Elon campus tour highlights sustainable practices

Elaine Durr, Elon's sustainability coordinator, hosted leaders in North Carolina sustainable living and Elon students for a Friday morning tour of the university's eco-friendly campus features.

Elaine Durr, Elon’s sustainability coordinator,answers questions about Elon’s eco-friendly efforts.

The tour was part of a day of activities surrounding the 7th annual Fall Environmental Forum, “Sustainable Communities: A Greener Tomorrow.”

Durr led the group across Elon’s 575-acre campus, which became a designated botanical garden in 2005, pointing out key sustainable features such as an irrigation system that is supplied completely by storm water and seven BioBuses that run on biofuel and are used to shuttle students around campus and to nearby shopping and entertainment centers.

Alternative transportation, Durr noted, has became an important component in Elon’s overall sustainability campaign. More than 200 people have signed up to use ZipCar, a car sharing service, and Elon is phasing hybrid vehicles into the university’s motor fleet.

The tour included a stop at the construction site for Lindner Hall,which will be Elon’s “greenest” building when it opens in fall 2009.The 30,000-square-foot facility will feature photovoltaic solar power cells, low-flow plumbing and showers for students, faculty and staff who bike to the building. Much of the building’s construction contains recycled materials and local products were used as much as possible in the building process. A kiosk in the lobby will chart how much of the building’s hot water needs are supplied by the photovoltaic solar power cells.

The forum also featured speakers including James H. Johnson Jr., a distinguishedprofessor of management at UNC Chapel Hill and a leading expert oncreating highly competitive and sustainable businesses; and CharlotteMayor Pat McCrory, whose talk focused on his city’s efforts to planfor low-impact growth and environmental sustainability.