UH Projects Helping Keep Houston Beautiful

University Projects to Receive Honors During 2013 Mayor's Proud Partner Awards

UH Facilities Management's water filling stations have been recognized by Keep Houston Beautiful.

Each year, Keep Houston Beautiful (KHB) acknowledges community partners who go above and beyond the call of duty to enhance the city’s physical and environmental landscapes. KHB’s annual Mayor’s Proud Partner Awards formally recognize the organizations doing their part to make Houston a great place to live and work. This year, two UH projects will be among the award winners.

UH Facilities Management and a combined project from the University’s Graduate Design/Build Studio (UHGDBS) and Graphic Communications program will receive certificates of recognition during this year’s awards ceremony at noon, Oct. 28 in Houston’s Hilton Americas.

This year, UH Facilities Management launched a number of initiatives to bolster campus sustainability. KHB cites its UH2O Water Filling Stations as one of the city’s most notable efforts in reducing waste. This year, UH Facilities Management installed 21 filtered water filling stations in academic buildings and offices. Users can consistently refill water bottles rather than discarding them.

The effort has paid off, said Michael Burriello, assistant director of UH Facilities Management. Last month, the department recorded 32,135 refills, keeping just as many plastic bottles out of the waste stream. Burriello added that 16 additional filling stations are in the works.

Over the summer, the UH Graduate Design/Build Studio and Graphic Communication Program (part of the University’s School of Art) collaborated on a micro-pavilion constructed from recycled office cubicles. The project, “ReFRAME x FRAME,” also will include an audio installation designed by UH art professor Abinadi Meza. By year’s end, it will be constructed in Hermann Park as part of the park’s centennial celebration. UHGDBS students (led by architecture professor Patrick Peters) designed and will construct it. Graphic Communication students (guided by graphic communication professor Cheryl Beckett) contributed infographics containing information on the project. The structure will showcase uses for discarded office furniture.

Another project receiving a certificate of recognition, the Kuhlman Gully Public Art Installation, was created by the Southeast Houston Arts Initiative and Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance. Both organizations were founded with support from a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant awarded to UH research professor Carroll Parrott Blue 2011.

For more details on Keep Houston Beautiful and the Mayor’s Proud Partner Awards visit http://www.houstonbeautiful.org/.