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Open house of SF State's first 'green'
student apartment to be held March 16



Matt Itelson
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1665



Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Unit features donated sustainable products and appliances

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2007 -- San Francisco State University is home to the first "green" college student housing unit in San Francisco, equipped with energy-efficient and sustainable appliances; furniture and carpet made from highly recycled materials; low-toxic paint; highly efficient lighting; and eco-friendly personal care products. The University will hold a grand opening celebration and tours of the green residence apartment from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Village at Centennial Square courtyard at 750 Font Blvd. on SF State's main campus.

The apartment, located in the Village at Centennial Square student apartment community on campus, showcases how students can live a modern, affordable and comfortable lifestyle while reducing their ecological impact. The Green Apartment will also help move the SF State community toward a more sustainable future, serving as a model for purchasing practices as well as increased recycling, composting and efforts by students to educate and engage the community in environmental issues.

"We want to illustrate that students and universities can easily make changes to reduce their environmental impact significantly without spending more money or inconveniencing themselves or others," said Jim Bolinger, SF State associate director of facilities for housing and residential services.

Robert Hutson, SF State associate vice president for facilities and service enterprises, approached Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI), an energy consulting nonprofit based in San Rafael, to collaborate on the project. SEI and SF State have secured funding from the San Francisco-based Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. More than $4,000 worth of sustainable appliances and other eco-friendly products were donated by Bay Area retailers or purchased from stores in the community.

"We are excited that this project with SF State has worked out so well," SEI Executive Director Cyane Dandridge said. "Through SF State's dedication, and with the overwhelming support from the local retailers, this apartment is a great way to show staff, students and the larger community that living sustainably can be economical and easy."

The apartment's green products include: ENERGY Star® rated electronics, appliances and highly efficient lighting, along with other such green elements carpet tiles with high recycled content, low-toxic paints, a low-flush toilet; and water-conserving faucet and shower attachments. Electricity for the apartment during the demonstration period is obtained from renewable wind and solar resources.

The Green Apartment also features displays of environmentally friendly shampoos and conditioners, laundry detergents and facial tissues made of post-consumer recycled content. These products are not only less hazardous to human health and the environment, but also demonstrate to students and staff that products less harmful to the environment are available for purchase.

SF State staff and students have collaborated with SEI on the project. Aundrea Dominguez, an art major and assistant area coordinator in the 760-bed Village at Centennial Square, resides in the one-bedroom apartment.

After the March 16 grand opening, the SF State Green Apartment will be available for public tours by appointment. The tours will feature an overview of the eco-friendly products and technologies in the apartment and examples of simple changes that can have positive effects on the environment. For details, contact Alicia Lewis at

The Green Apartment is one of the University's many sustainability initiatives. Other accomplishments include energy conservation measures supported in part by $1,057,177 in grants and incentives from PG&E, composting of food waste from the student dining center, and a pilot recycling program with a 75-percent diversion rate. Other initiatives planned or under way include a "green cleaning" custodial program, LEED certification for selected buildings, environmentally responsible purchasing and green building programs. In fall 2007, SF State will offer a new environmental "theme community" in its student housing, in which a group of 58 students will live together and promote environmentally responsible lifestyles.

The University also offers bachelor's degrees in environmental studies and a master of business administration degree with an emphasis in sustainable business. The Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, SF State's marine field station and the only academic research facility situated on San Francisco Bay, focuses its science courses and research on understanding the natural forces at work in the bay and its surrounding wetland environments, covering such topics as restoration and ecology.

SEI is a nonprofit organization formed in 1997 to help communities embrace a sustainable future. SEI staff members work with underserved markets to accomplish their energy and resource efficiency goals by assembling resources and assistance to meet their needs. SEI works primarily with sectors such as schools (both K-12 and higher education), small businesses, local governments and multi-family and affordable housing, building community while motivating them to embrace renewable energy, green building and energy efficiency. SEI previously established green residence hall rooms at University of Hawaii; California State University, Chico; and University of California, Berkeley. For more about SEI, visit or contact Stephen Miller at (415) 507-2186 or 


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Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications