Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Jeff Johnson cited for leading ride-sharing initiative

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority named Jeff Johnson, UT Arlington Associate Director of Facilities Management, as Employee Transportation Coordinator of the Month for July. Johnson was cited for spearheading the university’s participation in the Authority’s car- and van-pooling program. The university initiative was launched in June. So far 50 staff and faculty members have signed up for the program. Johnson is chair of the PSC’s Transportation Work Group.

To sign up for ride sharing, fill out a registration card, available at the information booth at the University Center, or call 817-336-RIDE.

Award details [pdf]

Q&A on car- and vanpooling

June announcement of ride-sharing initiative

Working for Clean Air, Oct. 24

UT Arlington is co-sponsoring the North Texas Clean Air Coalition’s annual Working for Clean Air Awards ceremony, Oct. 24.

Event details

Working for Clean Air

Ground breaking for what is expected to be university’s first LEED building

From the Office of Public Affairs:

Dirt began moving for construction of the Engineering Research Building at The University of Texas at Arlington with a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Sept. 26. The research facility is a $116 million-plus, 220,000-square-foot building that will become a hotbed of ideas and innovation, spurring new research with an interdisciplinary focus. The Colleges of Engineering and Science will share this building, which will be the third largest on campus. Construction should be complete by early 2011. Built with a commitment to sustainability, the building is expected achieve LEED Silver® certification. The building will have light-reflecting and green-roof surfaces, window designs and shading that increase the use of available light and reduce heat transfer, capture and storage of rain water and air-conditioning condensation for landscape irrigation, and additional environmentally friendly attributes.

Shorthorn story, Sept. 30

Star-Telegram story,  Sept. 27

Shorthorn story, Sept. 5

Architectural design video

Shorthorn story on research for green roof, Sept. 9

AASHE Bulletin blurb, Sept. 14 (see item 38)

Construction web cams

Clean Air & Greenhouse Gases: Vision for a Sustainable Future, Oct. 2

Thursday, Oct. 2, 5:30-8:30
5:30 p.m. – Registration/Reception
6:00-8:30 p.m. – Dialogue & Vision Circles
University of Texas at Dallas/McDermott Library – McDermott Suite
800 West Campbell Road (Map)
Richardson, TX  75080

Leadership Dialogue & Vision Circles
facilitated by the
Orbits of Influence®
Social Innovation initiative

Hosted by UT Dallas

Registration $10

Full details

Renewable Local Energy, Oct. 8

The Midwest Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association is sponsoring a seminar on local generation of renewable energy. It will be held Oct. 8, 3:00-4:30, in Arlington at the offices of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Admission is free.


Metroplex and Texas cities ranked on sustainability

The on-line sustainability information service SustainLane has released its 2008 rankings of the 50 largest U.S. cities.

Arlington ranks in the bottom 10 overall as well as on its energy/climate policy, commuting (no mass transit system), street congestion, green building, communications, and local food/agriculture. Its highest rank is 3, for housing affordability.

Fort Worth ranks only a couple of notches higher overall and is in the bottom ten for commuting and street congestion. It gets high marks for housing affordability (2) and water quality (10).

Dallas fares better overall, with a midling rank of 24. It is in the bottom ten for street congestion, solid waste diversion, and local food and agriculture. Its highest mark is for innovation (12).

The state’s best-ranked city is Austin, at 13 overall. San Antonio, El Paso, and Houston rank slightly better than Fort Worth overall.



Fort Worth





Energy & climate change policy




City commuting




Metro transit ridership




Metro street congestion




Green building




Planning & land use




Solid waste diversion




Air quality




Green economy




Housing affordability




Water supply




Water quality




City innovation




Knowledge base & communications




Natural disaster risk




Local food & agriculture







SustainLane rankings

SustainLane methodology

Table showing rankings of Texas cities

UNT to launch “We Mean Green” program

From a UNT press release:

The University of North Texas will launch “We Mean Green,” a university-wide public awareness campaign to discuss and promote sustainability events and opportunities and generate a sense of responsibility and excitement about reducing, reusing and recycling.”Living green has long permeated the UNT experience, and our campus has for years made environmentally responsible choices in the way we conduct our business,” UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille said. “Branding those campus-wide choices with our ‘We Mean Green’ campaign will remind us all about the depth of the impact we each have on the future.”

