Penn Pilots Sustainability Projects through Green Fund Grants

April 16, 2013

The Penn Green Campus Partnership has awarded four Green Fund grants for Spring 2013, bringing the total number of funded projects to 49. Started in 2009, the Green Fund is designed to seed innovative ideas from Penn students, faculty, and staff with one-time grants of as much as $50,000. According to Dan Garofalo, the University’s Sustainability Coordinator, the following projects have been approved for funding:

GreenVote App to Rate Comfort in Campus Buildings

Conceived during the 2013 Penn Apps hackathon, GreenVote is a smartphone app designed by three Penn undergrads that will be used to collect real-time thermal comfort data of occupants in Penn buildings.  The data can then be used by facilities managers to help make decisions on heating and cooling to optimize building energy efficiency.  Student developers of this app were awarded a Green Fund grant to pilot GreenVote in SEAS and Wharton buildings over a one-year period.

Project Leader: Benedikt Lotter, Management & Technology, SEAS, Class of 2016

Project Sponsors: Killian Feeney, Sr. Building Administrator, SEAS, Anne Stamer, Director, Weiss Tech House, and Julian Goresko, Sustainability Associate, Green Campus Partnership

Bike Repair Stations

As more people bike to work and to class at Penn, the University looks for innovative ways to support this sustainable mode of transportation. Through a Green Fund grant, Penn’s Business Services Division will set up two free bike repair stations on campus. Open to all, these stations will provide self-serve air pumps, basic tools for repairs and a mounting bracket to enable cyclists to work on a bike. The first two stations are planned for the start of the next academic year: In the Chestnut 34 Garage (east side of 34th St. between Ludlow & Chestnut Sts) where there are covered bike racks, and near the bike corral at the Chemistry building near 34th and Spruce Streets.

Project Leader: Brian Shaw, Director, Business Services

Project Sponsor: Marie Witt, VP for Business Services

Ben’s Attic Enhancements

The Ben’s Attic website, developed by Purchasing Services for the exchange and purchase of surplus University-owned property, will get a software update and a number of user enhancements thanks to a Spring 2013 Green Fund grant.  The enhancements have been proposed in response to valuable feedback that has been gathered through surveys and interviews with users. The new features are designed to make Ben’s Attic more effective and increase the number of items being repurposed, thereby sending fewer items to landfill. 

Project Leaders: Vira Homick, Director, eBusiness, Raymond Aull, eBusiness Administrator

Project Sponsor:  Mark Mills, Director, Purchasing Services

Green To Go Dining

“To Go” food containers are widely used on campus, and will become more sustainable this Fall through the support of a Green Fund grant to Penn Hospitality Services and Bon Appétit. They will use these funds to purchase re-usable eco-containers for students who use the residential dining halls in 1920 Commons, English House and Hill . The microwave-safe, anti-microbial clamshell containers can be used to take out food and then be returned at the next visit. At the end of their usable life, the containers can be recycled.

Project Leader: Stephen Scardina, Bon Appetit, Holly Marrone, Hospitality Services

Project Sponsor: Pamela Lampitt, Hospitality Services


There are currently 6 LEED Certified buildings on the University of Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia campus. 

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