Sustainability Initiatives at Fresno State

Thinking Green and Thinking WaterSmart

California State University, Fresno is committed to taking a lead position in sustainable practices throughout the community. Sustainability, the ability to meet the needs of today without compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs, has become a key priority for many universities and Fresno State in particular. Within Facilities Management, we understand that sustainability is not about obtaining a certain goal, like recycling, but is a multi-faceted journey that requires constant growth and awareness.

Facilities Management is actively looking at ways to help promote sustainability initiatives and increase awareness by exploring and implementing greener alternatives in the campus' infrastructure, construction, and maintenance practices. Some of these initiatives include the following:

Thinking Green

  • Focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, such as Solar Photovoltaic Canopy Parking structure. This structure provides~ 20% of core campus power and offsets ~950 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions - equivalent to planting over 24,300 trees or eliminating 200 years per year from our roads.
  • Focusing on energy saving programs, to include but not be limited to the following:
    • Conversion of all existing lighting to LED
    • Installation of variable speed drives on various HVAC air handlers
    • Installation of in-direct evaporative coolers in the North Gym
    • Installation of a 30,000 ton/hour thermal energy storage tank
    • Installation of occupancy sensors in classrooms, offices, and athletic facilities
    • Installation of Vending Misers on soft drink machines
    • Installation of window film to reduce HVAC requirements
    • Replacement of 42,000 standard florescent lamps with 22,000 high efficiency lamps throughout the campus; starting LED conversion
    • Installation of a "plate and frame" heat exchanger for free cooling
    • Installation of adjustable frequency drives on pumps and cooling tower
    • Upgrade of the Energy Management System computer software
    • Re-commissioning of the Science I and Kremen Education buildings systems (Building Commissioning)
    • Re-commissioning of the Central Plant, Family and Food Science and Social Science HVAC systems (Building Commissioning)
    • Conversion of electric motors to high efficiency motors
    • Replacement of existing boilers with high-tech boilers, reducing fuel consumption by 17%.
  • Integrating Design Construction Practices - Facilities Management works with contractors and architects to create integrated designs that maximize building infrastructure without sacrificing the environment.
  • Focusing on Air Quality - Facilities Management is working to lower its carbon footprint on campus through conservation, better space utilization, developing green spaces and planting trees, encouraging the use of CNG vehicles, and developing renewable energy projects.
  • ‘Greening’ Interiors Development - Facilities Management dynamically explores and wherever possible uses greener alternatives in the campus environment. These materials include the following:
    • Carpet
    • Paints
    • Adhesives
    • Textiles
    • Furniture – for example:
      • Request for alternative product packaging for waste reduction
      • Used furniture repurposing.
  • Reaching Target: Waste Management: 100% sorted and re-cycled
  • Improving Outside Environments - Facilities Management is working on improving outdoor spaces to help preserve the environments by:
    • Using semi-permeable paving materials to reduce storm drain run-off
    • Planting low water use plants
    • Mulching planting beds
    • Installing automatic irrigation
    • Cutting irrigation use of campus by 30%.

Thinking WaterSMART

  • Campus-wide
    • Drafting conservation communication information to make entire campus aware of our plans and solicit help in identifying areas of water waste.
    • Dual Plumbing all future building projects to take advantage of using non-potable water in as many places as possible.
    • Evaluating water use continually; recent custodial switch exclusively to mobile heated pressure washing rig to clean sidewalks, which uses far less water than a traditional methods.
  • Campus Irrigation
    • Retooling automated sprinkler systems to reach minimal water use possible while still maintaining the health of turf.
    • Transitioning to low flow sprinkler heads, reducing water use from 13 gallons per minute to 8 or 5 gallons per minute.
    • Expanding use of the “Barnacle” system, which electronically monitors flow in irrigation pipes to identify areas on inefficiency and overuse.
    • Coordinating with Fresno State’s Center for Irrigation Technology to perform a “water audit” and identify areas of improvement.
    • Aerating soil earlier than usual to allow maximum water permeation.
    • Installing “AquaCents” water-retaining polymer on campus; already installed in the Bulldog Diamond berm and Peace Garden; will be installed in Maple Mall in the coming months.
    • Evaluating areas where turf could be removed and replaced with decomposed granite surfaces or native, drought-tolerant plantings.
    • Evaluating areas to reduce the use of water-intensive color plantings.
    • Changing fertilizer blend to help turf thrive with less water.
    • Removing old berms or not including new berms around new buildings to eliminate extensive water run-off from berms
  • Farm Irrigation
    • Bringing Domestic Wells 3 and 5 (non-potable water) online for use on the Fresno State Farm Laboratory. Brings undrinkable water out of the aquifer and uses on the Farm Lab to cleanse of nitrates before percolating back down to replenish the aquifer.
    • Using micro sprinklers on 100% of orchards.
    • Using drip irrigation on 100% of vineyards and vegetable crops.
    • Changing to micro sprinklers 25% of horse pastures; also helps with mosquito management.
    • Planning with Farm Lab to move field crops north of Bullard Avenue to drip irrigation system.
    • Working with Farm Lab have reducee water use by over 40% in last five years.
    • Channeling storm water runoff from new Campus Pointe mixed use housing and retail development into Farm Lab’s ponding basins, where it can be used for agriculture and to replenish the aquifer.