“We Mean Green” will kick off Oct. 10-11 with a free public conference on renewable energy and the environment, sponsored by the North Texas Energy & Environment Club. The campaign will also promote UNT’s new eco-friendly filtered water system. Free reusable water bottles will be provided across campus to replace disposable, plastic ones.

In addition, a “We Mean Green” committee of students, staff and faculty will publicize UNT’s wide-ranging environmental efforts and activities, from recycling programs in residence halls to efforts to make buildings more energy efficient.

UNT press release

Dramatic flaring of natural gas

The university announced last week that two steps remain before natural gas begins flowing from the well site on the southeast corner of campus: flushing of waste water used to fracture underground rock, and burning off of water-contaminated gas.

Regarding the latter procedure, a university announcement stated: “Carrizo [the developer] has advised us that it is likely that a flame from the apparatus inside the well site might be visible from outside the well site. This is standard practice within the natural gas industry and is entirely normal and safe.” The Star-Telegram reports that the flaring resulted in “spectacular flames shooting skyward” on Saturday night.

University statement, Sept. 17

Star-Telegram blurb, Sept. 22

Shorthorn story referring to the flare (with photo), Sept. 22

Pres. Spaniolo calls for university to “be a leader in the sustainability movement”

In his address Wednesday (9/17/08) to 150 deans, senior administrators, and community leaders, President James Spaniolo emphasized the increasing role of the university’s sustainability programs.

He identified sustainability as one of the principal ways in which he expects the university to mature and exert a leadership role in the coming years.

“[T]hrough our combined efforts we can become a nationally recognized major research university.  We can be a university that’s dedicated to both academic excellence and an engaging campus life.  We can produce graduates who are prepared and equipped to get the job done, and alumni who continue a lifelong relationship with their alma mater.  We can be a major contributor to economic development in North Texas and beyond.  We can be a leader in the sustainability movement, not only in Texas but in our nation.  And—this is important—we can be a good neighbor in our community of Arlington.”

In describing what attracts students to the university, he said:

“[S]tudents choose their university home based on many different criteria: academic reputation, campus life, perceptions about location, school spirit, to name a few.  But there’s more.  I read recently that potential students, when choosing a university, are increasingly looking at campus sustainability efforts.  In other words, the ‘green’ that students are looking at today has nothing to with school colors or how much money they’ll make when they graduate!

“This is good news for UT Arlington, because we consider sustainability to be more than a fad but a new way of thinking and living. “

He described some of the university’s sustainability initiatives to date:

“For the last several months, the President’s Sustainability Committee—co-chaired by SUPA faculty member Jeff Howard and Don Lange from Facilities Management—has focused on how we can accomplish more by using less.  We’ve installed the first green roof in North Texas, and we’re one of just two universities in Texas that has analyzed our carbon footprint.  I’m sure you saw the news two weeks ago that our new Engineering Research Complex will include the university’s first LEED Silver Certified building.  It will also have a green roof.  And this is only the beginning.  We may bleed blue, but Mavericks go green.”

Finally, he pointed to the role of sustainability research at UT Arlington:

“Our continuing challenge will be conducting research across the campus that furthers sustainable efforts—here and beyond.  New energy alternatives, like we’re discovering in the College of Science.  Better sustainable structures, like we’re developing in the School of Architecture.  Improving how we power our cars, like we’re researching in the College of Engineering.  We must be a university that, as Tom Friedman said on campus last week, drives the ‘energy technology’ revolution.”

Full address

Land and Water Planning and Design: The Dutch Pursuit of Ecological Balance, Sept. 23

Dr. H. N. van Lier of Wageningen University and Research Centre will give a lecture on “Land and Water Planning and Design: The Dutch Pursuit of Ecological Balance”

Tuesday, September 23, 5:30 p.m.

204 Architecture Building