GREEN UCL

News & Comment

Cruciform Hub awarded Gold for green credentials

The recently-refurbished Cruciform Hub has received a RICS Ska Gold award for its environmental credentials, which include energy efficient lighting throughout, use of sustainable timber and 99% of all waste generated by the project avoiding landfill. More...

Published: Mar 25, 2015 1:01:00 PM

UCL student a finalist in Mayor of London's Low Carbon competition

Louis's 'Gaia Gallery' project is based in a heritage canal boat and aims to create the UK’s first entirely off-grid touring event space. The project is volunteer-led and has been shaped by a carbon neutral design that incorporates alternative technologies, reclaimed materials and natural building methods. The barge is also currently being converted to operate on recycled vegetable oil, further improving the impact of the project. More...

Published: Mar 18, 2015 1:17:00 PM

Free cycle tours of London (bikes provided!)

After the success of our first rides, we're running more guided cycle tours around London for UCL students. All abilities are welcome, whether you're a cycling fanatic or a total beginner. Even if you don't have a bike, don't worry; we can provide one.
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Published: Mar 16, 2015 10:04:00 AM

Green Impact Spring League Table

The results of Green Impact (so far) are in! Huge congratulations to everyone involved for a high number of actions taken already. Green Impact veterans PALS are in the lead, but there's still plenty of time to catch up and challenge them. And don’t be put off if your team hasn’t taken many actions yet - there are still almost three months to go until the final deadline for this year's programme (on 25/05/15).
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Published: Mar 6, 2015 4:50:00 PM

Chemistry's Chemical Cataloguing

The UCL Chemistry Department has a very large chemical inventory. With no clear way to catalogue this inventory, they didn't know quite how large. And they also couldn't be specific about locations, quantities or qualities of chemicals.

chemicals

This caused a number of problems: they needed to be able to provide lists of certain chemicals to various people due to regulation; were probably buying and throwing away the same chemical at the same time in different parts of the department; and, worryingly, there was a safety risk associated with not actually knowing what was in the department.

Now they’ve started using Quartzy, a free online database where research groups can log all of their chemicals and manage bookings for equipment. Once this system was up and running, it started to gain interest from other labs as people could see the efficiencies at work and after discussion, the decision was made to roll out Quartzy across the entire department. They now have a database of twenty thousand bottles of chemicals, each individually labelled and located.

charlie dunnill

Dr Charlie Dunnill explaining how Quartzy has allowed effective sharing of the department’s X-ray diffractometer. 

The safety and sustainability benefits have been huge and the department is also saving a significant amount of money. Dr Charlie Dunnill, who pioneered the scheme, explained; “if you think about it, we pay for the chemical when we purchase them and then we pay again to get rid of what we don’t need. That’s two costs we can eliminate through sharing as well as the time saving for the researchers who are no longer waiting 3 days for chemicals to turn up”. The department estimates the savings to be up to £90,000 a year.

The department estimates the savings to be up to £90,000 a year

Quartzy is also used to manage all the departmental shared kit so that trained users can book time on equipment, maximising the hours of use that the equipment is available for and minimising down time.


Watch a short film about the scheme below: