (78°/summer) and to heat (68°/winter) for energy savings in providing for building comfort.
- Utilize central boiler plant and steam tunnel for efficient heat delivery and condensate return.
- Optimize run times and schedules of mechanical equipment through a computerized energy management system.
- Maintain mechanical equipment is on a regularly scheduled preventative maintenance program.
- Specify Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for new mechanical installations and replacement. VFDs increase efficiency and reduce motor load and operating costs; these are used for ETC and Cross Canyon water loops, and fan controls in chemistry, library, ETC and the Reactor Cooling Tower.
- Conversion from pneumatics to all-digital controls.
- Research energy effective procedures and equipment upgrades.
- Treat boiler water with minimum chemistry and best recovery, de-aerate and maintain line conditions for optimum operation of central steam plant.
- Specify low voltage lighting, ballasts replacement, utilization of motion detectors, time clocks, and light sensors for lighting control.
- Low flow showerheads and low volume toilets used in retrofits and new building projects.
- Use only low VOC paints.
- Fire tube boilers use natural gas; have can burn oil for backup capacity when gas is curtailed.
- When oil is burned, PS 300 is used in boilers instead of bunker “C.” – We are researching alternative fuels for back up.
- Bio-diesel used in grounds equipment.
- Synthetic oils used for vehicles, mowers, and tractors owned by facilities services.
- Portland General Electric (PGE) power is primarily hydroelectric provider. Reed currently pays the 3% public purpose surcharge on our electrical consumption. Estimated $20,000 additional tax dollars a year are contributed to renewables and system improvements. We have not adopted a policy of purchasing “green power.”
- PGE provides Reed's electricity from the following fuel mix:
49% Hyrdro 11% Gas 34% Coal 4% nuclear 22% Non-hydro renewables 0% oil
- IPM - herbicides used sparingly, insecticides or fungicides rarely, if ever.
- Native plants preferred.
- Hardy plants utilized.
- Lawn clippings mulched in place.
- Tree leaves recycled on site.
- Wood chips from pruning used for mulch in beds and for trails.
- Percentage of diverse plant material acceptable in turf.
- Use eco-lawn mixes that need less mowing and fertilizing.
- Maxi-com Irrigation and weather station used for irrigation. The station records wind direction and speed, air temperature and evapo-transpiration, and calculates the previous days run times and adjusts them for current conditions. A rain gauge overrides the system and shuts it off if measurable precipitation occurs during a watering cycle.
- Increasingly use drip irrigation.
- Optimum mowing, watering and fertilization rates, and timing.
- Fertilizers: mostly organic; when Reed does use synthetic fertilizers, purchase those with zero phosphorus blend to discourage aquatic weeds.
- Widespread use of swales to treat run-off water; mapping and monitoring outfalls into the lake.
- Contract out for Elm Leaf Beatle (Woodstock Bacillus Thuringensis).
- Canyon restoration non-native removal/replant for water quality.
- Canyon fish ladder is part of on-going restoration to protect water quality and improve fish habitat.
- Sustainably-made ergonomic work stations and adjustable chairs.
- Lifetime cost consideration.
- Standardized brands and types, where possible.
- Central purchasing agreements.
- Facilities does not do a lot of fabrication in house. Most fabrications are required to match existing items.
- Preference for recycled paper products in facilities (toilet paper, paper towels and office paper varies on price and availability).
- True-cost printing charges.
- Use least impact for acceptable use.
- Minimize types of chemicals purchased.
- General purpose, neutral based cleaners.
- Minimal deodorants.
- All floor finishing performed in-house, with the exception of sanding and refinishing hardwood floors.
- Always specify the chemical and process to be used by vendors.
- Prefer green products and practices where applicable.
Transportation & Parking
- Subsidy for tri-met bus passes.
- Bicycle parking: 550 anchored, 150 covered and 53 freestanding racks, total 753.
- Participation in the annual bike commute challenge, which promotes bike commuting to and from Reed.
- Reward alternate transportation during high volume event days.
- Provide preferred parking locations for carpools.
- Limit the number of vehicles for use by college departments.
- In lieu of cars or trucks, Reed staff use 10 electric vehicles.
- Tractors run on biodiesel.
- College-subsidized Zipcar on campus.
- Meet or exceed all requirements for appropriate number of parking spaces on campus, as set forth by city planning office.
- Provide parking at convenient locations, integrated with landscape and removed from main traffic corridor of surrounding streets.
- No increase in parking spaces, except those included in purchase of the Birchwood Apartments and medical office properties.
Recycling & Waste Management
Reed recycles a variety of materials, including:
Solid Waste Management & Recycling
- Composting food waste from Bon Appétit.
- Labeling updated to reflect recent changes in collection from Metro
- Paper, plastic, tin and cardboard
- Reed continues to exceed the recycling target rate of 50%.
- Reed educates facilities staff and others on waste management procedures. We divert recyclables from the waste stream when possible, and provide education on recycling activities.
- Facilities staff works with Residence Life and student organizations to involve students in waste/recycling issues through student employment and Greenboard.
- Student workers and volunteers assist with canyon restoration efforts.
- Waste minimization policy and procedures in effect.
- Radioactive waste sent to a licensed facility in Washington.
- Washington state contract used along with other schools to dispose of hazardous waste.