Living Lab Update
Author: Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: December 6, 2017
Overhead shot of students collecting data outsidePSU’s Living Lab Program hit the ground running this this academic year, building off momentum from successful summer internships and last year’s partnerships with faculty and students. The Living Lab Program is designed to match motivated faculty and students with University staff to work on projects that support PSU’s campus sustainability goals. Over the summer, student interns focused on developing a green leasing program for PSU tenants, and conducted indoor environmental and air quality assessments of campus offices in the Parkmill Building. To read more about Living Lab activity during the 2016-17 school year, see our end-of-year report.

This fall, two Geography graduate students are taking aerial photos to produce a map of the landscaping beds around Shattuck Hall. The project supports the PSU Landscaping Department’s effort to inventory campus flora, and assess how labor-intensive it would be to generate a complete campus plant inventory using GIS or other mapping methods.

The interior of the Karl Miller Center: natural light, yellow walls, light blue walls, open staircasesAn undergraduate student in the Honors College is studying the new addition to the Karl Miller Center, specifically assessing occupant comfort (including surveys, and temperature and carbon dioxide readings) within the passively-ventilated side of the atrium.

Looking forward to winter and beyond, Living Lab aims to partner for the third year with the Civil Engineering capstone on a few projects projects. One would involve campus partners Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) and the Campus Planning Office (CPO) to lay groundwork for designing new pedestrian, bike, and transit infrastructure on SW Broadway. A second project would partner with Facilities & Property Management (FPM) and focus on performing an analysis of on-campus water wells, to help PSU prepare for disaster resiliency.

The Living Lab Program also hopes to find Urban Planning students to work on creating a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for campus.

“Right now I'm excited to be partnering with CPO and TAPS on a few projects, as the timing lines up well with the Central City in Motion plan that Portland’s Bureau of Transportation is working on. We hope that student work can help us advocate for transportation system improvements that will benefit the PSU community”, says Megan Schneider, Education Coordinator with FPM and Living Lab team member. “I'm also excited to continue the important work of making connections with faculty and staff across PSU to grow and diversify the program in general.”

Stay tuned to hear more about the Living Lab Program in action throughout the academic year!