2015_sustainable_campus_150x150The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recognized OSU’s achievements in Campus Engagement and Grounds in their 2015 Sustainable Campus Index.

The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. As of October 2015, there were 725 STARS participants in 24 countries, which included reports from 359 institutions in 9 countries.

OSU achieved 100% of points for Campus Engagement, which recognizes institutions that provide students with sustainability learning experiences outside the formal curriculum, and support employee engagement, training, and development in sustainability.

OSU achieved 98.3% of points in Grounds, which recognizes institutions that plan and maintain their grounds with sustainability in mind by minimizing the use of toxic chemicals, protecting wildlife habitat and conserving resources.

Tebeau Dedication 034The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Oregon State University as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, one of only 12 universities in the United States that has achieved this level.

Gold level indicates that the university has implemented bicycle projects, policies and programs to connect transportation and recreation throughout the community and that a strong commitment to cycling is demonstrated. Only Platinum level is higher; as of 2015 only five universities had achieved Platinum status.

This award grants OSU access to a variety of free tools and technical assistance from the organization to become even more bicycle-friendly. By investing in bicycling, universities can decrease their carbon footprint, see mental and physical health benefits for staff and students, reduce parking demands, create positive connections with the local community, and foster a healthy campus culture.”


See full story at OSU News and Research Communications

Have you seen the graphics at the LInC?

Not only are the graphics colored-coded to their respective classroom for way-finding, the graphics were thoughtfully chosen to be abstracted versions of representative ‘things’ familiar to students studying any and all disciplines at OSU and how those disciplines and the students themselves studying in those fields have a place at OSU, Oregon, and the World. Can you identify the school these images represent?

The LInC is a general classroom building that is not controlled by any one department or school. Any faculty in any school can teach in these spaces. Many of the larger classrooms will be used for the freshman/sophomore large lecture classes, and the committee wanted these undergrads to have a sense of ownership and pride in their respective choice of study and to understand their place at OSU, Oregon, and the World. The images will be a bit of a puzzle game for building goers to determine what the image is and what school/discipline it represents at OSU.

Capital Planning and Development and Transportation Services are pleased to announce that construction is underway for two new parking lots on campus.

laSells Lot

The new “East LaSells Stewart Center Lot” along Western is being built in anticipation of the new Valley Football Center/North End Zone Expansion Project, as replacement parking for stalls displaced by the building project. This centrally located lot is scheduled to open later this fall, bringing 38 new parking spaces for those with A1, A2, A3, and B2 permits, as well as for event goers – adjacent to dorms, LaSells, Alumni Center, Softball and Soccer.

This lot was designed to use every inch of available space, while working up to existing property and utility easement boundaries.  Approximately 390 tons of asphalt will be used to create this lot.  Water quality and detention requirements were achieved with underground piping and mechanical filtering, in order to maximize parking spaces.  There will be roughly 175 feet of 3-foot diameter detention pipe buried below the lot to retain pre-development water runoff levels to minimize downstream flooding during heavy storm events.

Energy Center Lot

The new “Energy Center South Lot” along 35th is being built to replace parking that was displaced by the Samaritan Sports Medicine Center that was recently completed along 30th in the Reser Stadium Lot . Scheduled to open later this fall, this lot brings 80 new parking spaces. This will be a CR zone lot and will be open to CR permit holders only.

Roughly 3500 cubic yards (96000 cubic feet!) of good topsoil was salvaged and stockpiled just east of the site in an enormous mound for future use at OSU projects.   OSU Landscaping has identified that on-site soil is often higher quality and less contaminated with noxious weeds than imported soil – not to mention the cost savings from harvesting the material from OSU property.  The Pocket Park Project site will make use of the soil to transform what is now a debris and rock ridden site into a landscaped green area.

Between October 5th and 6th, roughly 720 tons of asphalt were installed in the base and wearing course. Construction utilized an existing access aisle built with the Energy Center project. The center of the lot features a sand filtration swale to achieve storm water quality and detention requirements – this treats the polluted runoff water before it is piped to sensitive Oak Creek.

Th016e Steam Renewal Project will replace over 500 linear feet of condensate line at four sites, and nearly 300 feet has has already been replaced with the project.

The four sites brought a substantial amount of lost water and energy that will be resolved with the project.  Recapturing and recycling heated steam condensate water cuts down on resource costs to reheat new steam to campus at the Energy Center.

