The list of projects below is a sampling of how students at Ball State are engaging the issues of sustainability. Please check back often as this list will continually be expanded.
Charter Schools: Patterns of Innovation; A New Architecture for a New Education:
A BBC Immersive Learning Project
Classrooms From Shipping Containers
Craddock Wetland: LA Design/Build Award
Focus the Nation 2011
Greening Indiana Communities:
A BBC Immersive Learning Project
JFNew NativeSpec Database Development:
A BBC Immersive Learning Project
Muncie Sanitary District Watershed Project:
A BBC Immersive Learning Project
Straw Bale Eco Center
Students Receive Awards in 2009-10 Leading Edge Design Competition
Substantial Sustainability Projects
Sustainability and Local Food Systems including Highlander Fieldtrip:
A BBC Business Development Project
Sustainability Report for Ball State University—Global Reporting Initiative:
A BBC Immersive Learning Project
Students + Sustainability: 5 Ways Ball State Students can go GREEN
Project Title: Charter Schools: Patterns of Innovation; A New Architecture for a New Education
Key Players: Ball State Office of Charter Schools; Pamela Harwood, Department of Architecture; Andrea Swartz, Department of Architecture
Description: During 2000-2010, the student teams worked with selected charter schools in Indiana developing overview reports on these schools. This was followed by research on best practices and high performance school design for the design of new or renovated charter school facilities. Students conducted case study research, nationally and in the state of Indiana, on exemplary charter schools and high performance “green” school design to develop ways to incorporate issues of curriculum, funding, facility planning, and sustainable strategies into the overall design of the building. This information was used to develop concepts or “patterns” for incorporating environmentally sustainable strategies into the planning and design of charter school buildings. Team members travelled to eight charter schools in Indiana, interviewed students and faculty, discussed the schools’ pedagogical philosophies with administration and board members, and developed school profiles examining curriculum, funding and facility planning. At the end of each semester, the students will complete the profiles and extract/articulate design principles for incorporating in an illustrated guidebook, which is updated every semester as the project progresses. This book as well as the development of a comprehensive website will serve to distribute the information to a wider audience.
Web Link: http://cms.bsu.edu/About/AdministrativeOffices/BBC/Fellows/RecentProjects/CharterSchools.aspx
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Project Title: Classrooms From Shipping Containers
Key Players: Tim Gray, Department of Architecture, Students of the Department of Architecture; Butler Center for Urban Ecology Farm, Big City Farms
Description: A team third-year architecture students repurposed several shipping containers into mobile classroom units as a design-build project designed to expose the students to real world sustainability issues and to assist local community organizations involved in sustainability education and public assistance. The project started with students creating two mobile classrooms for an Indianapolis charter school that was starting a farm. When that school was shut down, the team began looking for alternative sites. One classroom wound up at the Butler Center for Urban Ecology and the other went to Big City Farms, which farms on vacant land adjacent to the Midland Arts and Antiques Market in Indianapolis. The classrooms are the result of two semesters’ work by 29 students who had a budget of $7,500 provided by Ball State’s provost to complete the project.
Web Link: http://news.butler.edu/blog/2013/12/classroom/
Project Title: Craddock Wetland: LA Design/Build Award
Key Players: Les Smith, Department of Landscape Architecture, Students of the Department of Landscape Architecture
Description: A team of central Indiana conservation groups has won national honors for restoring a 27-acre wetland that's become a rest stop for migrating birds and a haven for other wildlife. The John M. Craddock Wetland Nature Preserve Team received the 2010 National Earth Team Volunteer Group Award on Tuesday. The team restored the area in Muncie near the White River to a condition close to what European settlers found when they arrived in the area. They also built wooden boardwalks for the public and placed signs identifying plants and animals. Team members have also worked to clear trash and invasive plants from the site. The award recognizes outstanding work by participants in the Earth Team Volunteer program, which is sponsored by the federal government's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Ball State University Department of Landscape Architecture students and faculty have volunteered over 6,500 hours to date in support of this project and will complete the last two phases of construction in 2011 and 2012. The assistance these landscape architecture students have given has added a great deal of value to the John M. Craddock Wetland Nature Reserve facility (and many Muncie community members who utilize the CWNP area along the Cardinal Greenway) for research, recreation, education and nature viewing.
Web Link: http://www.iaswcd.org/whatsnew/conference11/NR01-11-11awards.html
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Project Title: ecoREHABstudio
Key Players: ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc.; City of Muncie Community Development Department; Church; Jonathan Spodek Department of Architecture
Description: The ecoREHAB initiative was established in 2009. Working collaboratively with Ball State University, the City of Muncie’s Department of Community Development and the local non-profit agency ecoREHAB of Muncie, Inc. this outreach program’s aim is to provide leadership in the ecologically sound, green and sustainable rehabilitation of existing and abandoned housing. Students work with the City of Muncie’s Unsafe Building Authority to identify potential properties for rehabilitation. They evaluate and develop a green rehabilitation plans for these properties including construction plans, specifications and schedules. Following this design phase they engage in the execution of the green housing rehab. In general, the focus is on minimizing/eliminating construction waste, energy efficiency, use of green building products and recycled building materials, designing for passive methods for indoor comfort, cool roofs, reduction of water use, and site work addressing storm water management and native plantings. Upon completion of the building rehab, the homes are sold to qualifying low income home owners.
