Next to cardinal and gold, green is our favorite color! We’re a proud partner in Iowa State’s Live Green initiative. And, there are ways you can help Live Green while you’re on campus.

Single-Stream recycling

The Single stream recycling program is an in-room program designed to increase the ease and convenience of recycling. Through single stream recycling students will place all recyclables in one bin for recycling, eliminating the need to sort items and place them in separate bins.

The program began in the fall of 2019. Based on the results so far, it has been a success:

  • In the first month of the Spring 2020 semester (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18) 31,240 pounds of materials were recycled.
  • In the Fall 2019 semester (August to December) 81,880 pounds of materials were recycled.

These collected materials from campus are taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Des Moines where they are sorted and sold to markets as raw materials to produce new products.

Buildings + Renovations

The Department of Residence has undertaken a number of major renovation projects, each with sustainability in mind.

  • Window replacement:  By the end of summer 2020, the Department of Residence will have replaced all of the old (in most cases original) windows in our residence halls with new windows.  The new windows are aluminum frame (thermally broken) with argon-filled, UV resistant, double-pane glass which are much more thermally efficient (saving energy). Comfort level for the students has increased by eliminating drafts through the old windows.  LED lights are typically brighter so in many cases in the hallways and common spaces we can cut the number of fixtures by ½.
  • Converting the residence halls to LED light fixtures: Since 2017 the Department of Residence has been converting the fluorescent/incandescent lights in ALL facilities to LED lighting, that includes the 3,700+ student rooms.  This not only saves on overall lighting energy costs, it also saves on labor by not having to change out burned out light bulbs. 
  • Replacing carpet with carpet squares: Instead of having to replace broadloom carpet when there is a worn spot or tear, staff can pull up the affected area and replace with a smaller square. Most of these are also now are recyclable.  
  • Water bottle stations throughout the residence halls: The Department of Residenc has replace standard water fountains in the residence halls with over 200 water bottle filling stations. The water bottle filling station on Dodds House in Friley Hall has eliminated 119,710 plastice bottles alone from going to the landfill.


LEED Gold Certified Buildings

In 2017, two new Department of Residence projects were awarded LEED Gold Certified: four buildings in Frederiksen Court (24, 35, 36, 81, 82, 83) and Geoffroy Hall. When building a new residence hall, there are several strategies that Iowa State and the Department of Residence employ. For Geoffroy Hall those included:

  • 47 percent of building materials, by value, were manufactured or extracted from the earth within 500 miles of the building
  • 24 percent of building materials, by value, contain recycled materials
  • Landscaping selected for the site doesn’t require a permanent irrigation system
  • 77 percent of construction waste during the project was recycled, not landfilled
  • Heating, cooling and electrical designs will reduce energy consumption 31 percent below state code requirements
  • Low-flow shower heads, sink faucets, toilets and urinals reduce potable water use by 45 percent of state code
  • The building’s L shape occupies less than half of the designated lot, resulting in more outdoor space
  • A larger air handling system pulls in 30 percent more outdoor air than the standard, for greater indoor air quality
  • Ceiling lights in all shared spaces and individual rooms are equipped with occupancy sensors as well as dimming controls

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. LEED buildings create a healthier, more sustainable future. Buildings that are LEED certified are known to have demonstrated leadership in sustainable uses of water, resources, generating less waste, and supporting the health of their residents.