Site 1 – Facilities Shops condensate return:  A mostly disintegrated underground condensate line between FS shops and McAlexander Fieldhouse was noticed by the city, when their nearby water meter vault and fire hydrant were registering over 100 degrees F, above ground!  The condensate line had to be replaced, so the FS shops heat could remain operational.  The project replaced and re-plumbed the line overhead into the old heat plant, where it ties into an existing mainline that heads back across campus through the tunnel system to the Energy Center.

20150617_111407_resizedSite 2 – Cauthorn Hall/West Dining condensate return in Sackett Place: Another condensate line was discovered to be damaged, when it was found that superheated water was making its way into a nearby storm drain, creating steam that came out of manholes and catch basins nearby.  Our project dug and repaired several leaks where we thought the issues were, but once uncovered, the problem ended up being much larger than anticipated (see photo of pipes with holes in them).  The project trenched in Sackett Place down to Intramural Lane to replace the entirety of the damaged pipes.  With the pipework complete, the project successfully mitigated substantial amounts of heated water entering the storm drain and eventual outfall to Oak Creek.

Site 3 – Benton Annex: Upcoming work will replace a failing condensate line through the lawn south of Benton Hall, which connects the Annex to the walking tunnel system.

Site 4 – Wiegand Hall: Upcoming work will address condensate leaks found just outside the mechanical room underground.

20150715_104843_resizedThis project demonstrates how investment in our aging infrastructure is not only necessary to maintain reliable service to the campus community, but can also have a substantial positive impact on our environment by halting heat pollution into our streams and reducing natural gas and water consumption at our on-campus power and steam  plant.




On May 20th 2015, a new standby generator was delivered at Pharmacy building on the Oregon State University campus to provide back-up power for the research building.  The project was a collaborative effort between Facilities Services’ Electrical and Landscape shops and Capital Planning and Development’s Engineering and Planning.

The generator was installed on the northeast corner of Pharmacy just north of the existing loading dock within an existing elevated plant bed.  The site was selected both for its proximity to the building’s electrical room and because the area is already screened by existing vegetation from 14th Street or Jefferson Way, which minimized the impact on the OSU National Historic District.

In order to install the generator, OSU modified an existing four-foot retaining wall to encompass the new generator slab.  OSU removed approximately 20-feet of the four-foot high, six-inch wide retaining wall and installed a new 45-foot section further to the north.

LInC Informal Learning Hotspots_Page_07 (2)Oregon State’s Learning Innovation Center (LInc) is featured in the “Designing for the Active Classroom” article that is authored by Andrea Wilkerson and Robert Davis with the Pacific Northwest National lab and Amy Donohue with Boora Architects. (click to view full article)

Posted on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Energy.gov site, this article is based on work that was sponsored by the DOE SSL (Solid State Lighting) Program.


This article highlights The Active Learning Classroom as the new direction in pedagogy, which is intended to “move students beyond passive lower order thinking skills, such as remembering and understanding information, to active higher order thinking skills, such as analyzing, critiquing and creating.”  This new direction in pedagogy focuses on fostering student-faculty engagement, maximizing time for learning and anticipating change.

As the authors state, “In this article, we will explain how new architectural approaches that embody these three traits are being implemented in the new Oregon State University (OSU) Learning Innovation Center (LINC). The focus will be on the 600-seat arena classroom and the 72-seat active learning studio at OSU.

  • “In the 600-seat arena classroom at OSU, a round configuration collapses the distance typically separating student from instructor in a large lecture hall. In this teaching space, one is never more than eight rows or 30 ft from the professor, trumping Laurence Olivier’s classic rule of acting within 65 ft of the last row of the audience. “
  • “Facial modeling and the direction of light are critical factors for facultystudent engagement, and accomplishing this in the 600-seat arena classroom where students are looking at a speaker from every direction elevates the difficulty. Dynamic lighting that tracks the presenter can facilitate student focus and engagement, making barely perceptible adjustments as the speaker moves around the room. Adequate vertical illuminance on the face of a student who raises a hand to ask a question helps the presenter quickly notice the student and more easily read the learning curve required for new presentation technology and classroom layouts such as the arena classroom. In fact, the arena classroom at OSU will not be used for classes during the first semester so that the Instructional Resource Center can train professors how to effectively use the new space. “
  • “The learning studio at Oregon State University supports a class of 72 students in a wide array of coursework, often working in groups of three or nine. The instructor has a home base but often moves about the room working with small groups on problem solving. Like an architecture studio, the lecture time is minimized while individual or small group discussion is the focus. Interactive boards surround the room, connected to each round table of nine students. Results from small group efforts can be broadcast to the room, enabling students to learn from one another while guided by the instructor.”

