UMM Attends National Sustainability Institute

New ideas to drive sustainable building renovation

greening obrien

MACHIAS, ME – Representatives from the University of Maine at Machias attended the second annual Institute on Sustainability at Harvard University, sponsored by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), on June 11 – 13.

The ACPA Institute on Sustainability brought together students, staff and faculty from colleges and universities across the country who are committed to sustainability.

Those attending from UMM were Kim Page, Director of Student Life; Bob Farris, Director of Physical Plant; Andrea Ednie, Associate Professor of Recreation Management; and Andrew Pelczar, a fourth-year student majoring in Environmental Studies.

According to the ACPA Web site, the goal of the institute is to provide individuals and institutions with a plethora of knowledge about sustainability so that they can return to their campuses prepared to contribute to the development of sustainable policies and practices and the education of campus community members. Session topics included:  Renewable Energies Technologies and Funding, Creating Regional Consortiums, Green Building and Renovation, Integrating Sustainability into the Fabric of Campus, Assessing Student Learning, and Sustainability and Student Activism.

The group from UMM won’t be wasting any time putting their new knowledge and ideas into action. The university is currently in the planning stage of its Greening the O’Brien House project, an initiative to transform the historic president’s house into a twenty-first-century showcase home for sustainability. As a collaboration with the Town of Machias, the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and UMM’s Board of Visitors, the initiative is aimed at educating students and community members how to renovate an old home with practical, economical steps toward energy efficiency and sustainability.

Greening the O’Brien House will kick-off during the fall 2009 semester, beginning a series of six modules that will update the home’s heating, electrical, and roofing systems. Each module will begin with an educational seminar in the O’Brien House, providing a basic overview of the problem, the solution, and a detailed renovation schedule. Community members will be invited to watch the renovation and learn how to do it themselves.

When the installation of a module is complete, UMM students will go out into the community and help with the actual renovation work at homes throughout Washington County.

Share |