Case Studies


AASHE’s case study library contains hundreds of detailed case studies on a wide variety of higher education sustainability initiatives from faculty development programs to whole campus energy retrofits to community partnerships. All case studies are entered in the annual AASHE Awards Program.

At a Glance

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Bars in graphs can be clicked to view resources that align with a particular category. Because a resource may be listed under multiple topics and disciplines, graph data may include higher total counts than what is indicated in total resources above.

656 resources

Energy Matters- Comprehensive Energy Efficiency and Awareness at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) faced increasing student enrollment, space demands, utility costs, and energy needs. By 2008, UWM was 5% above its 2005 baseline, when it was proposed by ...

Take Action on Waste: A Community Based Social Marketing Project in Student Residences

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Take Action on Waste began in 2010 as a project at the University of Alberta that aims to improve waste diversion behaviours in residences. Challenges with infrastructure and education at ...

Food Scraps Recovery at Kean University

  • Kean University (NJ)

Kean University began a comprehensive on-campus food scraps composting project in January 2010. Food scraps are processed in an in-vessel composting system that requires just five days to convert them ...

Energy Efficiency at Valencia College: A Case Study of Retrofits and Building Automation, Green Construction, and Behavioral Savings

  • Valencia College (FL)

Valencia College constructed 66 buildings between 1971 and 2012. Six buildings, 25% of total the college's 2.1 million square feet, were built to LEED Gold standards with energy ...

Visioning and Operationalizing a System-Wide $1 Billion Energy Campaign at the University of North Carolina.

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • University of North Carolina System Office (NC)

The Appalachian Energy Summit (AES) is the annual gathering of the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge. Through this initiative, campus leaders from across higher education in North Carolina ...

The BCIT Factor Four Project

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)

The goal of Factor Four at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is to reduce energy and material throughput by a factor of four (75%) in an area of ...

Sustainable Urban Eco-Garden at St. Louis Community College

  • St. Louis Community College (MO)

St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley campus, has created an educational, sustainable eco-garden that provides opportunities for participants to engage in raising food as well as providing native habitat for ...

Sustainable Packaging at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

Gator Dining Services-ARAMARK at the University of Florida eliminated foam containers from campus dining operations, making UF the only ARAMARK foam- free dining operation in the south region. Foam products ...

Solar power, horticulture and culinary arts integration project

  • Metropolitan Community College (NE)

Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., is committed to being a center of sustainable education. MCC's approach to sustainability is comprehensive: we work on campus, in classrooms and in ...

Planning and launch of campus-wide, undergraduate major in sustainability

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

A campus-wide, undergraduate sustainability major was launched in Autumn semester 2012. Since then it has become one of the fastest growing majors on campus having enrolled over 70 students. A ...

Foothill College Sustainable Learning Community

  • Foothill College (CA)

As part of the President's Climate Commitment, the incorporation of sustainability into the general curriculum was identified as a campus goal. The Sustainable Learning Community project is not only ...

Implementation of a Student Sustainability Fund at Missouri State University

  • Missouri State University (MO)

The purpose of the Student Sustainability Fund (hereafter referred to as the SustainaFund) is to provide the means to implement student-initiated projects on the Missouri State University-Springfield campus that focus ...

Transitioning from Sustainability Planning to Meaningful Implementation

  • Ohio University (OH)

With the formal adoption of the Sustainability Plan occurring in Summer 2011 and the Climate Action Plan in Winter 2012, Ohio University is in its first year of transitioning from ...

Incorporating Sustainability Across the Entire Curricula

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)

In 2011, BCIT required all new and existing educational curricula to incorporate sustainability. This was achieved through a combination of changes in educational program development and review policies; capacity development ...

Communicating Carbon: Visualizing Energy Inputs, Activities, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • University of Oregon (OR)

Sustainability decision-making requires both accurate and informative data, and effective stakeholder communication. Higher education sustainability professionals must not only estimate energy inputs, activities, and greenhouse gas emissions data, they must ...

  • Posted April 30, 2013
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University of California, Santa Barbara Water Action Plan

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

The UCSB Water Action Plan (WAP) has three major project goals: determine historical and current campus water use in order to understand water use trends over time, identify and assess ...