Campus Way Lighting  Project

In response to lighting concerns identified in the ASOSU Women’s Affairs Task force Report, Capital Planning and Development is working with Facilities Services and ASOSU leadership on the Campus Way Lighting Project.  OSU’s existing exterior lighting standards exceed the city’s minimum requirements; however, areas west of 30th Street tend to have fewer exterior lights because there has been less development than in the core of campus.  The Campus Way Lighting Project will bring the installation of 18 new historic-style light poles along the north side of Campus Way between 30th and 35th Streets, which was identified as an area of particular concern in the Task force Report.

Building upon the pedestrian lighting pilot project started at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility, the Campus Way Lighting Project will utilize LED lamps for improved effectiveness. LED lamps are much more energy efficient than the high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps used in older light poles on campus, and LED lighting has shown to have a longer life than traditional lighting. More importantly, the project leads to a greater sense of security at night. Whereas HPS lights tend to give an orange cast, the color of light produced with LED is truer to daylight, allowing pedestrians to better see their surroundings and to make facial recognition.

The project was initially scheduled to be completed by the end of November, but due to challenges in getting a building permit, finding an appropriate power source for the lighting, and procuring the lamps from the manufacturer, the completion of this project has been delayed.  To expedite the benefits of this project and address concerns regarding lighting levels, construction will begin with the installation of light poles with temporary lamp heads to provide lighting in this area until the permanent heads are received from the manufacturer and installed.  This project is currently expected to be complete in spring 2015.

For comments, questions or additional information on the Campus Way Lighting Project, contact:

Sara Robertson, Associate Campus Planner with Capital Planning and Development, at 541-737-0459.

Welcome the new Learning Innovation Center (LInC)! 


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The 135,00- SF, 4-story Learning Innovation Center (LInC) provides centralized classroom and learning space, including 2,300 classroom seats in 15 classrooms, over 600 seats in outside of the classroom, collaborative study environments.  In addition to this innovative learning space, LInC will also be the new home for Integrated Instructional Resource Center (IIRC) and University Honors College.

One-of-a-kind classroom and learning space design supports collaboration and student participation through collaborative learning studios and study spaces and unique instructional spaces. This includes a Parliament and “In-The-Round” classroom design for the 600-seat arena, in which the instructor is within 40 feet of all learners.

The Universal Accessibility emphasis in design will make OSU’s new instructional center-of-mass welcome and inviting to all.

Energy performance efficiencies include the following.

  • Classroom and other space with critical temperature requirements are separated from the exterior and from circulation that will loop around the classrooms to prevent outside temperature exposure to classrooms.
  • Circulation areas will be cooled and heated as separate zones, using passive cooling from outside air and passive heating from sunlight.  Classroom climate control can be turned off when not in use.
  • Energy efficient lighting systems
  • Increased use of natural light
  • Increased Insulation
  • Reflective cool roof

CPD Tree Repurposing One of the striking features of the Oregon State University campus is the beautiful tree-lined streets and pathways and tree canopies across campus. The Oregon State University campus is home to about 5,000 trees, and each year another thirty-five new trees are planted. Supporting our valuable resource, OSU has a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, celebrates Arbor Day, and has various service learning projects aimed at engaging students. And, OSU has received the Tree Campus USA Award for five years in a row, which recognizes our efforts in effectively managing our campus trees, developing connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests, and engaging students in leaning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry events.

Building upon the OSU focus on stewardship in the care of our campus trees, Capital Planning and Development has stepped forward to integrate reclaimed wood into several of our new construction projects.  It’s always difficult when a large tree dies or needs to be removed, but several trees will live on in their service to Beaver Nation, as tables, chairs and decorations.

In August 2012, a 100-foot, 50-year-old red oak on the MU Quad fell. The wood from this oak has been milled and will become furniture for the new Student Experience Center (SEC).  As Larrie Easterly, Project Manager for the SEC construction explains, “Because this was a naturally-growing tree, the grain in the wood is very unique and has a lot of character, which will make spectacularly beautiful furniture.”

Repurposing and integrating our OSU trees into the built environment has expanded since 2012. At the site where Johnson Hall will be built, there are two large black walnut trees that are diseased and need to be removed. Once these trees are removed, the wood will be milled to be integrated into furniture and wood design elements of Johnson Hall.  Similarly, elm trees that were removed for the construction of the SEC will be used in the meditation room at the SEC. Black walnut trees that were removed for the construction of the Centro Cultural César Chávez will become furniture for Centro Cultural César Chávez, MU, and the Student Experience Center.