Rippowam Cisqua School Rockets
The Rocket, manufactured in the United Kingdom by the Tidy Planet Limited, is an 8’ by 2’ by 4’ cylinder using simple “brown and green” technology: Its inlet receives equal amounts of wood chips – the brown component, and food waste – the green, providing the necessary combination of carbon and nitrogen. When the inlet is closed, the ‘in vessel’ composting happens automatically.
Gerardo Soto, Managing Director of Nath Sustainable Solutions, the U.S. distributor of The Rocket, says that because “we now pretty much recycle everything else in this country, composting represents the last piece of the recycling puzzle.” Composting food scraps keeps them out of landfills where they emit harmful methane gas and can leach into and contaminate water. In not having to haul food waste to landfills, carbon emissions produced in transporting waste are also eliminated. The composting process is equally significant for its
Gerardo Soto, Managing Director of Nath Sustainable Solutions, the U.S. distributor of The Rocket, says that because “we now pretty much recycle everything else in this country, composting represents the last piece of the recycling puzzle.” Composting food scraps keeps them out of landfills where they emit harmful methane gas and can leach into and contaminate water. In not having to haul food waste to landfills, carbon emissions produced in transporting waste are also eliminated. The composting process is equally significant for its return of nutrients to the soil as fertilizer.
Sustainability Rockets at Rippowam Cisqua School
“Rippowam Cisqua strives to instill in students a strong sense of connection to their community and to the larger world” (From the RCS Mission Statement)
Rippowam Cisqua School is committed to environmental sustainability and conservation in all aspects of school life.
A member of the Green Schools Alliance and the Bedford 2020 Schools Task Force, RCS incorporates themes of a sustainable present and future throughout its facility and program.
RCS students participated as presenters at the 2011 Bedford Environmental Action Day
Students and faculty participated in energy audits of four School residences as part of the School’s commitment to support Energize Bedford
Composting began in the student dining rooms to complement the composting effort already underway in School kitchens
RCS became the first independent middle school in the United States to adopt the innovative Rocket Composter
Ground was broken on the RCS Garden
Extensive new construction on both campuses saw a comprehensive commitment to sustainability that included:
- Building re-use
- Extensive insulation
- Regionally manufactured materials
- An innovative high performance, programmable and dimmable lighting system with daylight sensors and occupancy sensors, allowing light levels to be adjusted for multiple criteria and energy conservation
- Linoleum flooring is a natural linseed oil based product with no harmful off gassing or toxic ingredients
- Other finishes, including carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles that have high recycled content, are low VOC
- New mechanical systems that improve heating and cooling efficiency and allows for greater temperature control
- Construction efforts that included a repurposing initiative for classroom supplies to Haiti
Recycling efforts have been expanded and improved on both campuses.
Food service program integrates locally produced foods in our cafeteria wherever possible, and will use vegetables grown in the RCS Garden.
Solar/ Electrical Reduction
• A 50 KW Photovoltaic system at the Lower Campus provides
• 33% of the power needs during the school year
• 90% of the summer power requirements.
LED lights for the Hi-bay gym lights are expected to reduce electrical consumption by 80%. This upgrade is located at all gyms on both Upper & Lower Campuses. Energy efficient LED lights are installed in the new offices; the CAT classroom, Andy Kuhn’s office, and the Spanish classroom are all LED fixtures or bulbs. Lutron Lighting system can be found in the renovated Upper Campus classrooms and Lower Campus Library
• A “light harvesting” system with a flexible control lighting system that automatically provides optimal lighting conditions while reducing energy costs
• North facing glass in the Lower Campus Library provides abundant light while reducing solar gain lessens the demand for air conditioning
• The high R-valve in the glass also reduces heating cost Computer Monitored
Building Management System for Upper & Lower Campuses
• Operates and supervises all boilers, pumps, fans, HVAC, and AHU to maximize energy efficiency and reduces running electrical equipment when there is no need to.
• Water conservation efforts from the year 2000—2011 to date has conserved over 3 million gallons of water on the Lower Campus.
