Facilities staff member speaking with the 2019 Facilities Green Team

Student Projects & Internships

Over the last several years, we’ve worked with students on a variety of research topics & projects. Whether we’re leading the project or just providing information for a student’s research paper, we’re always happy to be involved!


Lighting Retrofits for Russ Hall

In the spring of 2021, our intern looked for potential energy savings in Russ Hall, one of our oldest buildings. She chose to focus on efficient lighting because most of the light fixtures in the building are either incandescent or fluorescent and utilize manual switches. She calculated how much energy could be saved by changing all fixtures to LED and by changing manual switches to occupancy sensors so lights in areas such as laundry rooms and custodial closets wouldn’t be left on. Additionally, she researched appropriate lighting levels and color temperature for the different types of spaces in the building.

Her work revealed that by making the recommended replacements, we could cut our energy consumption in Russ Hall from 165,560 kWh to 60,780 kWh, saving us 129,708 lbs./64.9 tons of CO2 annually, and that the project cost would break even in just under 3.5 years.

These recommendations were forwarded to Facilities leadership and we hope to see this project come to life in the near future!

ArcGIS StoryMap of Green Initiatives & Infrastructure:

In the spring of 2020, PSEG ISS Green Building Ambassadors unveiled their Green Building Initiative & Infrastructure Story Map.

Facilities is thrilled to see this map come to life, highlighting the green features on campus!

Reducing Recycling Contamination

During the fall 2019 semester, Montclair State’s student chapter of the USGBC revamped the recycling signage in the CELS building. Additionally, they held tabling events in the lobby to engage students, faculty, and staff. The primary topics of discussion were how we recycle on campus and what individuals can do to improve their own recycling practices to reduce the amount of contamination that finds its way into the recycling bins.

A waste audit performed at the end of the semester showed an improvement in building occupants’ recycling habits compared to previous waste audits in the building. The auditors reported that “trash in the recycling was somewhat reduced, while food, other compostables (napkins), and liquids were greatly reduced.”

Water Conservation

Facilities sponsored a 2019 Green Team through the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies. Our team completed a study of water usage in on-campus residence buildings. Their calculations showed that by replacing old faucet aerators and shower heads with newer, more efficient models, the University could save over 39 million gallons of water and over $300,000 over a five year period! Additionally, the team designed educational materials to inform residents about water conservation and encourage them to reduce their consumption.

Research Topics:

Facilities has helped students researching the following topics:

  • Recycling
  • Food waste
  • Composting
  • Green Building & LEED Certification
  • Stormwater  pollution & green stormwater infrastructure
  • Biophilic architecture
  • Furnishings made from recycled materials

Need an Internship or Project in Sustainability?

Consider applying for an internship through the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies Green Teams summer program.

If you’re looking for information for your capstone project, we’re happy to help! Send us an email.