University Hires Sustainability Director
Priorities include recycling, eco-efficiency
In an ongoing effort to make Boston University more eco-friendly, University leaders have hired the school’s first director of sustainability. Dennis Carlberg, an architect and a former senior designer and project manager at the Somerville, Mass., architectural firm Arrowstreet, started his new job two weeks ago.
“Dennis launched a career in sustainable design long before it was fashionable,” says Gary Nicksa, the University’s vice president for operations. “He is committed both personally and professionally to bringing together BU’s sustainability efforts in the areas of academics, research, and administration.”
As sustainability director, Carlberg is responsible for the development, implementation, and promotion of sustainability strategies. He will provide outreach to local and national organizations and funding agencies and will oversee the BU Sustainability Committee, established by President Robert A. Brown last fall. Made up of faculty members, staff, and students, the committee works to reduce energy consumption and decrease waste across campus by concentrating on four crucial areas: recycling and waste management, energy efficiency, sustainable building development and operations, and communications, education, and outreach. Carlberg will serve on all four steering committees and will cochair the communications group.
“BU has already made impressive strides toward achieving a sustainable campus,” he says. “But too few people know about it. A large portion of my job entails putting out the word and alerting students, faculty, and staff of different ways they can contribute toward the University’s endeavors. For example, Facilities Management recently installed four recycling bins behind the brownstones on Bay State Road, an area where recycling was previously unavailable. Because recycling is not available campus-wide, it is crucial that we get out the message when it becomes available in new places.”
In the coming weeks, says Carlberg, the University will participate in Recycle Mania, a nationwide recycling contest among colleges and universities. “We’ll track ourselves against the other schools in the benchmark division this year,” he says. “That way we’ll have a solid place from which to launch ourselves next year.”
With energy consumption and costs on the rise, the new director says, investing in sustainable technologies makes sense both environmentally and fiscally. “Ultimately,” he says, “we have to ensure that whatever decisions we make today will not adversely affect future generations.”
At Arrowstreet, Carlberg’s designs ranged from retail centers and housing projects to hotels, theaters, and concert halls. He also established the firm’s sustainable design committee, which educates and promotes the use of sustainable design strategies company-wide. He is accredited by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a third-party certification program that provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in architecture from MIT.
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