Helping to create an environmentally friendly campus
The Facilities & Grounds Department has offices in the first floor of the Physical Education building. The department is responsible for maintaining and enhancing RVCC's buildings, grounds, fields, and lots, and manages all construction and remodeling projects on campus.
This department is integral to environmental sustainability on campus and is increasingly incorporating sustainable practices into its projects and ongoing operations. Recent, current, and planned projects include: Solar Panels RVCC is one of several schools and municipalities benefiting from Somerset County’s Renewable Energy program. The program funded the installation of solar panels in Lot 5, with a capacity of 446kW for use at the Arts building and the Childcare Center. RVCC does not own or operate the panels, but will lease space to the developer for 15 years in exchange for the right to buy the generated electricity at a significantly reduced rate. After 15 years, RVCC can purchase the system or have it removed at no cost. To see how much energy the panels put on the grid, the resulting carbon footprint reduction, and other information, look at the real-time performance display from Noveda.
LEED Certification RVCC is working to obtain LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design per the USGBC) Gold certification for the new student and leadership center. The building was be constructed using environmentally-friendly designs, materials, and methods. The result will be more natural lighting, high air quality, energy efficiency, and low water usage. Building features include a green wall, a rainwater harvesting system, a highly reflective roof, use of rapidly renewable materials and certified wood, formaldehyde-free cabinets, and low-VOC paints and adhesives.
River-Friendly Certification RVCC is the first higher education institution in the state to be certified by New Jersey Water Supply Authority as part of the River-Friendly Business Program. The College has two tributaries of the upper Raritan River running through its Main Campus in Branchburg. The River-Friendly certification was awarded to RVCC for its efforts over 18 months to improve local water resource quality through water quality management, water conservation, protection of the wildlife habitat, and education and outreach.
Integrated Pest Management RVCC uses preventive and environmentally-friendly measures for pest control and lawn care, avoiding the use of toxic chemicals.
Rain Garden With the support of the Foundation, RVCC installed a rain garden at the south entrance to campus. This garden is planted with native plants and serves to naturally filter pollutants from stormwater before it reaches the stream.
No-mow Areas You may have noticed some tall grass areas on campus. These areas provide natural habitat for animals, help manage the geese, prevent erosion, and improve water quality. Some have been seeded with native wildflowers and grasses.
Water Conservation RVCC has been installing WaterSense products on campus, including metered faucets, low-flush toilets, and waterless urinals. RVCC is committed to following the EPA's WaterSense Guidelines in order to encourage students, faculty, and staff to conserve water.
Energy Efficiency RVCC had an energy audit as part of NJ Clean Energy's Local Government Energy Audit program. This resulted in numerous recommendations to reduce our energy usage. HVAC systems and controls are being upgraded, and more efficient LED lighting and light sensors are being installed. In addition, low-energy LED lighting has been installed in Lot 8 and low-energy induction lighting was installed in Lot 5.