Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

ISTC Water Efficiency Project


Loyola University Gallons Saved and Shared Project

PI: Aaron Durnbaugh, Director of Sustainability & Hanh Pham, Sustainability Specialist

In a partnership with the Departments of Residence Life, Facilities, Psychology and the School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola installed water efficient fixtures on campus, engaged students to reduce their water use, and shared lessons learned with Illinois colleges and universities.

Our primary findings by initiative are listed below.

  • Findings from the residence hall water conservation retrofit:
    • It takes time and coordination to install retrofits.
    • Retrofit installations are best done when students are not living in the residence hall.
    • It’s useful to engage with student teams and have them use the university as a learning laboratory.
  • Findings from the the student behavior change campaign:
    • Identify and promote behaviors that are do-able.
    • To create a memorable and well communicated poster, incorporate humor, campus celebrities, social norms, and images of vivid consumption to make messages memorable.
    • Perceived behavior change does not necessarily translate to water conservation.
  • Findings from the lab retrofit campaign:
    • Staff members and academic units are not incentivized to seek out and use water efficient fixtures.
    • Operational units such as Facilities or Budget are motivated to seek water savings.


This research was funded by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We would like to acknowledge Professor Robyn Mallet and Dr. Kala Melchiori from the Psychology Department for their leadership, guidance, and partnership in the behavior change aspect of this project. We appreciate the assistance and insight into student engagement from Tyrone Newsome, Jamie Ellis, and Devon Cowherd from the Residence Life staff. Finally, we are grateful for Mike Jurewitch, Mark Feiereisel, Hamlet Gonzalez and the team from the Facilities Department for his expertise and coordination in installing water efficient fixtures in residence halls and labs. The majority of the work of this project was designed, conducted and led by Hanh Pham and the primary investigator was Director of Sustainability, Aaron Durnbaugh.

Resources to be downloaded:

-ISTC Signage for dorm rooms and across campus(PPT)

-Water Conservation Tool Kit (pdf)

-Water Trivia (ISTC Tool Kit) (pdf)

-Water half sheet ISTC Tool Kit (pdf)