"Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable - to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The concept of sustainable development does imply limits - not absolute limits but limitations imposed by the present state of technology and social organization on environmental resources and by the ability of the biosphere to absorb the effects of human activity."

G.H. Brundtland (Chair) United Nations - 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission)


The definition of sustainability is fluid, changing over time and meaning different things to different people.  UW-L Facilities Planning and Management incorporates the Brundtland Commissions description of sustainability as a planning and operational principle.

UW-L’s sustainability legacy began in 1909 with the building of Graff Main Hall.  “Old Main” stands as a testament and constant reminder that our campus founders built with the future in mind.  Over its history “Old Main” has benefitted from numerous efficiency updates.  These and future enhancements will allow “Old Main” to provide a quality educational facility for future generations.

UW-L Facilities Planning and Management will continue the tradition of incorporating sustainability into operations, including efforts to manage the life cycles of new and old buildings, reduce waste and increase recycling, produce efficient power, and conserve resources.

The practice of sustainability is a significant focus of many projects conducted by Facilities Planning and Management, from maintenance to new construction. The department is committed to improving our environmental footprint while working to serve the needs of the campus. Projects we completed and pursue range from steam trap replacements, to the incorporation of whole building automation into the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, to efficient lighting.  The measures are adding up to a real reduction in overall energy consumption, which is tracked on an annual basis.

One ongoing point of pride is UW-L’s pursuit of LEED silver certification for two new facilities slated for occupancy in summer of 2011.  LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Our success depends on community support, partnerships with public utilities, and active pursuit of new measures. Individual students, faculty and staff members are vital players in conservation successes. The individual role in energy management features adjustments in personal behavior, especially in computer use, lighting and equipment utilization, and fume hood operation. We - and the environment - continue to need your individual efforts. Be aware and be active in protecting the future.

For more information contact:

Dan Sweetman
Environmental Health, Occupational Safety and Sustainability Program Manager
243 Graff Main Hall