Campus as a Living Laboratory Archive

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The Ohio State University's Campus as a Living Laboratory (CALL) program seeks to unite campus operations with academics to ensure the success of meeting Ohio State’s sustainability goals. CALL is coordinated by Energy Services and Sustainability (ESS) in collaboration with the Office of Energy and Environment (OEE). CALL's objective is to bring together faculty and staff to work collaboratively with students on developing and implementing projects that use the campus as a living laboratory to address real world sustainability challenges.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 127
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    Water Access Point Design Considerations: Guidelines for Sustainable Non-Motorized Watercraft Launch Points within the Central Ohio Blueways
    (2023-12) Fischer, Ethan; Miller, Kylie; Patel, Rishi; Rubadue, Sarah; Wainstein, Danny; Hitzhusen, Greg; Jaquet, Tim
    Due to the expectation that ongoing development within Central Ohio will lead to the increased usage of its five main rivers (Big Darby Creek, Big Walnut Creek, Alum Creek, Scioto River, and Olentangy River), the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission tasked our group with creating guidelines for the sustainable development of both existing and prospective non-motorized watercraft river access points. Based on broad environmental categories (or "typologies"), we developed guidelines for the parking lots, trails, and the launch points themselves. In addition, our guidelines set general recommendations for all features, along with siting considerations for future access points along the rivers.
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    Marketing Sustainability to Amika, Eva NYC, and Ethique Consumers
    (2023-12) Austing, Elizabeth; Hofmans-Currie, Sally; Hale, Devon; Jaworski, Grace; Liang, Sarah; Jaquet, Tim; Hitzhusen, Greg
    Amika, Eva NYC, and Ethique have notable ESG strategies and sustainability certifications. The brands want to convey the importance of these efforts to their consumers. This involves communicating the brands ESG strategies, sustainability certifications, and values in a way that is approachable and engaging to their consumers. The aim of this project is to provide realistic recommendations to the brands' on how to convey their sustainability achievements, certifications, and ESG strategies with consideration for individual brand identity and consumer platforms.
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    Decarbonization Plan for COTA's McKinley and Fields Bus Garages
    (2023-12) Steinman, Gavi; Gele, Cureeji; Miller, Aidan; Rosado, Sophia; Slane, Taeson; Jaquet, Tim
    The goal of this project is to develop a plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions in both of the Central Ohio Transit Authority's (COTA) McKinley and Fields bus facilities by providing machinery replacements for current gas-fired systems. The overarching goals of this project are threefold. Our first objective was to evaluate the current gas-powered equipment and systems at COTA's McKinley and Fields garages This was completed by identifying all gas-fired equipment and gathering important data on them such as energy consumption and thermal efficiency. Secondly, the project aimed to identify alternatives to replace the current equipment with lower environmental impacts. Thirdly, the project focused on analyzing the emission savings associated with these replacements.
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    Recommendations for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Transitioning to an Electric Vehicle Fleet
    (2023-12) Canning, Ana; Lampert, Kate; McNeal, Briana; Nemeth, Charlie; Thornton, Will; Jaquet, Tim
    The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) has a sustainability goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by fiscal year 2026. Meanwhile, all ODRC institutions have perimeter vehicles running 24/7 for safety and security, which generates a significant amount of carbon emissions. This project is an analysis of gas vs electric vehicles (EVs) for the perimeter vehicle fleets at four ODRC locations. The final report analyzes EV perimeter vehicle options, payback periods, and the carbon footprint reduction potential from replacing ODRC's current gas-powered perimeter vehicles with EVs.
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    Ohio Human Development Index
    (2023-12) Dulaney, Braven; Gasca, Maxly; Musser, Bobby; Sheets, Cara; Williams, Mimi; Hitzhusen, Greg
    This report aims to measure the overall development of Ohio through the use of the Human Development Index (HDI) for Scioto Analysis, an economics and policy analysis company. This report both compares Ohio HDI values to other states in the United States, as well as calculates and compares HDI values of all 88 counties in Ohio from the years 2019 to 2021. It also analyzes differences between demographics in the three components of the Human Development Index. It also analyzes the three components of HDI (education, health, and income) and measures how they have changed throughout Ohio over time, showing where Ohio may be falling short or thriving in terms of human development. Human Development Index calculations for the 88 counties in Ohio were completed, and an interactive map of Ohio counties and their corresponding HDI values was also produced. Previous HDI calculations of the state of Ohio and the other 49 states from years 1990 to 2021 was analyzed, and another interactive map was generated through this analysis. Through the analysis of neighboring states, Ohio was found to have higher HDI values than nearby Appalachian states, and similar values to nearby Midwestern states, with Western states typically having higher HDI values than that of Ohio's. Counties in Southeastern Ohio were found to have lower HDI values than Ohio's average, and metropolitan counties were found to have higher HDI values than Ohio's average.
