Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Samir Chidiac; Ashish Pujari
An opportunity exists to enhance policy development and application in higher education as it relates to the promotion of sustainable building practices and the application of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) principles. No previous research has been conducted to determine if policy instruments are essential for sustainable building practices, together with the use of LEED®, for the implementation of institutional green buildings in North America.
The primary research goal is to determine if policy is essential for sustainable building practices and the implementation of LEED® for new construction and major renovations in higher education buildings in Canada and the United States. A specific focus on water conservation and water quality is undertaken related to green buildings. A comprehensive quantitative web-based survey was developed and administered to poll members of APPA (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators) on their use of policies or other instruments for sustainable development and the specific use of LEED® applications for new construction and major renovations on their campuses. Qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with a subset of the survey respondents to explore and supplement components of the survey and to gain greater insight as to the strategic application of sustainable facility initiatives at their respective institutions. A sustainable building policy template is developed for application to the higher education sector.
Using a mixed-methods approach has provided clear evidence that these institutions are contributing to the growth in sustainable practices in higher education and that the facility professionals are contributing to much needed leadership in this field. Institutions that have implemented sustainable/green building policies for their new buildings or major renovations are exhibiting policy compliance and meeting their LEED® targets, while some institutions that utilize non-policy practices are not complying.
This research provides a framework for an institutional sustainable building policy that is suitable for use as a template for senior facility professionals and their specific policy development. This work contributes to a foundation for future research related to sustainable/green building policy development and its application to the higher education sector.
A review of survey participants’ water conservation approaches was undertaken with a specific application to a rainwater harvesting-to-potable water system in the Engineering Technology Building (ETB) at McMaster University. Field research was undertaken on the evaluation of three white roof membranes: modified bitumen finish ply, polyvinylchloride (PVC), and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO); and their effects on the runoff water quality were studied. An analysis of the quality of rainwater runoff was performed from each of these three membranes and compared to Ontario provincial drinking water standards. Analyses were performed to determine if there is a preferred membrane for this function.
Results of the water quality testing and analysis indicate that the selected white roof membranes will provide a suitable catchment surface for a green building and/or use in a rainwater collection system. When compared to Ontario’s MOE water quality requirements, no particular roof membrane of the three researched (modified bitumen, PVC and TPO) provided superior water quality results to suggest that either was preferred or recommended as a rainwater harvesting (RWH) catchment surface.
This research has revealed that higher education institutions are engaging in water conservation practices across Canada and the United States. Operational challenges are evident, particularly as they relate to waterless urinals. The ETB system that harvests rainwater and provides treatment to potable standards is showing significant promise for future site–based solutions.
Cupido, Anthony F., "Development and Application of Policy-Based Tools for Institutional Green Buildings" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6906.
McMaster University Library