  • Posted April 17, 2013
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Jones County Junior College Energy Conservation Program

  • Jones County Junior College (MS)

We have implemented a campus wide behavior based program along with the addition of electrical sub-metering and water/sewer irrigation advanced controls. We have also teamed with the U.S ...

BYU-Idaho Recycling Center Program

  • Brigham Young University, Idaho (ID)

The point of this project was to use the recycling facilities that have been established at BYU-Idaho to partner with the City of Rexburg and expand the recycling program to ...

  • Posted Nov. 19, 2012
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University of Iowa Information Technology Facility

  • University of Iowa (IA)

The University of Iowa (UI) Information Technology Facility is believed to be the first educational institution data center in the nation certified LEED Platinum, and is the first LEED Platinum ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Center for Design Research

  • University of Kansas (KS)

The Center for Design Research, located on the site of the former historic Chamney Dairy Farm in Lawrence, Kansas, is a response to the emerging culture and support of sustainability ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Sustainability Innovation in Practice: Western's Collaborative Planning Results in Living Lab Model for Sparta Public Safety Training Facility

  • Western Technical College (WI)

Western expanded its Sparta(WI) campus to consolidate its Public-Safety Programs on one campus reducing the need for students to travel 35 miles to Western's campus in La Crosse ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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BHCC Health and Wellness Center

  • Bunker Hill Community College (MA)
  • DiNisco Design Partnership (MA)

The Health and Wellness Center at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is a e 48,000 square-foot structure provides "smart classrooms," spacious offices, student study lounges, flexible state-of-the-art "sim" labs ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Galileo's Pavilion

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • University of Kansas (KS)

The goals of the Johnson County Community College Center for Sustainability, combined with the need for additional classrooms at the ever-expanding college, led to a unique opportunity to create inspired ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Southwest Recreation Center Expansion - University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

Southwest Recreation Center was expanded 2009-2010 and continues to be the most popular active recreation facility on the University of Florida campus. This facility is a modern laboratory for highly ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Sustainability and Integrated Campus Planning at UCLA

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)

Planning at UCLA systematically uses the LEED rating system to advance campus sustainability goals and to challenge project design teams to achieve significant efficiencies on campus. The comprehensive nature of ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall

  • Wellesley College (MA)
  • Ann Beha Architects (MA)

Alumnae Hall has had little or no upgrades to HVAC systems and interior finishes since it was built in 1932. This project included a complete gut renovation of all building ...

  • Posted July 25, 2012
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Payne Family Native American Center

  • University of Montana (MT)

The Payne Family Native American Center, the first of its kind in the nation, is an excellent example of sustainability in practice. This symbolically rich building provides a place for ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Apogee Stadium

  • University of North Texas (TX)
  • HKS Architects (TX)

Completed in fall 2011, the 30,000-seat Apogee Stadium is the first LEED Platinum collegiate football stadium in the world. The stadium features luxury suites, an amenity-filled club level, a ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Linde + Robinson Laboratory for Global Environmental Science

  • California Institute of Technology (CA)
  • Architectural Resources Group (CA)

This groundbreaking project rehabilitated a 1932 astrophysics laboratory at Caltech into a cutting-edge center for research and instruction in global environmental science. The $35 million rehabilitation preserved the significant architectural ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is a world-class research facility that houses twin interdisciplinary institutes: the private, nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research and the public, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. With ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Sabine Hall Science Building

  • Richland College - DCCCD (TX)
  • Perkins+Will (NY)

Richland College, one of seven colleges of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), is dedicated to its mission of "teaching, learning and community building." Sabine Hall Science Building, its ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Water Conservation Strategies in LEED Residence Halls

  • Emory University (GA)
  • Ayers Saint Gross (MD)

Emory University's water conservation goals are extensive and not only include reduced potable water use in our buildings but also across campus, effecting uses such as irrigation and physical ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Education Building

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

This project renovated nearly 71,000 GSF of the existing Education Building including a 37,000 GSF replacement and a four story addition. This project also included the reconstruction of ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Kaua'i Community College - Ho'ouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua'i

  • Kauai Community College (HI)

Kaua'i Community College ("KCC") created Ho'ouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua'i to bring the college and island community together in a place-based approach to cultural, economic ...