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    Building a Sustainability Associate Engagement Strategy at Victoria's Secret & Co.
    (2023-12) Bunce, Allison; Clark, Lauren; Crotty, Piper; Culbertson, Mackayla; Stephens, Shea; Hitzhusen, Greg; Jaquet, Tim
    This project was completed in hopes to help enhance the corporate sustainability culture of Victoria Secret & Co(VS&Co). The team did this by developing a Sustainability Associate Engagement Strategy that engages and empowers associates at VS&Co to consider making more sustainable work decisions. This strategy included events and initiatives that were to begin in Earth Month(April 2024) and continued to be used by the company moving forward. They also had to be accessible in the home office(NYC & Columbus), distribution centers, and stores globally. The team researched success stories of multiple peer companies as well as conducting general research on sustainability associate engagement to frame the project. They also conducted a series of interviews, a focus group, and feedback sessions to gather input directly from associates and members of the ESG team at VS&Co. Based on the findings from this research, the team created three events and three initiatives. Each of these recommendations are extensively described within this report. The information in this report showcases the importance of connecting every employee of VS&Co to their impact on people and the planet.
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    Sustainable Spaces on Campus: Reading Room and Solar House
    (2023-05) Call, Alayna; Contento, Myrah; Kraus, Sophie; McLoughlin, Brooke; Sullivan, Will; Wygant, Nicole; Braine, Bruce; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    The goal of our project is to encourage the expansion of sustainable student spaces on Ohio State's Main Campus through two sub-projects. The first is to develop a sustainability based reading room on the third floor of Kottman hall. Kottman Hall is a hub for students in the School of Environment and Natural resources, the building director is looking to expand student spaces in Kottman. The second sub-project is to reinstate the use of the 2011 Solar Decathlon EnCORE house on Ohio State's West Campus. Our group is tasked with researching best uses for these spaces and creating recommendations for how to move forward in advancing the spaces.
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    Reducing Residential Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the City of Bexley, Ohio
    (2023-05) Straub, Tabitha; Thiel, Abigail; Isaacs, Rachel; Huntsman, Jayden; Walker, Lauren; Chen, Savannah (Yuanyuan); Braine, Bruce; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    The City of Bexley is in the process of creating a Climate Action Plan (CAP) to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2040. Our capstone group developed a set of actionable recommendations that the City can use to reduce GHG emissions specific to residences. We based our recommendations on best practices to reduce residential GHG emissions that may be applied in the City of Bexley. Our recommendations cover the focus areas of electricity consumption; stationary combustion; mobile combustion; and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). We conducted online case study research on other cities' GHG emission reduction programs for each focus area. We then conducted informal interviews with cities of interest. Our recommendations describe different community education and engagement programs for each focus area that the City can use in determining residential GHG emission reduction strategies for its CAP.
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    Sustainable Initiative & Emission Reduction Research for the City of Bexley, Ohio: Commercial & Institutional Sectors
    (2023-05) Posada, Irene; Zenko, Addy; Baxley, Chris; Nigro, Liam; Teague, Brandon; Annandono, Cara; Braine, Bruce; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    City leaders called upon this Capstone group to create a compendium of recommendations to lower emissions based on other cities' initiatives, focusing on high-emission areas: electricity, stationary and mobile combustion. Our research focused on identifying actionable steps that Bexley can take to achieve carbon neutrality, and eventually, carbon negativity, while incorporating best practices of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) for the commercial and industrial sectors. Through the literature review and informational interviews, we were able to collect a myriad of exemplary initiatives that Bexley can replicate within the report and our climate action plan matrix. We recommend Bexley integrates into greater Columbus plans, continues partnership with future capstone and climate-driven organizations, and continues implementing the initiatives through assessing its JEDI components.
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    Student Perspectives on Advancing Sustainability at Ohio State
    (2023-05) Franco, Taylor; Howland, Priscilla; Huber, Dani; Mullaney, Maggie; Long, Kayla; Rice, Sam; Wilson, Madeline; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    This report details the research our capstone group conducted for our community partner, The Ohio State University Sustainability Institute, collecting student opinions on the ideal future for sustainability education at the university. In the fall of 2022, the Sustainability Institute began an initiative called Advancing Sustainability at Ohio State (ASOS) with the goal of transforming the university into a nationwide leader in sustainability. We were tasked with gathering insights from current Ohio State students into their ideal future of sustainability education at the university to inform the planning of this ASOS initiative. We conducted research via two one-hour focus group sessions and a survey which was distributed to all current undergraduate and graduate students. From our engagement with students, we derived five major themes: a lack of sustainability accessibility, a desire for integration of sustainability into current courses, a need for university transparency, a recommendation to incentivize widespread student involvement, and a need for more sustainability career development. Our key recommendations include integrating sustainability into existing courses, creating a centralized source of sustainability information, and publishing data about current university sustainability initiatives.
