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PROJECT MANAGER PAUL LUNDBERG FEELS VERY MUCH AT HOME IN THE GEOTHERMAL FACILITIES AROUND CAMPUS.


affordable, Lundberg reports, he and his colleagues are testing some LED office lighting in their own workspaces. He says, “The beauty of LEDs is that they use 20% less electricity than compact fluorescents, last for 10 years or more, and give off almost zero heat.”


SHAMELESS PLUG


Electric cars are just in their infancy, but Skidmore is serving as a proud nanny. Taking advantage of a promotion offered by the National Grid power company, the campus is now home to a free recharging station for cars with plug-in batteries. The charging kiosk serves two parking spaces in the busy and popular Palamoun- tain Hall lot (where it was easy to connect to existing wires inside the building). Drivers can use a Nation- al Grid card or a smartphone appli-


cation to turn on the juice and charge their parked cars. A sign asks gas-powered vehicles to park elsewhere and requests that users limit their charging time to three hours. Lundberg knows of one employee who’s a regular at the charger. He ad- mits, “Right now, it’s more just a message we’re sending, that we want to help our community get on board with newer, cleaner transportation choices. But I could foresee our need- ing, and offering, several more such stations in the future.” Another transportation option is the Capital District bus


26 SCOPE FALL 2014


service that was brought to Saratoga with the help of Mike Hall. Skidmore students provide ridership (for free, thanks to Skidmore’s subsidy) to keep the routes operating—even into the wee hours on weekends—and Skidmore no longer has to run its own shuttles between campus and downtown.


“THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT


GEOTHERMAL IS VERY GREEN AND CLEAN ENVIRONMENTALLY,” HALL SAYS, “SO AS SOON AS WE COULD SEE THAT IT WOULD PAY OFF FINANCIALLY, WE GOT RIGHT INTO IT.”


REDUCE, REUSE, RETHINK, RECREATE In embracing and even spearheading innovations in sus- tainability, Skidmore has been transforming its campus, from its rooftops to its geological foundations. Water-bottle refill taps in several buildings are used thousands of times a year; no-sort recycling bins are divert- ing more and more waste into recycling rather than the landfill; even campus lawns and flower - beds get fewer, safer chemical treatments.


Remarkably, as the campus has grown to meet new stu- dent and program needs—including 22 new apartment buildings and the large Zankel Music Center—its natural-gas usage and its electricity costs have dropped markedly. It’s a practical matter as well as an ethical and educational mis- sion. By being resourceful with finite natural and budgetary resources, Skidmore seems to have figured out how to do, quite literally, more with less, and how to sustain that sus- tainable model into the future.


PETER MACDONALD


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