- We have included maps on this page that outline and highlight various aspects of sustainability. Click on each map to learn more!
UIC Sustainability Map
This map highlights UIC’s sustainability assets. Here is where you will discover that sustainability not only includes nature and the environment, but goes beyond “green” to incorporate social justice and culture, health and wellness, economy, and transportation, which are all needed in order to be truly sustainable. Click on the image below to go to the interactive online map:
Green Map- East Side
LANDSCAPING & WATER CONSERVATION
One of the first things you’ll notice on campus is the striking number of trees. UIC is proud to host approximately 5,400 trees and has TreeCampus USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. These trees are estimated to sequester 70,000 lbs. of CO2 annually, helping reduce UIC’s climate change impacts.
Landscaping around campus often uses native or drought-tolerant plants, reducing need for some sprinkler systems and serving to absorb stormwater runoff. Examples of this landscaping are at Student Recreation Facility, Douglas Hall and Lincoln Hall. The south end of Lincoln Hall is especially beautiful during warmer months, when many birds and butterflies spend time in the bioswale, drawn by the blooming of native prairie plants. Permeable pavers make up the pathways weaving between Douglas Hall, Grant Hall, and Lincoln Hall, allowing water to pass underground and eventually replenish Lake Michigan. Grant Hall, Lincoln Hall and Douglas Hall also conserve water through low-flow fixtures in the restrooms.
In Lincoln Hall and Douglas Hall, the toilets have handles where users pull up to flush liquids and push down for solids.
Beneath the UIC Forum and James Stukel Towers lies a rainwater harvesting system. This system uses underground tanks to capture rainwater and hold it for use in landscape irrigation around the buildings; in case the tanks fill up before use, the system is designed to hold excess water and overflow into the municipal sewers.
The historic Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, located on the UIC campus east of Student Center East at Polk & Halsted Streets, holds many events, but none are as sustainability-oriented as Re-Thinking Soup. Re-Thinking Soup is a weekly event held during the school year, where local and internationally renowned speakers discuss topics relating to social justice and food systems. During the presentations a free soup meal using local, organic and sustainable ingredients is served. Many of the ingredients for the soup are grown on campus at the Hull-House Heirloom Farm located at Taylor and Halsted Streets.
BUILDINGS & INDOOR SPACES
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is the US Green Building Council’s rating system for design, construction and maintenance of high performance, energy efficient, and green interiors, buildings, and communities. In 2010 Lincoln Hall became UIC’s first LEED-certified building, earning Gold certification. Since then, UIC has pledged to follow LEED standards in small projects where possible and to pursue a minimum LEED Silver certification for all large capital projects. The 2011 renovation of Douglas Hall is expected to earn LEED Silver certification or better.
LEED buildings include the full range of sustainability features found in many buildings around campus: efficient building systems that include LED or fluorescent lighting, air ventilation systems, or light/motion sensors (such as those found in the IDEA Commons within the Daley Library, EPASW or Lecture Center E); large windows to maximize natural light; energy from renewable resources (like solar panels); water-efficient systems and landscaping (outside the Student Recreation Facility, James J. Stukel Towers and the UIC Forum); use of recycled or sustainably harvested materials for flooring and workspaces; and low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and glues, improving indoor environmental quality.
GEOTHERMAL HEATING & COOLING
Located underground to the east of University Hall, the geothermal well field is composed of 64 wells dug 500 feet into the ground to heat and cool Douglas, Grant, and Lincoln Halls.
Each building uses a closed-loop system with sensors, heat pumps and air exchangers, taking advantage of the relatively constant earth temperatures in the well field to maintain a comfortable indoor air environment year-round.
The rooftops of Douglas Hall and Lincoln Hall boast a total of 469 solar photovoltaic panels that use the sun’s energy to provide a portion of the buildings’ electricity needs. The amount produced annually by both buildings is enough to provide electricity for almost seven average 2-bedroom apartments!
A green roof is a structural surface covered with plants and vegetation. Green roofs are more attractive than traditional roofs; they reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect (a phenomenon where cities become warmer due to dark surfaces of city infrastructure, increasing air conditioning and energy needs that produce pollution and greenhouse gases); they insulate a building and lower heating/cooling demands; and they reduce the amount of stormwater runoff by absorbing rainfall before it enters Chicago’s sewers.
Partial green roofs are publicly accessible on campus in the Education, Performing Arts & Social Work Building plaza area and the Behavioral Sciences Building. Viewable, though mostly inaccessible, green roofs are also on the Art & Architecture Building and James J. Stukel Towers. An alternative to Green Roofs, some UIC buildings have White Roofs, usually a soy-based white painted surface with extra insulation, that save energy by reflecting the light usually absorbed on traditional rooftops. These buildings include BSB, Student Center West, Student Residence Commons, Jefferson Hall, Science & Engineering South, and the Physical Plant Building.
UIC does its part to increase the use of public transportation by offering the CTA U-PASS for all full-time students. The U-PASS provides unlimited rides on any CTA bus or train during the school year. CTA trains (Blue & Pink lines) and many CTA buses stop on the campus, making UIC one of the most transit-friendly public research institutions in the country. Faculty and staff who use public transit can take advantage of a pre-tax transit benefit through their earnings.
Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation and has no carbon footprint. Students can park their bikes at any one of the 800 bike rack spaces on campus, located near almost every building. If you don’t own a bike, there are several bike share stations (Divvy) located across campus.
The UIC Shuttle Bus system provides transportation between East, West, and South sides of campus. Used by students, faculty and staff, all one needs to board is a UIC I-card. UIC also provides an internal ride-matching service, iCarpool.
When you need a vehicle’s added cargo capacity, and public transit or bicycles are not an option for a longer trip, use car-sharing. Both car-sharing services in Chicago, Zipcar and I-GO, have cars parked on campus, including some electric vehicles. Zipcars and I-GO cars are available around the city, and Zipcar members can use the service all around the country.
UIC also promotes the use of electric vehicles by providing charging stations at several locations on campus. Charging stations are located on UIC’s East Side in both the Taylor Street and Maxwell Street parking structures.
Below are maps of bicycle racks, showers, and fix-it stations, among other things. Click on the image to view a larger map.
General UIC Campus Maps
General maps can be found on the UIC Facilities Information Management maps. They include information such as bike racks, CTA stations and bus stops. Click on the links to open a pdf for the East side of campus and the West side of campus.