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Living Lab Projects Database

Use the campus as a living laboratory for developing global solutions.

Looking for a meaningful project to work on? Want to make lasting change on campus? Contribute to a more sustainable university by helping advance one of the projects in our database. Have an idea for a project or want more people involved? Please email and we'll add it to the database.

Progress Terms:

living lab
1. Idea: Project is in the beginning stages of development. Little to no formal research or documentation has been conducted.
2. Proposal Developed: Formal research and proposal have been generated. Includes methods of implementation, recognition of barriers, and potential calculation of return on investment and emissions savings.
3. Pilot Completed: Project has been implemented on a small-scale or temporary basis for the purpose of data collection and large-scale feasibility testing.
4. Revised and Ready for Implementation: Revisions to the project proposal were completed following the results of pilot test data. Project has passed feasibility testing and is ready to be implemented on campus.
5. Complete: The project has been approved by all parties involved, and a timeline of implementation is set. Some projects may have already been completed before being added to the database.
Faculty Living Lab Examples

Faculty use the campus as a living lab space to educate their students on issues of sustainability. Below are recent examples across a variety of disciplines.

Usage of Campus as a Living Lab

COMM 120: Environmental Communication - Students in this course learn tools for analyzing and engaging in public discourse about the environment, drawing on communication theory and research to understand rhetorical strategies used in contemporary environmental debates. At the end of the course, students gain practical experience in using communication research to inform the design of a real world environmental campaign that is employed on campus. Some of these projects have gained traction, leading to the use of compostable utensils instead of plastic and the new ban on plastic straws.

Economics Student teams led a sustainable agriculture simulation in the Forge Garden. Roles included farmers, agriculture lobbyists, and government bodies.
Electrical Engineering

Students studying microgrids used the SCU grid as an example. This also initiated additional thought on the future of the SCU microgrid and the future of microgrids in general.


A student research group used social media to study food and farming. They posted articles, facts, stories, and more related to the topic to get their groups talking about sustainability. This group also featured the Forge Garden frequently and learned a great deal about the produce in the garden.


Financial Planning & Analysis - Students explored and analyzed SCU's climate action strategies and reporting. Students proposed cooling towers carbon capture technology to reduce SCU's greenhouse gas emissions.