Campus Green Labs: Sustainable Oceanography Lab Pilot Project

Project Size: Large, >$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $2,247

Letter of Intent:

Goal:  To investigate the viability of implementing sink aerators and LED or compact fluorescent lights in growth chambers in UW labs. Our first goal is to implement a case study examining the efficacy of replacing current growth chamber lighting systems with energy efficient LED growth lights. Although LED lighting may be a simple way to reduce energy usage in labs, there is limited research available on the reliability of such growth lights in a lab setting. This often leads to apprehension from researchers due to concern for the quality of their results when using this technology. Additionally, some researchers may not even know this technology is available. Our case study will provide information that can be used by campus organizations (e.g. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Office, individual labs, etc.) to evaluate the viability of introducing LED growth lights to their own facilities. The second goal of this project is to install as many faucet aerators in the University of Washington’s Oceanography building and monitor the reduction of water usage in the facility. If results demonstrate a reduction in water usage, we aim to present this study to the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Office, who could then use this study to encourage other departments to install faucet aerators as well. This information could also be used to update building codes for all buildings on campus. Research Questions: How do faucet aerators affect water usage in the Oceanography building? Are LED growth lights a viable alternative to current lighting systems in growth chambers within the Oceanography building?   Requirements/Preferences: Kate and I, as students in Sustainability Studio, hope to implement this project as soon as possible. In order to accomplish our project for this course, we would prefer to receive funding as soon as possible. We are also pursing funding from Seattle City Light, and have contacted their rebate program facilitators to see if our project can qualify for rebates from them.   Budget: LED Growth Lights Replacement Project One LED grow light, produced by the manufacturer AgroMax, costs $7.95 before shipping. Kate and I hope to implement this project in at least one growth chamber, which has 16 bulbs. The cost for replacing the lights in the one growth chamber would amount to $127.02. We have the opportunity to replace current fluorescent growth lights in four growth chambers, however. To fund this endeavor, there are 39 lights and the cost (before shipping) to replace them with LED growth lights would amount to approximately $310.05. The ordering page for growth lights can be found at   Faucet Aerator Replacement Project Faucet aerators range in price, depending on the need of a male or female component. After touring the Oceanography department’s laboratories, we found that the faucets were not standardized in size or composition. Most faucets were outfitted with plastic tubing attached by clamps to reduce splashing. In order to complete this project, we will need to purchase faucet aerators, plastic tubing, and materials to clamp the tubing over the faucet. Aerators range in price, generally between $2.50-$8.00 each before shipping. See or for examples. We hope to outfit as many faucets as possible with aerators in the Oceanography building. Receiving between $50-$100 would allow us to update a significant number of faucets with these energy saving devices.

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Kate Stevenson