Tag Archives: sustainable

Richland College Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements

Richland College has achieved a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of their sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Through its educational programs, services, processes and practices, Richland College is actively committed to the triple-bottom line of social equity and justice, economic viability and environmental vitality. Richland College students, faculty and staff are involved in instructional, service learning, social justice, recycling and waste minimization initiatives that help empower students to achieve their educational goals and become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens, building sustainable local and world community. The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded LEED Platinum certification for Richland’s Sabine Hall science building and LEED Gold certification for Richland’s Garland Campus. It is Richland College’s intent that the systems and operations of these buildings function in ways that produce minimal impact to the environment and carbon footprint and provide daily, measurable lessons from which students, faculty, staff, and community visitors can learn and teach how a building can function in ways that are friendly, neutral, and sustaining to the environment.

“Richland College actively participates in AASHE STARS as an efficient, encouraging method for us to measure and track our performance excellence in various aspects of sustainability, as well as to benchmark data, processes and programs with other higher education institutions. Ever committed to our college vision to be the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community, we are committed to modeling practices that promote a robust natural environment and an abundant quality of life for future generations,” stated Dr. Kay Eggleston, Richland College interim president.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Richland College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS Rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

“Completing our STARS assessment let’s us see both how far we’ve come and what distance we still have to go. And the ability to compare with other colleges helps us determine whether where we are is where we should be. Best of all, we can learn from other colleges as we move forward,” said Dr. Mary Jo Dondlinger, Richland College director of institutional effectiveness.

About AASHE:
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.


Richland College Receives EPA WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year Award

e50 copyThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced Richland College in Dallas has received the 2010 WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year Award. During 2009, Richland participated in RecycleMania for the first time, using thoughtful collection strategies to recycle more than 66 tons of materials and divert another 65 tons of waste from landfills during 10 weeks of competition. For it’s outstanding level of commitment to sustainability, Richland also received the 2009 Business and Industry Environmental Award from the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.

“By reusing resources Richland College is making sure our garbage isn’t going to waste,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “Their efforts remind Americans of the importance of recycling and help transform our throw-away culture into a recycling culture.”

Richland has made a concerted effort to reuse items ranging from inter-office envelopes to old classroom doors, which are turned into desks for use around the campus. In 2009, Richland focused particular attention on waste prevention surrounding campus construction projects. Rather than tearing down several buildings that were no longer in use, Richland moved the structures to another area of campus and turned them into carpenter shops, and a furniture and custodial supply center. During construction of Richland’s new LEED Platinum-designed-and-constructed science building, Sabine Hall, more than 87 percent of the construction waste was recycled, including 204 tons of concrete, 47 tons of metal, 600 tons of demolition debris, and more than 5,000 tons of sand, dirt, and soil. The soil was used to add height to berms on the north side of campus, which will provide a windbreak and reduce heating costs for buildings in the winter. Richland’s 2009 waste reduction efforts resulted in greenhouse gas emission reductions of nearly 2,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or equivalent to 220,000 gallons of gasoline.

“Richland College is honored to accept the 2010 EPA WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year award as another significant accomplishment in our ongoing commitment to our Richland College vision to be the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community,” said Richland’s interim president Dr. Kay Eggleston. “We are committed to being leaders in our community and beyond by modeling ways to minimize global-warming emissions and educating our students and graduates to help achieve a future of climate neutrality resulting in a robust natural environment and an abundant quality of life for future generations.”

WasteWise is a free, voluntary EPA program through which organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. WasteWise members can join as partners, endorsers, or both. WasteWise helps its partners meet goals to reduce and recycle municipal solid waste and selected industrial wastes.

More information on EPA’s WasteWise program is available here.

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available here.

EPA audio file is available here.

News about Richland’s sustainability efforts is available here.


Call for Entries: Water and sustainability theme for “Water: More or Less” exhibit at Richland College

Water RLC headerRichland College of the Dallas County Community College District is now accepting entries for its juried art show, “Water: More or Less,” which opens Jan. 30. The juried exhibition focuses on the role of water and sustainability within the environment. Entries are due by Sat., Dec. 5. Download prospectus.

All artists who apply must live in Texas or bordering states including Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arkansas. All media will be accepted but must not weigh over 30 lbs. The entry fee is $15. For more details on eligibility and application instructions, visit www.callforentry.org.

New York City artist Paul Villinksi will be the juror for this show and $1,500 in awards will be given. His inventive use of recycled materials and found objects captivates viewers by revealing the creative potential dormant in the ordinary. Villinksi’s “Emergency Response Studio,” a repurposed FEMA trailer, utilizes green methods of construction to confront topics of local responsibility and art within the community.