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    Developing a Foundation for Sole Classics' Sustainability Strategy
    (2023-05) Davis, Audrey; Gaglione, Isabelle; Harrison, Camden; Mason, Michaela; Petitpas, Cheyenne; Rapposelli, Michael; Rosenberg, Alexandria; Hitzhusen, Gregory; Braine, Bruce
    Our team collaborated with the Columbus-based boutique, Sole Classics, to support the integration of sustainability into their business plan. We selected various Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics and collected primary data from both internal and external stakeholders through a survey. We received a total of 9 internal and 137 external responses providing an assessment of stakeholder views on the importance of each ESG topic and suggestions for sustainability initiatives for Sole Classics. We leveraged this data, along with case studies of existing sustainability initiatives, to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that impact SC and should be prioritized for future sustainability efforts. Our findings suggest that Sole Classics should prioritize community engagement through education, environmental justice, and local-level sustainability initiatives to build a meaningful sustainability story for the brand and align with stakeholder expectations.
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    Compost for Columbus: A Policy Benchmarking Project
    (2022-12) Dzurko, Nikki; Herman, Madeline; Kleinhenz, Grace; Price, Michael; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    The purpose of this report is to help the Compost Exchange and other composting stakeholders better understand how composting services can be increased in Central Ohio amid the landscape of policy and infrastructure dynamics that influence the economics and logistics of composting services. In order to do so, our team benchmarked other cities that have implemented waste bans, researched current compost policies and regulations statewide and in Central Ohio, examined the demographics of Ohio suburbs to identify likely communities where composting can be enhanced, considered political barriers to composting policy, and examined infrastructure dynamics, particularly in relation to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). We conducted key informant interviews with staff at SWACO, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ohio State University, and other municipalities to complement information we obtained through literature and online research, and we combined the results from all of these methods to produce a list of recommendations for how to improve composting in Central Ohio. Seven cities in the United States currently have food waste bans that serve as a benchmark to compare to a Central Ohio baseline. Austin, TX proved to be the most similar city to Columbus that currently has a food waste ban. Analysis of local demographics provided perspective on which composting policies might be most likely to be developed around Central Ohio. Key informant interviews added detail to our understanding and also provided a number of specific recommendations. Key barriers to food waste policies being passed in Central Ohio are political considerations, infrastructure, contamination, funding, and enforcement. As Central Ohio does not have any current food waste policies, this project focused on the steps necessary to prepare for one but also considered future barriers. This report highlighted recommendations to overcome these barriers, with a focus on collaboration between government agencies, the private sector, and stakeholders to efficiently use resources and support available.
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    City of Bexley – Assessing Community Sustainability Objectives via Community Engagement
    (2022-12) Bergman, Rhianna; Damon, Stevie; Sullivan, Will; Whaley, Braeden; Jaquet, Tim; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    This capstone project aims to assist the City of Bexley by beginning the process of creating a comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP). This CAP will serve as a framework that details how the City of Bexley will reach the Cities Race to Zero Program goal of net zero and long-term net negative greenhouse gas emissions in the 2040s. The project team completed a CAP comparative study, resident survey, and community engagement event to identify sustainability priorities. Based on the community input and feedback received through community outreach, the project team recommends that the final CAP does the following: adopt Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Complete Street Policy, obtain the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) certification from The League of American Bicyclists, enhance renewable energy incentives and education, and establish a greenspace task force. Additionally, this report recommends that the City of Bexley continues to partner with capstone students from The Ohio State University to advance the CAP creation, adoption, and implementation processes.
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    Reducing Victoria's Secret & Co. Scope 1 and 2 Emissions: A Peer Case Study
    (2022-12) Baker, Valerie; Hopkins, Elizabeth; Rosenberg, Isabelle; Ruscin, Hannah; Schorr, Jason; Jaquet, Tim; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    This paper discusses the capstone project our team completed. The team of 5 Environment, Economy, Development, & Sustainability students collaborated with Sarah Moore, ESG Manager at Victoria's Secret. Moore presented a project focusing on how to reduce Victoria's Secret scope 1 and scope 2 emissions of their Columbus facilities. The team analyzed public information from peer brands to learn what steps they are taking to become more sustainable, toured one of Victoria's Secret distribution centers, and conducted key informant interviews with two employees at Victoria's Secret. Utilizing this information, the team produced four high-level recommendations for Victoria's Secret to begin their efforts in becoming more sustainable.
