Sustainability – UMKC Style
UMKC’s students, instructors and staff members are encouraged to be mindful of the economic and environmental impact of their lives, so we as planners must ask no less of ourselves. If UMKC is Kansas City’s major research university, it must also be Kansas City’s friend, ensuring a quality of life at the same time it educates a talented workforce.
In 2007, Burns & McDonnell Engineering entered into a performance contract with UMKC to design and build energy-saving features for existing and future buildings. This contract pays for itself with the savings from such measures as efficient lighting; better exhaust air and lab controls; plumbing that conserves water; and night set-backs for heating and cooling.
UMKC adheres to new building energy standards developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., the same standards practiced by the State of Missouri. Standards include efficient insulation and glazing; heat recovery; occupancy sensors for light and temperature control; and improved electric motors.
The Student Union and Oak Street West Residence Hall are in line with the US Green Building Council LEED certification requirements.
At the Miller Nichols Library, Phase II of the new expansion adds an Interactive Learning Center to the existing building. Natural lighting will lessen the need for costly and heat-generating electric fixtures. The design makes possible 23% more classroom space in the core campus, therefore reducing student and faculty travel to classes.
During Phase I, a high-density system for storage and retrieval of material was installed.Now books and other research materials are easily accessible at all times, yet stored in a climate controlled environment that is more efficient to operate than open stack space. The Library also serves as the location for a central heating plant for the east side of the campus and these systems will be upgraded to more energy efficient and lower polluting systems with the Phase II project.
Since 2005, UMKC’s Volker campus has been recycling cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic and scrap metal. The same program was instituted on the Hospital Hill campus in 2007. In total, 880 tons of materials have been recycled and air, water, trees and other plants spared harm. Assistance came from Bridging the Gap, a Kansas City environmental agency; the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; and the Mid-America Regional Council.
Green Cleaning Materials
Biodegradable and environmentally safe glass cleaner, disinfectant and general cleaners are used by housekeeping and other maintenance crews.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Electric carts have been purchased to replace two cars used on campus. When possible, UMKC will buy its own E-85 vehicles and provide the appropriate fuel for these flexible-fuel cars.
Bike Commute Program
UMKC now has 50 bicycles for the bike commute program. The bikes are loaned out and can be chained to one of the 20 bike racks now installed on campus. After two years, only one bike has ever "gone missing". Initially, the Missouri Department of Transportation supported the effort with a 2-year grant; but now UMKC has assumed responsibility with assistance from Bridging the Gap.
UMKC landscaping now includes three rain gardens. Potential damage from storm water runoff is mitigated by these gardens. The new Student Union is utilizing best practices by the addition of a detention pond to handle storm water.
Student Government Association
Through their association, UMKC students asked the university – by resolution – to strive for LEED accreditation on all new buildings.
Students, staff, faculty and the community – together we’re doing the right thing for ourselves and others.