Studying in university can lead you to a variety of experience and open many doors. There are a lot of universities in the world and all of them give you the best education to prepare you for the future. However, if you’re looking for great universities that are environment-friendly, here’s a list to help you choose one (or two).
University of Copenhagen built Green Lighthouse in 2009 and the building is Denmark’s first public CO2-neutral building. It’s energy-efficient building that produces its own energy from a combination of solar energy, heat pumps, and district heating. The result is zero carbon emissions and less carbon footprint.
Green Lighthouse uses a plethora of natural ventilation, so you’ll receive a lot of fresh air and abundant sunlight. The building uses sun as its primary source of energy, which leads to a healthy indoor climate. You’ll want to stay as long as you can there.
And not only that, University of Copenhagen aims to reach high sustainability standards. They have a new strategy called “Green Campus 2020: A Strategy for Resource Efficiency and Sustainability”. The strategy includes specific targets for energy and CO2 reductions.
2. United Kingdom
If you’re an anglophile who cares about environment or dreams to study in UK, then University of Nottingham or University of Bradford might be the best. Nottingham has a strong sustainability policy of the campus.
Did you know that the building was crafted from prefabricated modular straw bale panels? They harvested the straw from the uni’s own farmland just 200m away. Sourcing the materials locally is one of the reasons why the idea-to-reality execution was done in just 10 short weeks. Making this construction cheap and quick.
As for University of Bradford, this university achieved the highest rating of BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). The reason is because this uni has decreased its carbon footprint by 35% since a decade ago. Then, there are natural ventilation, air source heat pumps, and high levels of insulation and biological materials in the basis of the main structure.
What’s more is that the areas are flexible without fixed desk spaces or computer clusters. So you can utilize the areas according to your needs, like creative collaboration. It should be noted that over the last decade, the university has reduced utility spending and saved over around $10million, while others increase 85% during the same time period.
3. Barcelona – Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
There’s a new building of university that was recently completed in 2014, but the green features are already outstanding. The building has a bio-climatic layer/facade which can control the building’s internal temperature. Compared to other conventional buildings, this design reduces energy consumption levels up to 62% and water consumption up to 90%.
So cool isn’t it? It’s because the bioclimatic layer is made from a series of automatic openings and closings that will work to maintain internal temperature between 16 and 30 °C. The effect is similar to a greenhouse which modifies solar radiation and ventilation.
There are also plants inside the building to regulate temperature of each room. The plants also work to keep working spaces comfortable. Speaking of working space, the building hosts the main offices of Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology.
If you’re studying here, you’ll be experiencing a campus that has a natural way to monitor and control the building’s temperatures as well as humidity levels. Such a nice method to save energy, don’t you agree?
There are two green university in Singapore, which are Singapore University of Technology and Design and Nanyang Technological University. There are natural ventilation in order to accommodate the extreme humidity so that wind patterns go around naturally. Additionally, there are a lot of open areas, providing extensive daylight to the interiors.
With open design and a lot of green spaces (gardens, plant, and trees), you can feel the evident eco effort of this university. The sustainability program also benefit all students and staff at the campus.
Nanyang Technological University
The first time I saw this, my first impression was “Whaat? What kind of building is this?” And sure enough, this building has a nickname; the Dim Sum Towers. However, this design is not without a purpose. One of the reasons is so that students can engage with each other well.
Would you believe it if I told you that there’s no air conditioning here? Well the campus doesn’t have it for real. It instead uses a cooling system that pumps chilled water from a plant through pipes. Then it’s combined with a convection method to circulate cooled air. The campus also uses solar panels to fulfil 3 – 5% energy demand.
5. United States of America
There are fifteen green universities in US, but the top three are Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Stanford University, and Sterling College. Colorado State is leads the nation in sustainability. It has the first solar-heated and air-conditioned for campus building. They also conduct sustainability-related research in more than 90% of the academic departments.
On the other hand, Stanford University integrates sustainability to daily lives. The university has more than 20 green clubs, and all students from any major can join and participate. They can offer a chance to make a change on sustainability at Stanford and other places. For example, there’s a Gleaning Project that harvests organic fruit and veggies so they can be donated to local hunger-relief organizations.
This institution wants their scholars to be thoughtful and innovative. Sterling students learn how to become a better advocate for the environment, and their experience in college is a fine fusion of academic and experiential learning. Additionally, Sterling has a curriculum with rich sustainability subjects. Watch a glimpse of it here.
An environmentally-focused, four-year college in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, this institution strives to nurture thoughtful and innovative scholars. Students at Sterling learn through the lens of becoming a better steward of the environment, and their experience at this college is a blend of academic and experiential learning.
The campus also has a student-run farm that gives 20% to campus’ food. Much of the labor is also performed by draft horses instead of machines,, and they haven’t had vending machines for over decade! Interestingly, most students have a job on campus, and most of them get employment during the first year after graduation. This univ rocks, don’t you think?
Have you decided the university you want to go to? You can also check out this article to find out about countries/cities with the best sustainability program and you can look for your prefered universities there. Good luck!