• Water conservation efforts from the year 2000—2011 to date has conserved over 27 million gallons of water on the Upper Campus.
• Low water consumption toilets have been installed on both campuses, dramatically reducing the amount of water used.
• Water coolers at the Upper & Lower Campuses installed - equipped with bottle fillers, filters, and chillers. Coolers also feature counters that visibly demonstrate the reduction of the use of bottled water, providing context for students and adults
• A waterless urinal at the Upper Campus in the boys' locker room has been installed and is being tested this year.
• Solar powered, motion detected faucets and commercial flush valves installed
• Directed motion detectors minimize water consumption
• Use of the Ambient light reduces additional power demand at the Upper and Lower Campuses for these devices
• Low VOC green certified paints for interior painting Upper and Lower Campuses
• Low VOC green certified paint for the playing fields.
• VOC reduction of air fresheners
• No aerosol dispensers are used, providing improved air quality.
• Motion controlled paper towel and soap dispensers reduce product consumption and minimize contact with the dispenser, helping to reduce the spread of germs
• Motion controlled automatic water faucets and toilets minimize contact with the faucets, again helping to reduce the spread of germs
Bio Fuel has been in use as heating oil for five years
• Contains a mix of 20% soy from US farms
• Reduces consumption of foreign oil by 12,000 gallons per year Computer Monitored Building Management System for Upper & Lower Campuses
• Operates and supervises all boilers, pumps, HVAC, and AHU to maximize efficiency.
Due to increased efficiencies, despite the addition of 30,000 additional square feet of interior space, the School uses less oil to heat its campuses and its residences than it did in the 1970s.
• Linoleum flooring made from sawdust, linseed oil, and all natural substances replaced the use of VCT.
• While no standard of insulation is required by New York State code for commercial buildings, RCS has adopted the standards for residential insulation with R-19 or better in walls and R-38 or better on roofs.
• All new flat roofs have a minimum of R-38 and as much as R-60 with the tapered roofing system. US forestry certified lumber is used for all building projects.
• Bamboo flooring for the lower gym at the Upper Campus is a quickly renewable resource versus slow growth maple or oak trees.
• Steel studs and beams made from recycled metals have reduced the use of wood for framing.
• MDO, MDF plywood (instead of hardwood plywood) uses sawdust waste for building materials instead of lumber.
• Onsite recycling collection of a variety of materials includes batteries, fluorescent bulbs, paints, oils, metal, and bulky items.
• The Rocket Composter makes compost from our wood chips and food waste saving on hauling food to landfills or off site compost facilities.
• Onsite composting of leaves has yielded 2000 cubic yards of soil since 2000.
• Onsite storage of wood chips from trimmed trees on RCS properties is used for the Rocket Composter and mulching needs.
• The use of beneficial nematodes combats may of the threats to the grass root system and also reduces ticks on the playing field.
• Green certified paints are used for lining the playing fields. More than 400 gallons of paint per year are used to line for sporting events.
• All natural soil supplements to build stronger root systems, along with the addition of compost, are added to the fields to help them recover sooner.
• Front load washers were installed to reduce water consumption on all residential sites.
• Low volume flushing toilets were installed for all bathrooms in all residential units.
• Low flow, high-pressure water heads were installed for showers.
• New propane fired, 98% efficient, hydronic boiler was installed for a renovated residence.
• Insulation exceeding code requirements, with attention to air infiltration, is standard on all RCS renovations.
On the Horizon
• The installation of a donated baler designed to bale cardboard will allow the School to resell it to the open market in late 2011. RCS will save on the hauling cost of the cardboard and generate revenue from waste.
• Motion activated, ultrasonic light controls for all rooms and spaces at both Upper and Lower Campuses in 2011.
• Energy Star ice machines and dishwasher for the commercial kitchen will save thousands of gallons of water per year
• Smaller Rocket Composter for the Lower Campus
New Playing Fields 2012-2013
• Compost toilets, with solar LED interior lighting
• Water collection system from the new fields to re-use in the ground sprinkler systems
• All are part of the new playing field proposal