While built environments provide people and society with a lot of benefits, they also have significant influence on our environment. According to EPA, people in the United States spend more than 90% of their time in the built environments. However, many of them feel less engaged with buildings since they have limited access to the information and knowledge about the buildings such as how the air is heated within the buildings? Many studies show that this lack of engagement will influence how comfortable occupants feel and how much environmental awareness they have within buildings.
In order to increase engagement with buildings, we explored the potential of using visual arts to convey information in a creative way. During the internship last summer in UW Sustainability Office, we focused on Paccar Hall, one of the LEED certified buildings on the UW campus. The previous study has shown that students have limited information about how this green building saves resources. After reviewing diagrams and audit reports, I made infographics on Adobe Illustrators by visualizing its information in terms of water and electricity used in the building. We plan to print them out and exhibit inside the building in a creative way that allows students and faculty members to walk into the display and to learn about where the resource used in Paccar comes from and how the sustainable features contribute to its LEED certification.
Considering the size of the visual display, this project requires $700 for printing and buying freestanding boards. In the future, the boards can be reused for other displays.
This project was complete under the help from Dr. Ostergren, my supervisor in UW Sustainability, and Brett D. Magnuson, a UW campus engineer. In January 2016, the Executive Committee of Foster School of Business approved the exhibition after I gave a presentation to them.
a. Total amount requested: $890
b. Budget breakdown:
- Printing: $720 (six colored 2.5’x6’ panels)
- Freestanding panels: $120 (8 large paperboards that use recycled paper)
- Automatic people counter: $50
a. Local context
The findings from previous online surveys show that students who have taken classes in Paccar Hall have relatively low level of knowledge about the building in terms of the built environment. Most of people do not even know that Paccar Hall is LEED Gold certified. Meanwhile, the surveys also show that the students who have more knowledge about the building tend to feel more engaged with Paccar Hall and to conserve the utilities within the building more often.
b. How my project addresses the problem
The visual display is able to convey information in a more creative and effective way. After viewing the infographics online, 71% of the students chose a three or above indicating that they felt that they had learned. 66% chose a three or above indicating that they felt comfortable while viewing them.
c. How the impacts will be measured
During the exhibition, the automatic people counter will record how many people enter into the exhibition. Meanwhile, I will stand next to the display in a regular basis and conduct surveys in order to see if students and faculty members feel more engaged with Paccar Hall based on their feedback.
Education and Outreach
a. How will the UW community find out about my project?
The UW community will be able to view the visual display within Paccar Hall during the exhibition. At the same time, the display will be available online.
b. How will the UW community become involved in and/or support my project
The UW community will be able to “interact” with the infographics as they walk into the exhibition and to provide with feedback. Based on their feedback, we will be able to create more effective environmental infographics in the future. Additionally, Foster School of Business will be able to promote their efforts in sustainability.
a. How will your project directly involve/affect UW students?
The UW students will be able to engage with the display and learn about the information about Paccar Hall. The project will potentially encourage their engagement with the building and promote sustainable awareness.
Accountability & Feasibility
a. Timeline (dates flexible)
1. Printing and assembling: 3/14 – 3/23
2. Exhibition: 3/28-4/17
UW Sustainability Office, who provides me with guidance and support.
Foster School of Business, who approved the exhibition in Paccar Hall.
c. Is your project “shovel-ready”?
Yes. The infographics are completed. Foster School of Business approved the exhibition in Paccar Hall already.
a. Partner: UW Sustainability Office (Marilyn Ostergren), UW Facilities Service
b. Approval: Foster School of Business already approved the exhibition for three weeks inside Paccar Hall. They will be able to show students and faculty that they put a lot of efforts on the built environment.
c. UW Students and Faculty: They will learn more about Paccar Hall in terms of its utilities and resource by entering the exhibition and feel more engaged with the building.