Facilities Management

Facilities Management Building
411 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)

man standing in a greenhouse, pointing at a plant, with a group of students watching him

Recycling news and information.

The Detroit Free Press published an interesting article about recycling mistakes to read the article click the link below.



Oakland University is dedicated to being a campus of choice and sustainability is a core part of this initiative. A key element of sustainability is recycling — we are excited to roll out the OU RECYCLES campaign. OU uses single-stream recycling, which streamlines the collection process on campus. The recycling effort at OU ensures items that enter the waste stream will eventually be used to make other products for sale and reduce the need to use additional natural resources.

In order to promote and facilitate recycling practices on campus, Facilities Management has partnered with University Communications and Marketing to develop new easy-to-read signage and informational material, to be displayed around campus. Signage will show the types of recyclable materials that will be accepted. 

Additional Campus Sustainability Efforts:

Oakland University
From the
Oakland University Sustainability Task Force
Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Global Recycling Day 2023: Themes, Events, and Ideas

If we wish to leave this environment to upcoming generations, we must practice recycling. It’s excellent for the world. We should recycle waste into valuable new things. The first step in recycling is to do it at your own house. If you are recycling, you reuse objects for something useful.

When is Global Recycling Day?

Annually, March 18th is designated as Global Recycling Day to raise understanding of the people about how our environment is harmed due to plastic. The day also raises awareness of recycling as an idea and an important concept. People host events throughout the year to raise awareness of their cause.

The theme of Global Recycling Day 2023 is Creative Innovation. When it comes to recycling, we all have to be creative. In order to do it effectively, we need to think outside the box. Putting our recyclables in the bin is not sufficient – we need to be proactive and find new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Upcycling is one way you can be creative and innovative in your recycling efforts. It involves transforming waste into something creative and useful. For example, you could upcycle a pair of jeans into a cushion cover or a t-shirt into a bag. Upcycling offers endless possibilities, so get creative!

Composting is another innovative way to recycle. By composting your food waste, you can enrich your garden’s soil with nutrients and reduce food waste. You can compost at home using a simple bin. Regardless, recycling is a great way to help the environment. Let’s all pledge today that we will be more creative and innovative when it comes to recycling.

Global Recycling Day 2023 Ideas

Join The Campaign for World Recycling Day

Now is the time to act. You’re sending a message to the rest of the planet by joining World Recycling Day. You’re also helping people to spread their ideas. Joining the campaigns will be a motivation for people around you as well.

Fashion Shows with Costumes Made from Recycled Materials

Host recycled clothes show if you want people to be excited about both recycling and fashion. You could even make it superhero-themed. To arrange a show or activity at a nearby college by allowing participants to make their costumes with recyclable materials will be a great initiative.

Walks To Promote the Importance of Recycling

The organizing committee of Global Recycling Day events wants people to run a marathon to show how important it is to recycle. T-shirts with the Global Recycling Day logo and different slogans could be made and given to volunteers during a run or walk. 

Encourage People to Recycle

Educating students about the advantages of recycling could be a great deal of fun. Everyone pays attention when you talk about saving the environment. Educate people around you when you meet them about the advantages of recycling. 

Dispose Of Things Properly

Is it so difficult to put the correct items in the correct Dustbins? No, it’s not. Most of the time, we do not throw waste correctly. The waste disposal industry calls this pollution. The worst part is that it’s happening right now. If you recycle the incorrect thing, a whole truck’s of recyclables will go into landfills. Our plastic resources are being collected in this manner and are really harmful.

Those Who Recycle Should Be Thanked

Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp to thank everybody who participates in recycling and encourages others to do the same. People that make recycling a priority in their everyday lives deserve recognition. Don’t forget to thank them with a compliment or an encouraging remark when you can.

Spend Money More Wisely

Consider purchasing environmentally friendly items. Buying metallic bottles and not plastic ones will make all the difference. It’s essential to dump waste properly so that it is recycled in a correct manner.

Implement 3R’s At Home

You can easily follow 3R’s in your daily life.

