Student Project Ideas

Students at Virginia Commonwealth University are actively involved in promoting sustainability on campus and are frequently catalysts for changes in university practices. Every semester, numerous student projects focus on a wide range of sustainability topics, including xeriscaping at Trani Life Sciences, natural daylighting in Hibbs Hall, the Harris Hall Rain Garden and the VCU Community Garden, all which began as student-initiated projects.

VCU Sustainability is interested in partnering with schools, departments, specific classes, or student groups to implement new projects. These could also be of interest to students looking for final class projects. We hope to provide opportunities that foster Sustainability at VCU and in Richmond while contributing to experiential learning opportunities for students.

Below is a list of projects that will meet goals in the VCU Sustainability Plan, the City of Richmond Sustainability Plan, or both! 

Water Conservation
  • Create a cost benefit analysis to upgrade water fixtures in university buildings.


  • Create an education campaign for VCU community members to increase water conservation on campus.
Energy Conservation
  • Evaluate new technologies and methodologies for reducing energy consumption and create a feasibility plan for building energy efficiency upgrades for VCU. The city has completed this and may be a resource for VCU’s analysis.
Solid Waste Management
  • Create a feasibility plan for VCU to divert pre- and post- consumer waste from dining area.


  • Create a recycling marketing campaign that creates a more thorough understanding of VCU’s recycling program.
Alternative Transportation
  • Create a cost-benefit analysis to adding alternative fueled vehicles, such as electric vehicles or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to VCU fleets. Include proposed associated infrastructure (electric charging stations, CNG stations) to analysis. The city has completed this and may be a resource for VCU’s analysis.


  • Create a marketing plan that highlights the benefits of using alternative transportation.
Food Access and Security
  • Create a marketing campaign to promote local and sustainable food options available within Richmond to the VCU community.


  • Create a garden in a vacant City-owned parcel through the Richmond Grows Gardens program. The following sites are available and within one mile of the Monroe Park Campus:
    • Site 8 - 2000 W Leigh St
    • Site 19 - 1800 Maplewood Avenue


  • Conduct a food assessment of the community.
View graphic version