27 Oct 2011

Aspects to the New “Eco-Friendly” Dining

Author: Kara Campbell-Curl | Filed under: Science, Health, Environment, Student Contributor

The Carillon Place

By Kara Campbell-Curl

Wouldn’t you be excited to eat somewhere that is considered “eco-friendly?”

There is always some kind of excitement surrounding anything that is new. Well walking into the new dining halls the Oaks and Carillon Place it is understood where the excitement is deriving from. A friendly warm atmosphere and the aroma of all the delicious smelling food flood your senses.

There may be some controversy to all this buzz of excitement according to Gary Silverman the Director of the Department of Environmental Sustainability.

“I do not feel that the university has utilized all the eco-friendly aspects that it could for the budget that they had,” said Silverman. “Initially the dining halls were supposed to be Platinum LEED certified.”

According to the U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. They provide builders with practical and building designs, construction, and operation.

“The two dining facilities both have applied for silver LEED certification, but it is too early to know for sure when they will be officially certified,” said Silverman.

Despite the certification debate there is indeed something different about these dining facilities. Not only are they great additions to the campus of Bowling Green State University architecturally, but they have a “Green Presence” worth knowing about as well.

From the start the new dinning sites utilized the environment. According to BGSU Dining where the construction took place the preparation used recycled materials for fill. The rest of the waste that was not used was then recycled. A lot of the things that went into making these buildings were found locally.

Both of the buildings were modeled with glass exposure to let in more natural light.

“Both the Oaks dining hall and the Carillon Place dining hall basically have the same appearance,” said Michael Paulus the director of BGSU Dining Services. “The sustainability aspects that are involved within the construction projects are really long term investments, energy savings will occur over the lifetime of the building,” Paulus said.

As for the food, there were changes to the menu for students to indulge in as well.

“The student’s reaction to the new dining halls has been very positive,” said Paulus. “Not only do the students like them, but they are popular with campus alumni and visitors as well.”

Bianca Thomas-Veal at the Carillon Place.

“I mainly eat at the two new dining halls,” Said Bianca Thomas-Veal Bowling Green State University Sophomore. “Mainly because of how the new meal plans are set up,” Thomas-Veal said.

“There is more of a variety of foods to choose from and I think that’s what I like the most,” said Thomas-Veal. “I don’t feel that the food is any healthier though.”

According to BGSU sustainability initiatives nutrition and wellness is one of the many things that the university focuses on when providing for its students and guests.

“The freshly prepared food and daily menu changes are ways that the new food selections are benefiting our students,” Paulus said.

However, is all of the buzz around the new dining facilities causing the other dining halls to suffer?

“To some degree there has been a bit of cannibalization within revenue streams,” said Paulus. “We want all of our operations to be economically viable. However, more research is needed.”

“If we do have to close or cut back any services of the other dining halls it will not come as a surprise,” Paulus said. “It’s a long drawn out process that won’t happen anytime soon.”

“I would definitely be upset if the older halls would be closed,” said Thomas-Veal. “They are definitely convenient.”

As far as the sustainability aspects of both of the buildings it will be something that continues to positively affect the university.

 “Both buildings will serve our students well into the future,” Paulus said

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