SEAC members inspect Brafferton

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April 7, 2009

4:35 AM

The green paraphernalia decorating College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley’s office might soon represent more than just Tribe pride.

The Student Environmental Action Coalition [SEAC] spent Friday afternoon inspecting the Brafferton, the building that holds the offices of Reveley, College Provost Geoff Feiss and other members of the College’s administration, looking for ways to make the site more environmentally friendly.

“It’s a fertile field,” Reveley said. “It needs a lot of help.”

SEAC member Hannah Debelius ’10 said the group chose to “green” the Brafferton to set an example for the
rest of the College.

“We chose [the Brafferton] because it’s a visible building on campus, and it can show the community that William and Mary is serious about helping the environment,” Debelius said.

Volunteers went from room to room making note of what staff was doing well in terms of environmental consciousness and what could be improved.

SEAC member Michael Riccard ’12 said the Brafferton staff’s use of environmentally sustainable paper should be commended.

“We like the paper,” Riccard said. “It’s 30 percent [recycled], and that’s good.”

According to the SEAC’s “green assessment,” the staff’s use of power strips, recycling bins and compact fluorescent light bulbs is a good first step in making the Brafferton a green building.

“[The staff] is really excited about making the building more environmentally friendly,” Debelius said.

The assessment did reveal areas that need improvement, however.

Riccard said the use of incandescent light bulbs, disposable paper cups and single-sided printing needed attention.

The building’s microwaves also got special attention from the SEAC inspectors.

“Microwaves don’t actually use that much electricity when they’re running,” Riccard said. “But over the course of a year, the microwave’s clock can use more energy than it actually takes to run it.”

The age of the building itself is a major factor in its environmental future.

Debelius said because the building was built before the widespread use of electricity, it allows more natural light in than most modern buildings on campus.

The building’s historical status might prevent some of SEAC’s recommendations from being enacted.

Under Williamsburg’s historical building ordinances, the Brafferton, which does not have central air conditioning, cannot have window air conditioning units facing Jamestown Road or Ancient Campus, making existing units work harder and longer.

The Brafferton is also the only remaining Old Campus building that has not been renovated in the last 15 years. Old wiring prevents the staff from using more energy-saving power strips.

“It’s a magnificent building that has yet to be renovated,” Reveley said. “It desperately needs it.”
Debelius said the assessment’s recommendations and the staff’s attitude would certainly influence the Brafferton’s green future.

“I’d give it a C- for what it is right now, but a B+ for what people want it to be,” Debelius said.

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