Web Link: http://sncope.iweb.bsu.edu/485final/index.html
Project Title: Focus the Nation 2011
Key Players: BSU Students for a Sustainable Campus, John Vann, Department of Economics, BSU Green Initiatives Coordinator
Description: Focus the Nation is a national non-profit headquartered in Portland, Oregon. They believe that building a clean energy economy presents an opportunity to renew American prosperity and US leadership at the local and international level. Focus the Nation is driven by a fierce commitment to empower today’s youth with the imaginative, civic and systems-thinking skills to become powerful agents of change in their own communities. Focus the Nation Forum 2011 at Ball State University was organized to educate participants about the scientific principles and possible solutions to the climate change problem. The intent was that this forum would actively engage participants in critical discussions about what our future could look like, and create a framework for closing the gap between science and action. This forum was intended to begin an interdisciplinary discussion about the academic and societal response to these problems and generate ideas for solutions for BSU and individuals, with discussion on how to implement them.
Web Link: BSU Focus the Nation Forum 2011 Event Program (PDF)
Project Title: Greening Indiana Communities
Dates: 2007-2008 (Business Fellows)
Key Players: Westfield Washington Schools; Muncie Unitarian Universalist Church; James Eflin, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
Description: Students worked with two community groups that were interested in improving the environmental performance of facilities and incorporating “green stewardship” ideals into operations. They conducted research into best practices and conducted background studies of demographic and other factors of the communities to inform recommendations about procedures or practices they could adopt to enable green stewardship. A slide presentation and report were produced to help the Green Committee at the church identify improvements to its facilities and within its congregation to address environmental goals necessary to follow church principles for stewardship. A report including an environmental assessment and recommendations for operations and management of the present and future school facilities was given to the facilities manager of the schools.
Project Title: JFNew NativeSpec Database Development
Dates: Fall 2009 Semester
Key Players: JFNew; Martha Hunt, Department of Landscape Architecture; Robert Koester, CERES and Department of Architecture, Emerging Technologies Department
Description: Students from a variety of disciplines collaborated with JFNew and the Ball State Emerging Technologies unit to design and develop a searchable database tool to be used for specifying native plant species for ecological restoration projects. The database accepts user inputs regarding site conditions such as soil type, hydrology, solar exposure, and bioregion and then searches a database of several hundred native plant species to provide recommendations for the optimal project specification. Throughout the project, the students interacted with restoration ecologists, native landscape designers, botanists, and native plant nursery professionals to define the need and scientific constraints to make this database system a highly useful productivity tool. The final product was a decision support tool that will help ensure the success of sustainable landscaping and ecological restoration projects. The project won a national communications award in September 2010 from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Web Links: http://cms.bsu.edu/Features/Global/ImmersiveLearning/RightPlantRightPlace.aspx
Students win national award for immersive learning project.
Project Title: Muncie Sanitary District Watershed Project
Key Players: White River Watershed Project (Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District); Jennifer Bott, Department of Marketing and Management
Description: Ball State University students developed a community outreach program for the Jake’s Creek residential area of the Muncie Sanitary District (MSD) to address stormwater reduction. The team looked at the continuing problem of sewer overflow after significant rainfalls, its consequences, and how residents could reduce the amount of stormwater runoff on their property. The team created a Water Conservation Fair Day for the residents to educate them on the benefits of rain barrels, rain gardens, and other flood reduction options. Students designed mini-rain gardens and created lists of the plants so the residents could re-create the design at home. They also held a rain barrel workshop to teach residents how to install and use a rain barrel.
Project Title: Stormwater Study
Key Players: Dr. Jarka Popovicova, Megan Griffith and Nicole Holt
Description: This endeavor is the continuation of a class project students Megan Griffith and Nicole Holt participated in during fall semester (‘07) with Dr. Jarka Popovicova. The class focused on water issues and a final class project intending to promote awareness about storm water issues. Due to the limited time available to work in the semester, stenciling storm drains in Yorktown was as far as the project extended. After the class ended, Megan and Nicole still wanted to raise awareness at Ball State University so an independent project was created to help the campus community become familiar with storm water issues directly related to campus.
