Drake University’s facilities and grounds team—which oversees the implementation of our recycling program, new construction, cleaning, and landscape maintenance—has been one of the pivotal players in our efforts to go green. With the support of our facilities and grounds team, Drake has been able to ensure a more sustainable campus.
Drake University has dedicated itself to achieving at least a LEED Silver certification in all new construction done on campus. The LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, rating system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council as a way to ensure that existing and new construction have minimal impact on the environment.
Drake University removed a former city street and installed a sustainable plaza in its place. Drake wanted to ensure that the environment was taken into account. We did this through several initiatives.
Traditional cleaning chemicals can present several hazards to the environment. Once washed down the drain, some chemicals can cause neurological and reproductive damage to organisms, spur eutrophication in lakes, or cause cancer in larger organisms as the toxins accumulate. Because of this, Drake Facility Services now cleans with green cleaning chemicals that do not contain many of the toxins found in more traditional cleaners.
The improper application of water to lawns and agriculture can waste significant amounts of water every year. The proper time for watering lawns is between dawn and dusk, when the threat of evaporation by sun and wind is greatly reduced. This is when Drake runs its sprinklers. In addition to time restraints, Drake’s sprinkler system is semi-manual, allowing us to shut it off when it rains and our lawns are adequately watered.