Living Lab Project & Partner Highlights
Students are shaping campus through these projects
Three consecutive engineering capstone projects have studied how PSU can supply potable water in the case of a large earthquake. Students have studied campus wells; water filtration technology; mobile pump designs; and storage options.
The Campus Tree Inventory was developed initially in 2015 and expanded by students in 2018 through course projects. The Inventory enabled landscaping staff to establish a system for tracking the overall health of the PSU urban forest and to promote its benefits to the campus community.
Through an independent study, a Geography student created an online story map that summarizes an analysis of PSU-related Biketown trips from February to July of 2018. This project provided a way to understand and visualize common trip origins, destinations, length, and other details.
The annual Living Lab Green Building Interns are placed with the Capital Projects & Construction department, working on projects related to sustainable building design; construction project management; indoor environmental quality; and more. Check PSU Handshake for these positions.
As a result of a collaboration between students, staff, faculty and local community honeybee experts, the Campus Apiary started as a Living Lab project and is now permanently located in the Community Orchard. The Apiary is managed by the Student Sustainability Center.
A business capstone studied the local real estate market and gathered ideas from community members and residents living near campus to develop recommendations about campus retail estate planning. PSU hopes to find tenants that meet the diverse needs of the PSU and surrounding community.
The Montgomery Plaza is an example of an interdisciplinary Living Lab effort leading to potential permanent change on campus. Students from urban studies and engineering have developed and pitched ideas to transform the street to a pedestrian-friendly outdoor plaza for all to enjoy.
Examples of Partners
The work of Living Lab projects is primarily done by students in collaboration with faculty and operational staff. Check out who has been involved in Living Lab projects and how student, faculty, and staff partners have shaped PSU planning efforts and the physical campus.
Living Lab projects have been tackled by students and faculty across a variety of PSU academic departments and programs. Some examples include:
- Urban Studies & Planning
- University Studies
- Engineering & Technology Management
- Engineering: Civil & Environmental; Mechanical & Materials
- Environmental Science & Management
Most Living Lab projects start with an idea from University staff or are otherwise directly supported by a staff member when the project interacts with a department’s mission. Here is a list of some departments that have partnered on Living Lab projects, with some notes about the types of projects or topics they have supported:
- Campus Planning Office - transportation, retail, and open space planning
- Transportation & Parking Services - transit and commuter programs and tracking; outreach and marketing; pedestrian-centered design
- Facilities & Property Management - landscaping, trees, and ecosystem management and advocacy; infrastructure planning
- Capital Projects & Construction - sustainable building design and material selection; building systems optimization; energy systems design
- Emergency Management - seismic and disaster preparedness
- Campus Sustainability Office - climate mitigation and resilience planning; utility and waste metrics; outreach and marketing design
Typical project process
Each Living Lab project is supported by a member of the Living Lab team, a "liaison". The typical process for a project includes three main phases:
- Planning phase: during the planning phase, an idea is proposed and scoped out, and the team is formed. An official project launch, such as a presentation to class, or meeting between key stakeholders, marks the transition from the planning to the project phase.
- Project phase: during the project phase, students work on the project through coursework, independent study, an internship, or in whatever way has been determined for the project. Usually, there is a mid-project check in to review progress.
- Evaluation phase: students typically present the results of their work through a final presentation and report. We also like to evaluate and identify student learning, potential operational outcomes, and opportunities for future projects.
Ultimately, the Living Lab process is flexible! If you're interested in getting involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living Lab Project Archive
The table below captures the most recent Living Lab projects. See the full archive for projects since 2015.
|Project Name or Topic||Project Type or Course & Year||Faculty Partner(s)||Staff Partner(s)||Brief Overview & Link(s)|
|Art Accessibility||Course: UNST 131A, 2020-2021||Sarah Wolf Newlands||Sarah Kenney: Planning, Construction & Real Estate||Develop process for making the PSU art collection accessible physically and digitally|
Stormwater Management Assessment
ESM group masters project, 2019-2021
Jen Morse Max Nielsen-Pincus Sarah Carvill
Liz Hoekstra, Campus Planning Jenny McNamara, Campus Sustainability Office
Examine PSU stormwater management, outcomes, costs, benefits, and impacts
|Exploring User Patterns at Campus Rec||Course: ACTG 407, Fall 2020||Kristi Yuthas||Jenny Welnick & Leslee Peterson: Campus Rec||Use available data to recommend how Campus Rec can meet its strategic goals|
|Bioswale & Green Wall Design for SW Montgomery||Student org: ASCE, Fall 2020||Evan Kristof||Liz Hoekstra, Campus Planning||Conceptual site design for a bioswale and green wall along SW Montgomery for submission to the EPA Rainworks Challenge|
Waste Awareness & Behaviors
Course: UNST 108, Spring 2020
Brandon Lesowske, Campus Sustainability Office
Examine waste diversion knowledge and develop infographics about waste diversion at the residential through campus-wide level
Living Building Feasibility Study
Capstone: CEE 484/494, Winter & spring 2020
Liz Hoekstra, Campus Planning Quinn Soifer, Capital Projects Jenny McNamara, Campus Sustainability Office
Feasibility study and conceptual design for Harrison Street Building to be renovated to Living Building standards
|Montgomery Street Plaza||Capstone: CEE 484/494, Winter & spring 2020||Evan Kristof||Liz Hoekstra, Campus Planning Susan Gust, Capital Projects Clint Culpepper, Transportation & Parking Services||Schematic design and engineering study for Montgomery Plaza block that maintains bike access|
|Parking Structure 1 Traffic Study||Capstone: CEE 484/494, Winter & spring 2020||Evan Kristof||Ian Stude & Jeff Sevilla, Transportation & Parking Services Cameron Patterson, Capital Projects||Alternative designs to improve traffic flow; reduce vehicle-pedestrian issues; and reduce idling at PS1|
|Water Filtration System, wells phase 3||Capstone: CEE 484/494, Winter & spring 2020||Evan Kristof||Cary Morris, Facilities Emma Stocker, Emergency Management||Design and operational guidelines of installing DIVVY water filtration system on campus|
|Residential Compost System Evaluation||Course: UNST 108, Winter 2020||Annie Knepler||Brandon Lesowske, Campus Sustainability Office||Survey student residents to determine how residential compost system is being utilized in Ondine and Broadway|
|Life Cycle Assessment Applications for PSU||Course: EC 522, Winter 2020||Sahan Dissanayake||Emily Quinton, Campus Sustainability Office||Explore how life cycle assessment can be used to inform purchasing and design decisions at PSU|
|Skybridges Network||Course: USP 410/510, Fall 2019||Ellen Shoshkes||Liz Hoekstra, Campus Planning||Design an intervention to activate the PSU Skybridge Network at the section between SMSU & Cramer|
|Food Waste Awareness||Course: UNST 124, Fall 2019||Jeff Gerwing||Brandon Lesowske, Campus Sustainability Office||Explore food waste prevention programming through activities and observation|
|Broadway Arboretum Interns||Internship, Summer 2019||Jeff Gerwing||Jenny McNamara, Campus Sustainability Office||Ecosystem services valuation modeling for SW Broadway & control street|
|Green Building Interns||Internship, Summer 2019||Elliott Gall||Quinn Soifer, Capital Projects||Air quality, occupant comfort, and building performance study of Karl Miller Center|