Pepperdine to Create "Green" Student Residence

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University has pledged $150,000 toward converting a student dormitory on campus into a “green” residence hall.

The grant was awarded as part of Pepperdine’s “Waves of Innovation” initiative, which gave out around $450,000 toward staffers, students and faculty who presented ideas to improve Pepperdine. Most of these ideas revolved around sustainability, community outreach and educational advancements.

In addition to the environmental benefits of having a new “eco-friendly” building on campus, school administrators hope that the residence will educate students about the importance of sustainability.

“While sustainability practices are important in that they teach by example, it is those practices that involve student participation that are most likely to have a lasting effect on students,” said Rhiannon Bailard, director of Pepperdine University’s Center for Sustainability. Bailard was also the staff member who proposed the hall renovation.

The grant will allow for several new features, including visible utility and water sub meters for students to view energy consumption, solar panels, low-flow plumbing fixtures, occupancy sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, a water-filling station to encourage students to carry re-usable water bottles and a kiosk in the lobby where students and visitors to the dorm can be educated on sustainability at Pepperdine.

The “Waves of Innovation” initiative also granted money to a project that will promote student research and grant opportunities to improve the way plastics are prepared. It seeks to research the replacement of poly-ethylene plastics with more environmentally friendly options. This project, which was awarded $69,300, is called “Biodegradable Plastics Prepared with Optimized, Environmentally Friendly Catalysts” and was proposed by faculty member Joe Fritsch.