Web Link: http://ceres.iweb.bsu.edu/stormwater/stormwaterweb.pdf
Project Title: Straw Bale Eco Center
Dates: 2006-2008 and ongoing
Key Players: Timothy Gray, Associate Professor of Architecture; John Motloch, Professor of Landscape Architecture, John Taylor, Land Manager; Indiana Department of Energy and Defense
Description: This ongoing project represents the first immersive learning / demonstration / research project of the Land Design Institute's LandLab demonstration site. The first phase of construction was funded with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and resulted in the first load bearing straw-bale building in the region, a class/ research / demonstration building located at the edge of a restored prairie on the Cooper Field Station, about two miles off the Ball State Campus. Renewable energy systems were installed Spring 2008 with the support of a grant from the Indiana Department of Energy and Defense. Close to eighty students working under the direction of faculty member Timothy Gray worked to construct the center over the course of three semesters. The Eco Center respects local climate conditions and resource flows and demonstrates the potential for regenerative synergies between building and landscape. The project builds on a longstanding tradition of commitment to sustainable practices at Ball State University and seeks to build sustainable relationships between people, prosperity and the planet. Tours of the facility are available on request.
Web Link: http://ecocenter.iweb.bsu.edu/
Project Title: Students from Ball State Receive Awards in 2009-10 Leading Edge Design Competition
Dates: January-April 2010
Key Players: Robert Koester, CERES, Architecture
Description: The Leading Edge Student Design Competition seeks to support and enhance the study of sustainable and energy-efficient building practices in architectural education. With our 2009-2010 competition, students and instructors of architecture and design used the competition as a framework to explore the use of new materials and strategies for building, and the integration of aesthetics and technology for high performance, cutting-edge architecture that approaches the goal of zero-net energy use.
This year the competition focused on the coastal city of Long Beach, California. Students entering Challenge 1 designed a zero-net energy Workforce Training Center; students entering Challenge 2 designed a zero-net energy Student Residence.
3rd-5th year undergraduate and graduate students from Ball State University's Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES) won First Place in Challenge 1:
• Erin Chapman
• Andrew Hesterman
• Jason Klinker
Another group of students from CERES received a Citation of Merit in Challenge 1 for Exploration of Facade Systems:
• Xiorelis Ferrer (Cox)
• Kate Lengacher
• Ben Mc Hugh
There were over 400 registrations, 195 for Challenge 1 and 231 for Challenge 2. Many of those in Challenge 1 (and some in Challenge 2) represented universities from countries as diverse as Israel, Scotland, Mexico, Hungary and Spain, to name just a few. More than 40 US universities and colleges participated, from all regions of the country.
Web Link: www.leadingedgecompetition.org/winners.htm
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Project Title: Substantial Sustainability Projects
Dates: Fall Semester 2011
Key Players: S.M. Smith, Miller College of Business, Students of ISOM 300 Project Management, Fall 2011
Description: During the fall 2011 semester, Ball State University (BSU) undergraduate students enrolled in ISOM 300 – Project Management implemented extensive experiential projects to improve the Student Involvement category grade on The College Sustainability Report Card located at www.greenreportcard.org. Sixty-five (63) students divided into 14 teams executed immersive learning projects that focused on increasing awareness about campus environmental issues, improving the campus landscape, intensifying recycling efforts, and providing information about saving energy.
Web Link: Substantial Sustainability Project Report (PDF)
Project Title: Sustainability and Local Food Systems including Highlander Fieldtrip
Dates: May-June 2009
Key Players: Shelly Glowacki-Dudka, Ed Studies
Description: BBC provided administrative support for this project. Program was designed to heighten participants’ understanding about sustainability and local food systems as it relates to educating and engaging communities in projects such as community gardens, farmer’s markets, slow food movements, and co-ops. The program included a field trip to the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee where the participants learned about Highlander’s role in community education over the last 75 years.
Project Title: Sustainability Report for Ball State University—Global Reporting Initiative
Dates: Fall 2010 Semester
Key Players: Gwen White, Department of Accounting
Description: This group is at the forefront of preparing the university’s first Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) based sustainability report. This experience will put student's work on par with what has become mainstream reporting among the largest 250 companies in the world. Project work includes producing a published sustainability report to share with the university’s faculty, students, alumni, legislators, and the general public and gaining knowledge of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System.
Web Links: Click Here for Full Report
GRI Web Site
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Project Title: Students + Sustainability: 5 Ways Ball State Students can go GREEN
Dates: Spring 2010 Semester
Key Players: Meagan Tuttle, Graduate Student, Department of Urban Planning. Scott Truex, Adviser, Department of Urban Planning. John Vann, Mentor, Miller College of Business.
Description: Students + Sustainability is a guide that was created specifically for Ball State students. The guide includes a brief narrative illustrating the importance of sustainability in the campus community and highlights several key initiatives that Ball State has engaged in to achieve its goal of becoming a more sustainable university. The guide provides recommendations for ways that BSU students can implement sustainable practices into their everyday lifestyles in five areas: at home and in class, and when traveling, eating and shopping. The recommendations are simple and practical to help show students that it can be easy for Ball State to go green. The project includes a guide that has also been formatted to a webpage and a page on the social media site, Facebook, to provide students with updates and weekly "green challenges."
Web Link: http://sites.google.com/site/gogreenbsu/
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