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Âť Water management Although universities in some regions may not face water shortages, water conservation should nonetheless constitute a founding principle in all environmental programmes, as natural resources should never be wasted. Facility Managers should know how and when water is being used, and be able to access data that allows analysis of the infrastructure's performance in order to identify any system failures, such as pipe or tap leakage. Again, maintenance by employees with sufficient training and technological skills is paramount. Wherever possible, alternatives to potable water should be used, such as harvesting rainwater or on-site recycling of water, which can then be used in operational activities, such as irrigation (see also landscape management) or toilet flushing. Programmes that promote behaviour changes, such as taking shorter showers in the student accommodation or running the dishwasher in the staff kitchens only once a day, constitute effective and relatively low-cost conservation strategies.

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Landscape management Contrary to popular belief, the quality of open spaces and the landscape itself is of equal importance to internal spaces and the built environment, as natural landscapes can reduce energy demand for air-conditioning in the summer through effective shading. Tree plantings can be used to create breeze corridors that make the external environment more pleasant for community use, while also having the practical effect of sequestering carbon emissions generated by campus activities. However, poor design or management can mean that irrigation, for example, becomes a large part of the university’s water consumption, and it can also be a major contributor to the waste streams, particularly where there is inadequate bin infrastructure to capture material that could be recycled or composted for reuse (see waste management).

CAMPUS-WIDE OPERATIONS


IARU - Green Guide for Universities – pathways towards sustainability