The Office

History and Impetus for the Office

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Indiana University has a rich history of environmental and sustainability leadership. This page presents some of the major players IUB's sustainability initiative over the last twenty years.

Sustainability Timeline

Legacy of Herman B. Wells

Herman B WellsThe late president Herman B Wells was a strong supporter of the environment. Much of the woodland features of our historic campus were created and/or supported by President Wells' efforts. In his last commencement address, Wells said to students:

I hope that our alumni will always insist on retention of our precious islands of green and serenity -- our most important physical asset, transcending even classrooms, libraries, and laboratories in their ability to inspire students to dream long dreams of future usefulness and achievement -- dreams that are an important and essential part of undergraduate college experience.

What would Herman B do? Be sustainable.

Council for Environmental Stewardship

As early as 1997, Indiana University, under the leadership of IU President Myles Brand, agreed to promote a stewardship initiative that included formation of a council of faculty, staff and students representing academic and administrative departments and other organizations. The IUB Council for Environmental Stewardship (CFES) was established in 1998, and was funded by the IUB Chancellor’s office for a period of seven years, during which time the group addressed a number of academic and operational issues closely related to the current sustainability initiative, e.g., energy, campus food, education, land use, etc.

Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative

Teaching Environmental LiteracyA major academic initiative, the “Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative” (ELSI) was developed in 2001 by an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students as an outgrowth of the Environmental Literacy Working Group of CFES. The group took on a comprehensive review of IUB environmental course offerings and focused its efforts on the development and promotion of coordinated interdisciplinary education programs for IUB. The group convened an interdisciplinary seminar series, featuring participants from a variety of schools and departments, and two off-campus speakers: David Orr (Oberlin) and Christopher Uhl (Penn State). The group helped develop a core strategy for promoting environmental literacy on the IUB campus, entitled "A Pedagogical Approach to Greening IU", and subsequently extended into a number of more focused interdisciplinary efforts, including (a) the “Food for Thought” project, which focused on food literacy as a key component of environmental literacy that cuts across multiple social, economic and environmental issues at local to global scales; (b) a curriculum development effort that has led to a new interdisciplinary curriculum in Human Environment and Ecology for the new Indiana University Human Biology Program (HUBI); and (c) development of an edited volume of writings on environmental literacy and pedagogy connected with IU’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning program.

Task Force on Sustainability

The Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability (STF) was the product of a grassroots effort by several dozen Indiana University faculty, staff, and students who advocated, over several years, for a comprehensive institutional plan to address issues of environmental sustainability. The STF initiative was catalyzed by a letter, submitted in October 2006, to then-Provost Michael McRobbie by 26 IUB faculty, staff, and students. Following a series of meetings with Provost McRobbie and Vice President Terry Clapacs, the Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability was established by Vice President Clapacs on March 7, 2007.

In his charge to the 16-member task force of IU Bloomington faculty, students, and staff, Vice President Clapacs asked the group to develop a set of sustainability indicators for the university, to assess the current sustainability status of the Bloomington campus, to identify key areas of concern, and to establish a framework for a long-term sustainability plan. Over six months time, the STF compiled their findings into the Campus Sustainability Report.Indiana University Internship Program in Sustainability, which has employed over eighty undergraduate and graduate student interns working on a wide variety of sustainability-related projects.

"Sustainability” was defined broadly by the task force as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It could be taken to encompass issues of local and global environmental quality, resource use, environmental literacy, and societal equity. In effect, the STF viewed the initiative as an opportunity for Indiana University to take a leadership role, not only in incorporating concepts of sustainability into University practice, but also in the creation, dissemination, and application of new areas of academic scholarship in this emerging field.

While over 100 working group members supported the STF, the original Sustainability Task Force was comprised of 16 student, faculty, staff and administrators:

  • Michael Hamburger (co-chair), Associate Dean of the Faculties and Professor, Department of Geological Sciences
  • Paul Sullivan (co-chair), Deputy Vice President for Administration
  • Steve Akers, Associate Director of Environmental Operations, Residential Programs and Services
  • Matt Auer, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
  • Joseph DeJean, undergraduate student, Indiana University Student Association
  • Dan Derheimer, Environmental Manager, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Rob Fischman, Professor, School of Law
  • Elliot Hayden, undergraduate student, Indiana Public Interest Research Group (INPIRG)
  • Jeff Kaden, Director, Engineering Services
  • Lisa Pratt, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences
  • Tim Rice, Purchasing Director of Administration, University Purchasing
  • Steve Riggins, Property Manager, IU Real Estate
  • Nicole Schönemann, Director, Office of Service-Learning
  • Benjamin Schultz, Lecturer, Marketing Department and Business Communication Department
  • Jenny Sumner, graduate student, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Mia Williams, Director, Landscape Architecture, University Architect’s Office
About E-House

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ehouseLocated at 704 E. 10th St., E-House is a 1930s Dutch Colonial Revival home restored for maximum energy efficiency. The building contains offices, conference rooms, and a work area for our interns. In addition to being the IUOS headquarters, E-House was conceived as a place where campus and community groups can meet, learn, plan, and implement sustainability initiatives.

The E in E-House refers to the E-words we use every day in the Office of Sustainability: Energy, Environment, Equity, Economics, and Education, but we also intend for it to stand for Example. We hope the building will serve as a model of a new approach to energy and the built environment on our campus and in our community and as a learning lab for our interns.

Duke Energy Foundation funded the high efficiency geothermal heating and cooling system as well as a web-enabled energy dashboard that is being used for research, instruction and outreach for campus and community. The University filled the south facing section of the roof of E-House with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to supply most of the electricity needed for the building with clean, renewable energy. The panels produce a surplus of electricity during sunny, mild weather, especially on weekends, and it is sold back to the grid in a net metering agreement with Duke Energy. The small net amount of energy that is provided by Duke Energy is covered by renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased from Duke Energy through their GoGreen program for renewable energy, making the E-House, in effect, a net-zero building even after accounting for the CO2 emissions related to the water and sewage used at the building.

Energy Efficient Features
  • Solar PV P
    • E-House was designed to be powered by sunlight, yet also preserve its historic character. The 16 PV panels were mounted on the back slope of the roof where they have a good tilt angle relative to sun during the middle of the day and where they would not diminish the street side character of the classic 1930’s home. The PV system has a maximum output of 3.6 kilowatts (kW) and will produce about 5,000 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of emission free electricity each year. Click on the dashboard tab below to access real-time energy production data. More on how PV panels work.
  • Geothermal Heating and Cooling System
    • E-House also has a geothermal heating and cooling system that transfers heat to and from the limestone bedrock, utilizing two 250-foot-deep vertical bore holes hidden below the back of the house.
  • LED lamps
    • Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is used throughout the house. LEDs are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. They can be even more efficient than CFL bulbs (ours are 13W). Learn more about LEDs here.
  • Windows
    • To maintain the building's historical integrity, the original windows were left in place. New, efficient storm windows were installed to minimize heat transfer.
Carbon Footprint
  • Emissions
    • At the end of each fiscal year, the CO2 emissions related to electrical and water/sewage use, along with the reductions for renewable energy certificates, are calculated for the E-House Carbon Footprint Annual Report: Coming Soon!

The E-house uses two systems for monitoring energy usage, both of which have public accessible dashboards.