Design, Construction & Maintenance: Environmental Sustainability 

  • Design and Construction Services is reducing the number of oil-based products that are being used in its many construction projects and replacing them with recycled-content materials, such as steel (which is composed of at least 97% recycled content), carpeting, dry wall, ceiling tile, concrete and countertops.
  • Iowa State has more than 52,000 square feet of green roofs (also called "living roofs"), covered with vegetation like sedum, native prairie plants, succulents and chives, including the roofs of Troxel Hall and the Memorial Union. Green roofs offer many benefits to buildings, including natural insulation and rainwater absorption. In addition, the herbs and other culinary crops grown atop these living roofs are used by the test kitchen in the Student Innovation Center.
  • Most of Iowa State's major buildings have water bottle-filling stations, moving steadily toward the goal of all central campus buildings offering at least one filling station. These stations encourage users to utilize reusable containers and rely less on bottled water, resulting, on average, each filling station preventing tens of thousands of plastic water bottles from entering the waste stream.
  • Iowa State has three campus buildings that reuse rainwater to flush toilets: Biorenewables Research Laboratory, State Gym and Hach Hall. This reduces Iowa State's dependence on potable water for functions that do not require it.