  • Reduce: Get yourself free of every product you bought, used, and tossed out fast. For instance, when shopping, use cloth bags. You can bring this cloth bag again and again for the same purpose. In this way, you are reducing the purchase of new bags.
  • Reuse: Use the water you wash your veggies and fruits with to water your plants. You can collect it in a bucket. In this way, you will save a lot of water daily.
  • When recycling, do not throw newspapers, old books, clothes, etc. We can recycle these things, and fewer trees will be cut down if all papers are recycled in the future. In today’s world, it is possible to use a soft copy, such as email, word document, PDF, etc., in place of hard copy.

Source: https://www.earthreminder.com/global-recycling-day-themes-events-and-ideas/

The Sustainability Task Force challenges every OU staff and faculty member to pick at least one sustainable Global Recycling Day practice to try this month. If you do, we’d love to see it!  Send photos of your sustainable practice to fmhelp@oakland.edu


Facilities Management Sustainability Practices (6-30-2011).ppt

Sustainability & LEED 

By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP, CEFP

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management & (Interim) Director of Engineering

The United Nations defines sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” However, there is no one definition of sustainability. In general, sustainability is the term for all things that decrease our dependence on non-renewable energy and increases the idea of living within the means of our current environment without damaging it for future generations.  In short, sustainability promotes sustaining human life on earth. Any sustainable endeavor should address the issues of ecological robustness, social equity and economic viability and I am glad to say that these issues have been addressed in the design and construction of the Human Health Building, Engineering Center, Oak View Hall and Hillcrest Hall.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), is the most recognized rating system in the nation for design and construction of the sustainable and green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developed this rating system in the year 2000, which provides a framework for constructing built environments with an approach to sustainability.

The LEED rating system uses five* major categories to produce an overall rating of the buildings:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • *Innovation and Design Process (Supplemental Category)

The USGBC has certified the Human Health Building as Platinum Level, the highest rating possible.  Additionally, Engineering Center, Oak View Hall and Hillcrest Hall have all been certified as Gold Level.  These certifications are a hallmark for Oakland University for its commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability for Human Health Building

By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP, CEFP

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management & (Interim) Director of Engineering 

Oakland University`s Human Health building (HHB), completed in 2012, houses the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences.  HHB is an approximately 172,000-square-foot sustainable facility, located on the northwest corner of campus at the intersection of Walton Blvd and Squirrel Rd.

The Human Health Building is the most visible building at our campus due to its location, environmental stewardship and high-performance building. HHB has implemented various cutting-edge technologies to save energy, we estimate energy consumption of 40,000 BTU/sq. ft/year including process and plug load, which is 45%-55 % less energy consumption compared to a similar benchmark building and 35% below ASHRAE std. 90.1-2007 base line. 

University leadership and management always encourages environmental stewardship and sustainability at all levels on our campus. During the groundbreaking ceremony in 2010, OU President Dr. Gary Russi (1995-2013) announced that the new Human Health Building would be Platinum Level, the first academic building in the State of Michigan to be awarded this distinction.  The Finance & Administration and Facilities Management leadership spearheaded the project to build a world-class facility that would showcase the University's commitment to sustainability.

Since the beginning phases of the project, Facilities Management worked with the consultants to make this dream into a reality and shared valuable information about the cutting-edge technology systems and their associated mechanical components such as solar collectors, photovoltaic panels, geothermal wells, variable refrigerant flow fan coil units and heat pumps. In addition, the team provided suggestions to make the building not only sustainable, but also high performance building with operational flexibility and maintainability on a long-term basis. Facilities Management worked with construction contractors and played an active role in assuring proper installation for some of the key components of the mechanical systems and in the commissioning process of the building.

Key Facts to Know about the Human Health Building

  • The first academic building in the State of Michigan to achieve LEED Platinum Level certification            
  • The first academic building nation-wide with the largest variable refrigerant flow system coupled with a Geothermal Heat Pump System
  • The first academic building nation-wide with the largest desiccant dehumidification system coupled with solar heating system to regenerate desiccant
  • The first academic building nation-wide housing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lab.          