  • Posted July 11, 2012
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Efforts in Making Tuition More Sustainable

  • Sewanee - The University of the South (TN)

Recently, Sewanee has taken three tuition actions in an effort to make the cost of an excellent college education more sustainable. In January 2012, the University announced that it would ...

  • Posted July 11, 2012
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Providing a Framework for Student Driven Sustainability in the Residence Halls: The Green Room Certification Program

  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)

The Green Room Certification Program (GRCP) is designed to provide students living in the residence halls an individual or room-by-room framework for 1) reducing their energy and resource consumption, and ...

  • Posted July 10, 2012
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The Student Sustainability Summits

  • University of Cincinnati (OH)

The Student Sustainability Summit (Summit) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) began in the spring of 2011. Its ever-evolving aim is to train the next generation of students to become ...

Behind the Shower Curtain: How UC Merced Saved a Million Gallons of Water

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

In the fall of 2011, in the agricultural center of California, UC Merced assembled a broad coalition of students, faculty, organizers, and administrators to implement a campus-wide dormitory competition to ...

Implementing UBC's Climate Action Plan

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

The University of British Columbia (UBC)'s comprehensive Climate Action Plan, launched in 2010, is the result of a multi-year planning process that involved over 200 students, staff and faculty ...

Alfred State's Net-Zero Energy Demonstration Home

  • Alfred State College (NY)

Students in a variety of construction-related programs at Alfred State constructed a net-zero energy demonstration home as part of their coursework. The 2200 square foot home, which is located on ...

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Green Fish: How URI Saves 40 Million Gallons of Water a Year

  • University of Rhode Island (RI)

Without clean water, the University of Rhode Island's Aquaculture Center can't fulfill its mission to house fish for research. Yet, the center's water source left a large ...

Energizing the Community for Water Sustainability

  • Stetson University (FL)

The project was designed to energize Stetson students and the broader community around water sustainability on and off campus. Most domestic, agricultural, and industrial water used in Florida originates in ...

We Conserve: A Campus Wide Campaign

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

The University of Wisconsin - Madison initiated the aggressive We Conserve program in 2006 to further strengthen its environmental stewardship practices and to promote education and motivation to the community on ...

Skidmore College's Innovative District Geothermal System

  • Skidmore College (NY)

Skidmore College has utilized geothermal heating and cooling, a renewable energy, for several years now, beginning with the installations in our Northwoods Village residential apartments, then the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall ...

Unity House

  • Unity College (ME)
  • Thornton Tomasetti (ME)
  • Bensonwood Homes (NH)

Completed in 2008, the 1,937-square-foot, LEED Platinum Unity House is the on-campus home of Unity College's President. Unity House was designed and built with education in mind. It ...

Environmental and Regulatory Management System (ERMS)

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

UT Arlignton's Environmental and Regulatory Management System (ERMS) is a methodical approach to minimize adverse environmental impacts, maintain regulatory compliance, promote sustainability, and encourage safe work practices at The ...

Roadmap to Sustainability for Departmental Planning

  • Yale University (CT)

The Roadmap to Sustainability is a unique program designed to guide departments within a larger institution in creating department/unit specific Sustainability Action Plans. The Yale Office of Sustainability developed ...

Baylor Energy Awareness Program: Engaging the Campus Community

  • Baylor University (TX)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

Baylor Facility Services, along with ARAMARK Higher Education and Baylor University, has embarked on a ground-breaking energy engagement program for the campus, leading Baylor's staff, students and community in ...

Duke University's Sustainability Communications - Making the Campus Climate Action Plan Personal

  • Duke University (NC)

In 2007, Duke University signed the ACUPCC and embarked on a journey to assess institutional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, develop strategies to impact the campus footprint and become a carbon ...

Recycling, Reuse, and Composting Program: Phase 1

  • University of Rochester (NY)

Until 2008, a formal recycling program did not exist at our University. In order to establish a sustainability program that would expand and thrive, Support Operations implemented Phase 1 of ...