By Claire Hirashiki
After weeks of individually poring over documents and certification forms, we have finally brought our social hiatus to an end! With last week’s productive Earth Day Fair and meeting with UCLA Housing and Hospitality Services Sustainability Manager Aliana Lungo-Shapiro, we initiated the intensive process of reaching out to administrative staff to better understand the inner workings of the Hill’s buildings.
That’s not the only sustainable action we’re partaking in though! We strengthened the self-sustaining nature of the ART program itself through our recent interactions with the Water Team! Although we were unable to fully collaborate with them in obtaining documentation of the Hill’s water metering and irrigation systems, the Water Team still acted as an excellent resource by providing us with contact names and advice from their experiences thus far. We hope to do the same in explaining the application of storm water management to LEED certification.
Meanwhile, we have maintained contact with Aliana Lungo-Shapiro, who is working diligently to solve our unanswered questions. We are hoping to arrange some meetings with some of her other contacts as well, in addition to our weekly meetings with our invaluable stakeholder, the one and only Todd Lynch. As always, Todd has given us great guidance and has suggested a more innovative, hands-on approach to attaining some of the credits. Although we may not have the time to execute these plans, we’re helping him out as much as possible to lay the groundwork for an easy certification process.
In regards to the successful turnout at the Earth Day Fair, we were able to obtain over 80 responses to our LEED awareness survey. Our team has been evaluating the responses with great disbelief over the wide range of student knowledge of the certification on campus, especially considering that the sample population was attending an environmental fair! However, we hope to bring greater LEED awareness when we process our data and present our findings at the final presentation.