Additional Sustainable Features of the Human Health Building

Renewable energy, power and thermal energy

Renewable energy for power is produced by a photovoltaic system of 3600 sq. ft of SUNIVA PV panels providing 45 KW of power which is 3% of the building's power. Renewable energy for thermal energy is being produced by installing 117 Solar Panel Plus vacuum tube solar thermal panels, each at 51 sq.ft, total of 6, 060 sq. ft with four 25,000-gallon underground storage tanks.  This system provides 504 MMBTU thermal energy for the entire year, which is 40% of building’s heating hot water load. Solar thermal collectors on the roof provide most of the required heat for ventilation, entrance vestibules and lobbies, pool heating, domestic hot water, and the sidewalk snow melting system.  In the summertime, the collectors are used as a heat source for the desiccant dehumidification system and the underground tanks allow any excess heat collected to be stored until needed. 

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

The geothermal bore-field having 256 vertical Geo-wells, 320 feet deep and 25 feet apart, hidden underneath parking lot P-1, The Geo-wells use earth as a heat sink and source for the heat pumps to provide cooling and heating of the building. HHB has 44 heat pumps with 22 refrigeration circuits.

With ground temperatures significantly warmer than the outside environment in the winter and significantly cooler in the summer, mechanical heat pump units efficiently provide the primary heating and cooling for the building.  These pumps circulate refrigerant to and from fan coil units that provide the local heating or cooling.  During cooler weather while interior spaces still require cooling, perimeter spaces are heated by circulating the refrigerant used to cool the interior.

Variable refrigerant flow system

Providing simultaneous heating and cooling, high efficiency fan coil units with air filters to provide better environmental control and clean air in the offices and classrooms. HHB has 187 fan coil units approximately four of which are being served by a single heat pump, providing an optimally controlled environment in each space.

Day time lighting and lighting controls

All perimeter areas are primarily illuminated by natural light, provided by the clearstory windows and atrium glass walls. The building also includes occupancy sensors for lighting control and day light harvesting.

Dedicated fresh air systems with demand controls

Two 23,500 cfm Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) units, provide fresh air into the building.  Each unit uses desiccant cooling coupled with solar array and a total heat recovery wheel of 3 Angstrom and CO2 demand control system.  During warm and humid weather, desiccant wheels are utilized to dry out the incoming ventilation air. The heat collected from the solar system is utilized to regenerate the desiccant.

Cleanest indoor air in the offices and classrooms

Each DOAS unit has pre and final air filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 7 and 14; each fan coil unit has a filter of a minimum 7 MERV rating.

Low water flow plumbing fixtures                               

1.6 gallons water closets and pint urinals in the restrooms with occupant sensors

Storm water harvesting for landscaping

A 10,000 gallon below-grade cistern collects storm water from the roof of the entire building and utilizes the storm water for lawn irrigation.

Storm water management and healing garden

Storm water run-off from parking lots and other areas is controlled by natural wetland which also provide water filtration to control sediment.

Preservation of natural wetlands

Upgraded and rehabilitated natural wetland areas with native vegetation and walk-ways around the areas, improved living of animal habitats and green environment for the campus community.

Native planting for trees

The planting of native trees and grass has cut down portable water usage.

Recycling and recycle material usage

95% of building construction material was diverted from landfills by recycling the material.  In addition, recycled materials were used in the construction of the building.

Low VOC furnishing

Water-based paint and oil was used and low voc carpets and furnishing were provided.

Outdoor LED lighting

LED lighting for roadways and parking provided no lighting pollution into sky and override switches were installed for the time clock and photocell.

Electric vehicle charging stations

Two dual electric charging stations for four electric and hybrid vehicles were installed.

Measurement and verification

The building energy consumption is provided by utility meters and sub-meters. These meters will be tie-in with campus automatic energy tracking and reporting system

Enhanced Commissioning

The building provides enhanced commissioning of fume hoods in laboratories.

