Providing affordable student housing since 1932

Sustainability Stewards (SuS)


With this website, we hope to accomplish a number of things

  1. Teach co-opers new ways to make their co-op more environmentally friendly
  2. Show people what kind of work the sustainability team is involved in, and
  3. Make it easier for co-opers to provide new ideas for the sustainability team

The purpose of the ICC sustainability team is to educate team members, the Board, the Staff and the ICC membership as a whole on ways of reducing ecological harm and increasing the long-term environmental sustainability of the co-ops. We also help to maintain the community gardens, advocate sensible use of ICC resources and support creative initiatives from within the ICC community to work towards these goals.

The sustainability team is made up of a Team Chair, any interested members and Board members as appointed by the Coordinating Committee.


North Campus Garden

The north campus co-op has by far the largest garden in the ICC. However, it’s been in complete disrepair for years. Since 2010, we been working on rehabilitating the garden back to the state of its once great past.

Using compost from the Ann Arbor Recycle Center, we’ve set up a single raised bed. We’ve also started working on repairing the fence to keep out the gophers. In 2011, we hope to build four more raised beds and finish repair work on the fence.

New Water Fixtures

In 2010, the sustainability team received a grant of $2000 from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. This money was to go to purchasing more efficient water fixtures. Since then, we’ve almost completely replaced all shower heads with aerated, low-flow shower heads (1.7 gpm vs 2.5 gpm). In addition, we’ve started replacing faucets with new aerated faucets (1 gpm vs 2 gpm).

It’s only been about a year, but the results are already quite promising. We did a water usage comparison of the entire month of January in 2009 and 2011 across all ICC co-ops. We found that on average, the ICC was using 3.82 fewer gallons per-person per-day. The savings totalled to about $440 and 57,700 gallons of water for the whole ICC that month.

More Efficient Lighting

The ICC has long since replaced our incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents. Now we’re working on replacing the older T12 fluorescent tube lighting with newer T5 bulbs which are 40% more efficient. In addition, we’ll be installing motion sensor switches in areas like hallways and kitchens.

Powering the ICC with Solar

One of our future projects will be to install solar solar water heaters on ICC houses. From a past analysis, we found that this would be most economically feasible at Truth, O’Keefe and Renaissance. Things that still need to be worked out are securing funding and logistics of installation.