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  Environmental Sustainability at RVCC  
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Green Tour of RVCC Main Campus
 

Take a look around the campus to see evidence of RVCC's commitment to environmental sustainability.  Click on the image to view a full-sized tour map showing a route through the points of interest described below. 

RVCC Green Tour 
Click thumbnail for full-size tour map* 

  1. Solar panels - RVCC is one of several schools and municipalities benefiting from Somerset County’s Renewable Energy program. The program funded the installation of solar panels in Lot 5, with a capacity of 446kW for use at the Arts building and the Childcare Center. RVCC does not own or operate the panels, but buys the generated electricity at a significantly reduced rate. Electricity from the panels covers about 75% of the power usage for the two buildings. To see how much energy the panels put on the grid, the resulting carbon footprint reduction, and other information, look at the real-time performance display from Noveda.

  2. Butterfly garden - Located next to the Childcare Center, this garden is designed to foster wonder and discovery as children follow the development of larvae from the stages of caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly.  The flowering plants in the garden are especially chosen to nurture the metamorphosis.  Linked is a picture essay showing ways children in the center become engaged in play and the study of nature:The Importance of Play: A Service Learning Project.

  3. Rain barrel - RVCC uses a rainwater harvesting system installed at the garage facility.  Rainwater from the roof of the garage is diverted into a 500 gallon storage tank that is used to fill watering carts for landscaping needs.  

  4. Cogeneration plant - RVCC operates a 1.4MW cogeneration engine, a combined heat and power system with a high efficiency engine that burns natural gas to create electricity.  The engine is coupled to an absorption unit that converts exhaust engine gases to either 320 tons of cooling or enough hot water to bypass conventional boilers. This allows for a significant improvement in overall fuel efficiency, resulting in lower operating costs and CO2 emissions. The plant is able to reduce carbon emissions by 1900 tons per year. Energy savings is estimated to be approximately $400,000 annually.  

  5. Organic garden - Located behind the baseball field is a .4-acre produce garden.  Student volunteers from R.E.A.L  (Raritan Environmental Action League) and the community help to plant, maintain, and harvest produce from the garden. 

  6. Green roof - Student Frank Dahlhaus, with Dr. Jay Kelly (Biology/Environmental Studies) and the support of the Facilities & Grounds department, created a 600 square foot green roof over the Faculty Lounge in Hunterdon Hall.  The green roof trays contain a wide variety of locally native plants which store and filter stormwater.  The roof is visible through the windows in the lounge (near the restrooms) on the 3rd floor of Hunterdon Hall. 

  7. Rain garden - With the support of the RVCC Foundation, the College installed a rain garden at the south entrance to campus.  This garden is planted with native plants and serves to naturally slow and filter pollutants from stormwater before it reaches the stream. 

  8. Electric car chargers - The College offers electric car charging through ChargePoint America, a program to provide electric vehicle charging infrastructure to nine selected regions in the United States, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy.  The chargers serve four preferred parking spaces outside of the West building.  There is a 40 cent connection fee, and presently the College is not charging for the electricity itself.

 

 * The tour map was created by students Alicea Zelesny and Zachary Batren for Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (ENVI 202).

 

 


 

 

This website was developed by Computer Science major Georgiana Haldeman through the Service Learning Program at RVCC. 
The top banner was designed by graphic design student Gregory Brock through the Service Learning Program at RVCC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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