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    Introducing Products to Reduce Waste at the Commissary in the Ohio Reformatory for Women
    (2022-12) Bucciarelli, Lily; Clinchot-Diaz, Arabel; Severyn, Olivia; Witherow, Kenedy; Jaquet, Tim; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction sought to reduce waste generated from the commissary at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville, OH. Our capstone team was tasked with finding suitable products with recyclable or compostable packaging to be introduced into the commissary as sustainable alternatives. To understand the commissary and the preferences of the incarcerated population at ORW, we toured the facility, conducted an interview with two individuals from ORW's Green Team, and released a survey to a general population dormitory. Data gathered from the interviews and survey revealed that health is a top concern for incarcerated women, so we expanded our product scope to include vitamins, nutritional foods, and organic products. Additionally, we conducted a waste audit at the back of house commissary bins and the post-consumer bins placed in the dormitories. The final product recommendations include shower essentials, dental care, feminine products, food supplies, and vitamins. We recommend that ORW work with Kroger, Sun & Swell, Preserve, and the Zero Waste Store as vendors and introduce an alternative recycling program through Terracycle.
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    Assessing Sustainable School Transportation at Stevenson Elementary in Grandview Heights
    (2022-12) Bryson, Austin; Gifford, Emerson; Ruth, Natalie; Hitzhusen, Gregory; Jaquet, Tim
    This project assesses school transportation at Stevenson Elementary. Traffic flow and heavy congestion were identified as problems that contribute to unsafe conditions for school drop-off and pick-up. Working with Sustainable Grandview, our group evaluated current transportation habits and identified areas that could be improved to increase walking and biking to school. We researched current infrastructure that supports walking and biking by reviewing past transportation plans and on-site visits. Our group conducted key informant interviews for a baseline comparison of Stevenson Elementary with similar Central Ohio communities. Lastly, we administered a survey to Stevenson Elementary parents. From our research, our group recommended a variety of actions that could be taken to address safety concerns for walking and biking to school. Increasing the number of students walking and biking to school increases safety for everyone and promotes a healthier, more sustainable community.
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    Tree Assessment on Vacant Lots: Best Practices for Tree Maintenance on Vacant Lots in Columbus, Ohio
    (2022-05) Perkins, Caitlin; Burke, Keith; Martz, Ava; Green, Xavier; Monsivais, Christian; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    This is a case study of tree assessments on vacant lots in Columbus and research on the benefits of tree canopy growth. Green Columbus enacted this study to find a solution for adequately maintaining existing trees on vacant lots throughout the city. The purpose of the research was to find comparable cities that have implemented successful programs and policies that protect trees and grow urban tree canopy. Our group also identified the threat of the urban heat island effect, tree canopy benefits, and city budgeting. We hope to support and amplify the city's efforts in the Columbus Urban Forestry Master Plan as well as support the organization of ongoing tree maintenance in Columbus. This case study is presented in the form of an ArcGIS Story Map for a more accessible report for all members of the community.
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    ODRC Photovoltaic Solar Field Installation
    (2022-05) Schrantz, Andrew; Rice, Jake; Buddelmeyer, Katy; Litzenberger, Spencer; August, Dean; Lampman, Paige; Braine, Bruce; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections wanted to implement a solar field to cover the energy usage for electricity at one of their previously surveyed locations. Additionally they wanted to implement an education program for installation of solar panels so that individuals could perform maintenance and gather experience while incarcerated, and have more job prospects upon release. The capstone team worked to determine a feasible location for the solar field, complete with a net present value analysis for installation and maintenance of the field, with adjacent projected renewable market changes. The team also developed an education program for the installation of solar panels, and projected reductions in reincarceration following program participation. This proposed installation would assist the ODRC in their continued sustainability efforts, as well as their goal of reducing recidivism.
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    ODRC Mowed Fields Ecological Restoration
    (2022-05) Marrocco, Elliot; McFadden, Natalie; Menser, Diana; Riley, Robert; Tomastik, Jessica; Hitzhusen, Gregory
    This report includes research into the health, environmental, and community benefits from accessible green space for incarcerated persons, a plan for the construction of the green space, and materials that will be used. It also includes a benchmark analysis from similar projects and an aerial map of the proposed green space.
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    Designing Green Building Standards for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC)
    (2022-05) Borgert, Iris; Liu, Bang; Mollica, Nicholas; Ruehle, Abigail; Shisler, Grace; Sorce, Jack; Hitzhusen, Greg
    This project sets out to reduce recidivism at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) through green building design. By combining LEED and WELL frameworks into ODRC's Green Building Standards, ODRC can implement guidelines of sustainability and human well-being in their future builds. We were able to gain background knowledge of LEED and WELL through current builds as well as taking a site visit which included retrieving surveys we sent out and an interview with three peer leaders of the horticulture class. We also gathered data through the ODRC's own JadeTrack inputs which allowed us to see which institutions were performing better than others in terms of cost, energy usage, and water usage. With the goal of reducing recidivism, the team drafted ODRC's Green Building Standards which impacts incarcerated individuals as well as staff.