Newly Funded BU Campus Climate Lab Projects Announced for Fall 2023

The BU Institute for Global Sustainability, in partnership with BU Sustainability and the Office of Research, is thrilled to announce this fall’s newly funded and continuing Campus Climate Lab projects, reflecting the BU community’s dedication to using our campus as a proving ground for innovative and just climate solutions.

Since launching in 2020, Campus Climate Lab has funded 35 projects—amounting to nearly $250,000 awarded to student-mentor teams—to support the goals of BU’s Climate Action Plan and advance equity and justice through sustainability research. In addition to ongoing projects that have been awarded extended funding, a slate of new projects this fall focus on improving indoor air quality, eliminating microplastics from laundry wastewater, using green spaces for natural, cultural, and sustainability education, and advancing environmental justice in climate action at BU.

Congratulations to this fall’s awardees representing faculty, students, and staff from across the university, including the College of Engineering (Electrical, Biomedical, Mechanical, and Computer Engineering); College of Fine Arts; Wheelock College; College of Arts & Sciences (Anthropology, Physics, Earth & Environment, Pardee School of Global Studies); and the Kilachand Honors College.

Learn more about BU Campus Climate Lab, both current and past projects, and find out how to apply for project funding.

Campus Climate Lab By the Numbers | Fall 2023

Breakdown of Campus Climate Lab program metrics and participation

Campus Climate Lab Project Goals | Fall 2023

Buildings and Operations
  • Design and build a solar energy system with bifacial PV (BPV) modules and Lithium-ion batteries for installation on a rooftop of a BU campus building to demonstrate the potential utility of the system for decarbonizing the BU campus
  • Analyze the real electricity demand of the newly completed BU Center for Computing & Data Sciences building throughout the heating and cooling season
  • Assess variation in water use and consumption across BU’s campuses and buildings with the goal of identifying sources that contribute to outsized water consumption and recommend mitigation efforts to reduce water consumption
  • Develop a wireless indoor air quality system (NEW)
  Climate and Health
  • Design a sensor pack that could be mounted on a bicycle to measure local pollution levels around the City of Boston
  • Evaluate the microplastic output of BU laundry facilities and investigate ways to mitigate emissions with the goal of producing an actionable plan to eliminate microplastics from BU laundry wastewater (NEW)
Reducing Waste
  • Analyze behavior related to waste contamination and disposal patterns to propose optimal strategies that nudge sustainability-conscious behavior on campus
Curriculum Development
  • Analyze data from the wind farm leased by BU in South Dakota to develop a curriculum that teaches the BU community about this project as part of the university’s efforts to address climate change
  • Transition less-used green spaces on campus into classrooms for students across disciplines to learn more about plants, cultural plant use, indigenous culture, and sustainability (NEW)
Advocacy and Activism
  • Develop a community garden network on campus with an established distribution system that aims to expand access and student involvement while increasing campus-grown fresh produce
  • Analyze how BU can incorporate environmental justice into climate action (NEW)