Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Friday, July 8

West Quad Photos

Hey again!

This morning, we went on a tour of our dorm. We thought it was an odd idea since we've been living here for several weeks, but I guess none of us had really explored around it that much before because we saw some really neat things!

My dorm, West Quad AThe dorm is a "green dorm," meaning that it's supposed to be made out of things that are good for the environment such as energy efficient lights, wood from sustainable forests, and faucets that don't put out hardly any water at all. They say that our bathroom sink faucets run at the rate of half a gallon per minute. I believe it. It takes three times as long to wash soap off my hands with that sink than any other sink I've ever used. They say that the toilets flush 1.6 gallons per flush.

The toilets actually work fairly well, but given that the average flush time is 5 seconds according to my extensive tests, the three calls to maintenance and 24 hour waiting period for them to come and fix my perpetually flushing toilet, more than 27,648 gallons were wasted thanks to bureaucratic inefficiency... but I repeat myself.

I raise the issue because they claim they built this dormitory complex for less than the price of a non-"green" building of equivalent specifications. To put these savings in perspective, the three dorms cost the South Carolina taxpayer $30.9 million dollars. I have great difficulty believing that a dormitory complex which houses a mere 500 students couldn't have been constructed for less than $61,800 per resident. Additionally, the tour guide assured us that $80,000 a year is saved in utilities, meaning that these savings alone will pay for the dorm itself in a mere 386 years. When I asked him how a "green dorm," which requires exotic materials and expensive equipment, could come in under the budget for a "normal dorm," he replied that it was because they made all of the contractors (architect, electrician, plumper, etc.) sit down and come up with an "integrated design." Why couldn't there be even greater savings for regular buildings, then, following that same process? In any case, it seems they could save even more money by making their administrative processes more efficient. All of USC's new buildings will be "green buildings" now since they are obviously cheaper than traditional structures.

Uuuuunder the Sea!On a happier note -- and the title of this post -- I have more photos from my REU program! My library book on transformational grammar was due, so I took my camera for a little walk. My dorm, West Quad, is really quite comfortable and attractive. Make sure you check out photos of the dorm and also random photos of our REU cookout at the Eastmans' house.

Even though the week was much abbreviated by Independence Day, Steve and I were able to get a LOT of work done. We just have to run our system through some tests and perform some (very in-depth) statistical tests in order to write the "Results" section of our paper. Naturally, there are a million improvements I'd still like to make to the system, but I'm not sure that we can implement them all in the two weeks we have before presentations are due. I've got to learn how to make better Powerpoint slides too...

Time for me to head back to Augusta for the weekend. Stay cool, and remember to pray for the people hurricane Denis (now Category 4) is going to visit. It's projected path is the same as Ivans', so PCC looks like it's going to get it hard again.


  • Isn't the government just wonderful? ASU oughta get them to build their 'green' dorms too! :)

    By Blogger Fate, at 10:06 PM  

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