LaGuardia Community College Wins CUNY Sustainability/Productivity Award

Long Island City, NY—December 5, 2013–For the tenth consecutive year, LaGuardia Community College walked away with the CUNY’s Executive Vice Chancellor’s Productivity Award for using green, sustainable and cost-efficient methods to remedy maintenance issues.

This year, the College installed ultraviolet emitters in its aging air handling units and domestic hot water system in order to keep both systems clean.  This is a green approach to provide a healthy environment, while eliminating the need to periodically clean the system with harsh chemicals.

Executive Vice Chancellor Allan Dorbin presented the award to Shahir Erfan, vice president of administration, who accepted the honor on behalf of the College.  The ceremony took place at the CUNY Financial Management Conference on November 19, 2103.

Winning CUNY’s Productivity Award once again affirms that LaGuardia Community College continues to look for ways to be more efficient and effective in delivering services to the College community, while being environmentally responsible,” said Mr. Erfan.

 Leading the team in the two projects was Yury Fastovsky, director of building operations, and Richard Ng, director of campus facilities.

The team focused on reducing the reliance on chemicals to keep the air-conditioning coils clean.  It successfully installed UV emitters on five large air conditioning systems on campus.  Maintaining clean coils improve indoor air quality and reduce electrical power consumption.

The team also looked to the ultraviolet emitters to rid the domestic hot water system of bacteria.  In the past, LaGuardia spent $30,000 in labor and chemicals to remove the bacteria, which resulted in multiple pipe leaks, damaged faucets and post-floor ceiling and wall repairs.

The team learned that there are a number of advantages to using ultraviolet emitters to disinfect water rather than a chemical disinfection solution.  The non-chemical process has no known toxins; no danger of overdosing; no smell in final water product; and no harm to pipes and plumbing fixtures.

There is also a savings advantage.  After the cost of installing the UV water treatment for $64,000, the first year’s savings was $76,000, and annual savings will total $140,000.

LaGuardia, a longtime advocate of sustainability, was one of the first colleges to win a CUNY Sustainability award in 2008 for its campus-wide comprehensive approach to sustainability. Initiatives that gained notice were the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and the installation of solar powered batteries to operate hands-free faucets.

Last year it received two awards: one for the reorganization of the cleaning service; and the second for the work on one of the college building’s mechanical systems.

“LaGuardia continues to lead the way in the University’s sustainability efforts,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia. “The College applauds the Division of Administration for its innovative initiatives that are creating an eco-friendly campus, while saving much-needed revenue.”

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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.