Sustainability Charrette
Sustainability Charrette
* *
April 17-18, 2009 *
Environment • Economics • Education
Envision • Explore • Exchange
What's a Charrette?

Registration for the Sustainability Charrette is closed.

Why not change the world... here and now?
Participate in Rensselaer’s “Sustainability Charrette” on April 17-18, 2009, and take part in changing the Rensselaer community.

The Sustainability Charrette was initiated at the request of President Jackson as a way of involving a broad cross-section of the Rensselaer community in efforts to incorporate sustainability into our campus culture (i.e., education, research, operations, and day-to-day behavior).

Over the course of 24 hours, participants will work in inter-disciplinary teams of Rensselaer students, faculty, alumni, administration, and staff to generate creative and realistic suggestions for implementation at Rensselaer.

Participants in the charrette (being held at the beginning of Earth Week) also will actively engage in activities to support the Relay for Life, since both events work toward a better and more sustainable future for all.

The event will be held in the Greene Building Gallery, beginning at 2 p.m. on April 17 and ending on April 18, with the closing session beginning at 4:30 p.m. 

All are welcome, but participants must pre-register using the form below. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of change at Rensselaer!

Questions? Contact Emily Luddy at

Visit the Sustainability at Rensselaer blog for more information on all sorts of sustainability initiatives across campus, including special events, academic programs, student organizations, facilities greening initiatives, and much more.

A charrette is an intensive collaborative session in which a group of people draft solutions to a problem in a limited time-frame, often in a competition-style atmosphere.

The purpose of this charrette is to generate ideas that could potentially be implemented here at Rensselaer to improve the way we operate, educate, research and live in regards to sustainability.

The charrette is structured into three sections:

Think outside the box. Brainstorm as many ideas as possible. There are no topic boundaries. Anything goes: big and little ideas on energy, waste, water, transportation, buildings, behavioral changes, education, research, residence hall life, community involvement, green house gas emissions, procurement, food, technology, culture, metrics, composting...

Choose 8-10 ideas and develop them more fully. How do your ideas improve upon the environment? Are your ideas economically and technically feasible? How do your ideas educate the Rensselaer community in regard to sustainability? How do they affect campus and community culture?

Present your ideas to the other participants. Discuss details such as implementation, costs, and benefits.

Fellow competitors will rank your ideas with respect to these categories:

How do your ideas help the environment, both natural and social? Do they conserve resources, eliminate waste, harvest new opportunities? Do they promote health and community?

Are your ideas economically feasible in the short term, long term? What are the estimated full costs? What are the costs and benefits of items (intangibles) that are not generally assigned market values? What are the returns on investment?

How do your ideas contribute to the education of students and the Rensselaer community? Do your ideas address formal, informal, or independent education? How do your ideas affect, enhance or transform the culture at Rensselaer?

Awards will be given for a various aspects of the ideas. Several of the best ideas will be developed into a set of recommendations which will be passed on to the Institute Sustainability Task Force to be considered for implementation.

Sponsored by The President’s Office
Green LED
Trash Awareness
Darrin Fresh Water Institute
RPI Wind Power
VCC Solar Power
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