Innovation in Design Process

Overall, the design and construction teams demonstrated creativity, innovation and collaboration to make this building an example for Oakland University's committment to sustainability and high-performance buildings that can be used as a learning tool for other institutions and organizations.


Sustainability for Engineering Center


Associate Vice President for Facilities Management & (Interim) Director of Engineering

Oakland University`s Engineering Center, a 134,200 square foot, five story building for the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS), opened in September 2014 with a construction cost of $53 Million and a total project cost of $75 Million. This building was designed to consolidate all Engineering classes in one building, increase enrollment in the SECS and renovate classrooms and labs to be compatible with cutting edge technology.  In addition, the Engineering Center supports research activities for the industries in the area, provides a collaborative and connective educational and social environment, and stimulates education in the area of power, energy and sustainability. Oakland University’s Engineering Center was constructed to be an educational and research facility, to stand as a beacon of ingenuity for the campus, for Oakland County, and beyond.

The Engineering Center employs a Trigeneration system, chilled beams, heat pumps, dedicated outside air systems and a photovoltaic system to cut the annual energy cost by 30%-40% below the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard of 90.1-2010. Two 200 kW gas-fired micro-turbine generators provide 40%-100% of the building's instantaneous power needs and 100% of net annual power consumption. Recovered energy from a 550 F turbine generator exhaust provides the majority of the building's domestic heating and water heating needs, as well as providing High Temperature Hot Water heating (HTHW) needs during spring, summer and fall to operate existing absorption water chillers that provide cooling in other campus buildings via our HTHW loop.

Trigeneration of power, heating and cooling from one energy source is complemented by the use of 400 chilled beams, extended season-free cooling, two 275 ton high efficiency magnetic bearing water cooled chiller, and one 70-ton central heat pumps, which allow the building to replace most of the typical air-based heating cooling loads with less energy-intensive, water-based systems. A Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) of 60,000 CFM feeds chilled beams and fan-coil units with 100% outside air that is efficiently produced with dual energy recovery wheels, including a 3 Angstrom total energy wheel recovering heat and water vapor from the non-hazardous exhaust air stream that is bypassed when not needed, and a desiccant wheel to lower the supply air dew point to accommodate all room latent cooling needs. Hazardous exhaust for labs employs a variable volume exhaust system with redundant, high-induction fans. Low-flow plumbing fixtures minimize the use of domestic water.

One 22-kW photovoltaic array on the penthouse roof supplements the turbine generator capacity. Other features include solar shading devices, day lighting, addressable digital lighting controls, LED fixtures accounting for 70% of lighting, electrical sub-metering, energy dashboard for display, and electric vehicle charging stations.

The Engineering Center building was designed and constructed as a sustainable building and was awarded LEED Gold certification from the USGBC Council.

Sustainability for Proposed Projects

Sustainability for Campus Proposed Projects:

By: Siraj Khan, MSME, PE, CEM, LEED AP, CEFP

Associate Vice President for Facilities Management & (Interim) Director of Engineering

  • We are currently in the processes of replacing an existing vintage boiler in the central heating plant with a combined heat and power gas turbine of 4.6 MW that will produce electric power and thermal energy as well as reduce electric power demand during peak hours, that will result in savings for energy and utility bills. 
  • A proposal was presented to the University leadership to install 100 meter Wind Turbine of 2.1 MW, to provide clean power of 10 to 15% of campus load. However economical viability is not very attractive and this project is currently on hold.
  • A feasibility study was completed and presented to the University leadership to install a Biomass Boiler of 40MMBTU to cut down gas utility bills however this project is currently not in consideration due to the fact that the gas prices fallen off sharply and economical viability is questionable now.
  • Recommissioning of campus buildings and a new energy performance contract is already in progress. 


Campus Sustainability Initiatives

The Facilities Management office plays an active and responsible role of implementing sustainability best practices on construction projects and maintenance services that the department manages.  Our team consistently examines their work to improve and provide a sense of economic viability.

Every day these practices are utilized during design, construction, operation and maintenance of the buildings and campus infrastructure . These practices save energy, reduces potable water consumption, improve occupant comfort and environment, reduce the carbon footprint that results in a better sustainable environment and a greener campus.

