2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Princeton University's Office of Sustainability, the hub that supports, monitors and connects initiatives across campus focused on cultivating positive local and global impacts on the environment. The exhibit at the GreenSpace celebrates ten years of sustainability stories with academic and operational highlights. Also on display are ongoing Campus as Lab research projects as well as trivia about Princeton's Campus Systems.
Current Exhibit: Celebrating 10 Years of Sustainability Stories
Sustainability at Princeton 2006-2016
2006: Sustainability Manager Hired; Office of Sustainability Formed
2007: Princeton University Campus Farmers Market Launched
2008: Sustainability Plan Adopted; High Meadows Sustainability fund established
2009: First Annual Progress Report published
2011: The “tray-free” dining policy successfully implemented in all six residential dining halls
2012: GreenSpace Kiosk Installed in Frist Campus Center
2013: Mixed Recycling begins after successful Greening Princeton pilot
2014: Campus as Lab Innovation Fund Created
2015: Began sending compost to AgriArk in Hopewell, NJ
2016: Sustainability Principles Integrated into 2026 Campus Plan
Chalk Art by Erin McCabe '18
The large exhibit case contains highlights from the past 10 years of Sustainability at Princeton.
Top shelf, left to right: Zagster Bike Share, the founding of the Office of Sustainability, Composting Food Waste, Princeton's Solar Field
Bottom shelf, left to right: Trayless Dining, Princeton Garden Project, Greening Reunions, Princeton University's Farmers' Market, Single Stream Recycling, Student-Initiated Seminars
Since 1997, all food scraps from dining halls as well as back-of-the-counter food preparation at Frist Campus Center have been used as animal feed or compost (samples on display) in the region.
As of 2015, food scraps are composted by a local company, AgriArk, which processes them into soil amendments at a local facility in Hopewell, NJ. Last year, about 1,000 tons of food scraps were composted by AgriArk.
Working together with Campus Dining, the student group, Greening Dining, has made food waste reduction a priority.
The small exhibit case features examples of how students and faculty are using the campus as a living lab to study sustainability issues.
Soil, one of the earliest known building materials, has experienced a resurgence in popularity as a sustainable alternative to concrete. Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens of the CEE Department is exploring how rammed earth made from local soil can function as a sustainable building material in New Jersey’s humid climate.
Using a rammed earth wall constructed at the Forbes Garden, the team will evaluate the ideal wall curvature, design and test erosion protection systems, and monitor the durability of the structures over the next year.
Students in ARC 311 were tasked with designing a functional solar picnic table.
Professor Forrest Meggers designed a solar system for the roof, and taught the student designers how to calculate sun angles and determine the placement of the panel.
As a part of the design research for the project, Meggers developed a concept to have a lightweight 100W panel track the sun while simultaneously shading the area for laptop work. In addition, a system for battery storage, charge controlling, and data streaming and web interactivity was included.
The solar picnic table is currently being displayed at the Andlinger Center.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), has conducted research on the Butler College green roof system since its installation in 2009, assessing various energy- and stormwater-related performance factors. Compared to a conventional roof, the research has shown the following:
• In most cases, in light to moderate rain events, the green roof delays and lowers the rate and volume of stormwater runoff; stormwater mitigation is directly related to soil moisture content before the rain event.
• The green roof demonstrates significantly smaller variability and peak values in surface temperature.