“Water: More or Less” was developed in conjunction with the Art, Science and Sustainable Community Symposium hosted by Richland College on Jan. 30. Acceptance notifications will be distributed on Dec. 20. Accepted works must delivered to Richland College by Jan. 15 and will be featured in a commemorative catalog.

For more information, contact gallery coordinator Ryder Richards at rrichards@dcccd.edu or 972-238-6339 or visit http://www.richlandcollege.edu/artandscience/water.


New Richland College satellite campus to serve as a Gateway to Your Education with DCCCD while being ‘gold’ in energy efficiency

Richland College officially opened its Garland Campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The new facility, located on the corner of Walnut and Glenbrook, serves as a location for area companies, organizations, and individuals to obtain highly specialized, contract corporate and workforce training and also functions as an educational gateway for student intake and outreach services for area residents and businesses to access main campus college credit programs and courses at Richland, Eastfield, and El Centro colleges.

“We are eager for this first facility on Richland’s new 21-acre Garland campus to serve as a nearby gateway to Garland-area residents to learn more about the many educational opportunities the DCCCD has to offer, especially at the main campuses of Richland, Eastfield, and El Centro Colleges,” said Steve Mittelstet, Richland’s president for the past 30 years.

Innovative, eco-friendly design and construction

VAI Architects provided master planning for this new, state-of-the-art facility. It is the first public project built as part of the master planned redevelopment for downtown Garland. The building was designed to provide a new public plaza link to proposed urban redevelopment and nearby DART rail and bus stations.

It is also the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-designed/constructed project in the City of Garland. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures energy efficiency including energy savings, water efficiency, and CO2 emissions reduction. It is Richland’s intent that the systems and operations of this new building will function in efficient ways that produce minimal impact to the environment while providing lessons to its students and surrounding community on sustainability. It is hoped that the money saved on energy can be reinvested in workforce development instruction, student outreach services, and student learning success. Some of its “green” features include:

-It is located immediately adjacent to the Downtown Garland DART Rail Station to promote the convenient use of public transportation;
-A prominent single-slope roof that harvests rainwater in underground storage tanks for use irrigating all plant materials; its white reflection reduces the sun’s heating effects on the building’s cooling system;
-Motion-sensor faucets and double-flush toilet mechanisms in restrooms conserve water use; waterless urinals in men’s restrooms save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year per fixture; and
-Building construction materials contain low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) levels, reducing pollutants and improving indoor air quality for occupants.

g1-copyThe facility is organized into three functional building areas that consist of the main central gallery, a separate administration wing and a classrooms/computer lab wing for training opportunities. Each functional building area is oriented to take advantage of proper solar orientation in accordance with fundamental sustainability design concepts. Exterior and interior finish materials consist primarily of large blocks of split-face native Texas limestone, local brick similar to the main Richland campus, low E insulated glass and metal panels.

Programs offered

Career-related education, training, and services are the focus of the first phase of this new 21-acre campus. Dallas County companies will be able to access training for both new hires and currently employed workers to enhance their skills, which in turn will provide greater opportunities for advancement for individuals and strengthen companies and overall Garland-area economic development.

Currently, the campus is providing a machine operator program in response to a need voiced by the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association through the Garland Chamber of Commerce. A medical office specialist program is also underway to train skilled, non-clinical support specialists in a medical setting as front office staffing, scheduling clerks, patient coordinators, and individuals to verify insurance. Specific programming will continue to evolve as the needs and demands of the local workforce expand.

Garland Chamber of Commerce and community partnerships

This remote campus also provides a separate lease space for use by the Garland Chamber of Commerce, with its own identifiable entry. This unique arrangement further solidifies Richland’s commitment to partnering with area businesses, particularly with the Garland-area manufacturing industry, to build relationships and stimulate the economy.

“The mission of the Garland Chamber is taking primary responsibility for a sustainable economy in Garland. To that end, a marriage between the Chamber and the Richland College Garland Campus is an ideal fit. This relationship along with the existing partnership of the Garland Independent School District, the City of Garland and the Chamber makes us one of the most competitive communities in the country,” says Garland Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Mayer.

The 6,000-square-foot, two-story glass gallery space at the Garland Campus links both the Chamber’s lease space and college administration wing to the education wing. The gallery will serve a variety of functions including career fairs, university/college fairs, intercultural festivals, and neighborhood association celebrations.

Mittelstet added, “We look forward to future expansion of our new Garland campus with other potential area partners, such as the Garland Independent School District, to help young students from GISD move successfully into college and on into universities and careers, with lifelong learning opportunities to meet the dynamic demands of a rapidly changing economy and workforce that are requisite in building and maintaining a robust, sustainable community.”

For more information, please contact Anitra Cotton at anitracotton@dcccd.edu or 972-238-6022.