Some of the best practices we focus on:

Energy savings and energy efficiency 

Encompassed in projects such as the recommissioning of Pawley Hall and Recreation and Athletic building, O'Dowd Hall mechanical improvements, Hannah Hall of Science lab ventilation improvements, chiller plant optimization, and sections of primary HTHW loop piping installation.

Water savings

Implementation of low flow plumbing fixtures in housing buildings, using well water for lawn irrigation in the lower play fields and rain harvesting in the Human Health Building and the Engineering Center.

Indoor environmental quality

Replacement of filters is a part of routine maintenance to provide clean air for occupant spaces, as well as upgrading building controls for better comfort of the building occupants.

Storm water management

Controlling run-off and sediment, water retention and cleaning catch basins

LED Lighting

Installation on roadways, parking lots and inside buildings


Using native plants and trees, longer time frames between grass mowing and irrigation systems with rain sensors using well water


Using green label products across campus


Proper recycling of paper and other recyclable waste


Green Buildings and Sustainable Design

The Fall 2013 semester saw the opening of Oakland University's first green building project, the geothermal/solar thermal Human Health Science Building.  The HHB is Oakland's first geothermal heat pump installation, and it includes an innovative desiccant cooling system powered by one of the largest solar thermal energy system in the U.S.  The building uses a newer form of technology, Variable Refrigerant Flow heat pumps.  These heat pumps use variable speed compressors and serve multiple refrigerant zones per unit.  OU was awarded a $2.75M U.S. Department of Energy grant to help fund this innovative green building concept.

University Energy Usage & Cost

Take a look at the historical usage and cost of the west campus utilities over the past decade. About $380 is spent each year per Full Year Equivalent Student (FY2010 data). This equates to about 4% of a full time student's tuition (based on 15 credit hours for two semesters)  more info...

Heating & Cooling Policy

Policy 300 Air Conditioning and Heating explicitly states that non-OU personal electric heaters are prohibited on campus. Electric heaters cover up HVAC issues, create fire hazards and consume SIGNIFICANT amounts of electricity.  However, an innovative, controlled heater will be provided in cases where your area's HVAC cannot provide the proper heating.  Please contact the Work Control Center at ext 2381 to report a problem or request a heater, or submit an on-line request



Stormwater is the rainfall or snowmelt that flows over our yards, streets, parking lots, and buildings and either enters the storm drain system or runs directly into a lake or stream.


Storm drains are the openings you see along curbs and in streets and parking lots. They carry away rainwater and snowmelt and transport it through the system to nearby lakes and streams. Water and other debris that enter storm drains do not go to a treatment facility.


A sanitary sewer takes household water and waste from toilets, sinks and showers, and transports it to a wastewater treatment facility. There, the water is treated and then discharged back to a lake or stream.


As stormwater flows over our lawns and driveways, it picks up fertilizers, oil, chemicals, grass clippings, litter, pet waste, and anything else in its path. The storm drain system then transports these pollutants, now in the water, to local lakes and streams. Anything that goes into a storm drain eventually ends up in a lake or stream.

In Michigan, communities are coming together to address stormwater management on a watershed basis. In the Clinton River watershed, seven subwatershed planning groups have formed: Upper Clinton, Clinton Main, Stony/Paint, North Branch, Red Run, Clinton River East, and Lake St. Clair Direct Drainage.

Stormwater pollution has become the predominant source of water quality and habitat impairments in the Clinton River and its tributaries. Under Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), part of the Clean Water Act, more than 40 local and county governments and numerous other public entities across the watershed must meet federal and state standards for reducing stormwater pollution leaving their jurisdiction.

Each group has charted a course to fulfill the requirements of their stormwater permits by working together on a subwatershed basis, sharing data and information and creating joint planning documents.

Oakland University is located inside the Clinton Main subwatershed.

Additional information regarding Oakland University's Stormwater Management program can be found at the Office of Environmental Health and Safety website.