A new name for Agency

[Post author: Bob Iverson]

It’s a new day for us with a different name, a different leadership, and a renewed commitment to our values.

The Waste Management & Research Center is now known as the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). The new name better represents the goals and direction of the organization.

The name change is part of even larger changes at ISTC. The Center is now part of the University of Illinois. It joined the other scientific surveys (Illinois State Water Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, and Illinois Natural History Survey) in moving out of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The four organizations are now part of the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability at the University of Illinois.

“We are excited about the move to the University of Illinois,” said ISTC Acting Director Gary Miller. “The research, knowledge, and educational goals of the scientific surveys will be greatly enhanced by the strong research and academic excellence of the University of Illinois.”

The ISTC staff remains committed to providing real world solutions to real world problems – solutions that bridge the gap between the natural resources and the human ones. Sustainability examines how to make human economic systems last longer and have less impact on ecological systems, and particularly relates to concern over major global problems such as climate change. By putting “Sustainable Technology” in our name, ISTC is showing its commitment to providing the ideas and systems to reduce environmental impacts and enhance the bottom line.

ISTC will continue to offer direct technical assistance from specialists, energy and pollution prevention assessments, a sophisticated analytical laboratory, research funding to explore a wide range of environmental issues, and information on environmental and pollution prevention issues. In addition, ISTC will continue to serve as the coordinating agency for regional and national programs including the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the Printers’ National Environmental Assistance Center.

Becoming part of the University of Illinois and changing our name will require ISTC to make a variety of changes to our website, letterhead, forms, e-mail address, etc. Please bear with us in the coming weeks and months as we make these needed adjustments.

ISTC will continue to maintain office on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign, and in OakBrook, Peoria, and Brighton.

July 2008 Site of the Month: Minnesota GreenStar

Minnesota GreenStar is a green building standard and voluntary certification program for both existing and new homes that promotes healthy, durable, high performance homes. The architect, designer, MN GreenStar Logobuilder or remodeler is provided green building training, registers the project, completes a checklist, designs the project, gets construction plans reviewed, and the project is built. Before, during and after construction, a third-party rater tests the home and verifies performance to MN GreenStar standards. Upon passing, the home receives Minnesota GreenStar certification at either a bronze, silver or gold level of achievement.

The program’s checklist and manual for both new and existing homes is available online. The web site also provides information on registering your project, including a registration fee schedule and the cost of training. Though not yet available, case studies will apparently be included on the site under “About GreenStar” in the future. In the meantime, check out the “Project Spotlight” section under “News & Media,” which currently features one gold and two bronze-level projects with photos from the sites. The gold-level project–Live Green, Live Smart’s Sustainable House–is Minnesota’s first remodeling project to achieve Minnesota GreenStar Gold Certification and the nation’s first home remodel to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The home achieved the highest level of efficient design in both programs.