Has the green bug struck Chapel Hill??? The newly renovated Morrison Dorm was previewed by the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee. Morrison has been under construction for the past year and has added some new environmentally friendly updates. Some of the fee money that UNC students pay yearly was allotted to the Morrison project to help fund renewable energy for portions of the dorm. One form of renewable energy that Morrison will have is solar panels on the roof. These panels will be hit by the sun and then will heat up glycol which will be directed down to heat up an 8,000 gallon water tank. Thus, some of the hot water that is used in the dorm will come from these solar panels.
Another update that Morrison will be sporting is kiosks in the main lobby that will allow students to access a website that monitors their energy usage. They hope that these energy meters will promote student awareness and help curb wastefullness. However, energy/water usage will not be curbed or capped per student. The new builders of Morrison hope that these environmentally friendly improvements will attract conservationists and people interested in the environment to pick Morrison as their first living choice. The dorm will even be home to a new themed housing program, the sustainability living community. While the details of the community are not quite worked out, Cindy Shea, director of the University’s sustainability office, says that they are open to suggestions and willing to let students work on their environmental interests.
While this is a good step towards making our campus more environmentally friendly, in a recent report by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, UNC only scored a C for their efforts toward sustainable energy. Let us hope that with the upcoming construction of Carmicheal and various other projects on campus that the leaders of our university will strive to create a more healthy and environmentally friendly campus for all of us to live on.