This year, Residential & Dining Enterprises Student Housing partnered with the Water Quality, Efficiency, & Stewardship team, the Green Living Council, the Office of Sustainability, and Flow Labs to promote water conservation by reducing shower times in Wilbur Hall through a 10-week competition that started in April and ran through June.

In early March, sensors were installed on every showerhead in all eight buildings and shower times were logged to determine each building’s baseline. The sensors sent the data to a central processing box that allowed them to be displayed on a dashboard. Residents could view their metrics and explore the data at an individual, floor, or residence hall level.

Wilbur residents were very enthusiastic and competitive; they created a video to raise awareness and sent building-level messaging to encourage reduced shower times. While the competition initially focused on reducing the length of showers, having comprehensive data on shower times also helped determine the effectiveness of outreach efforts made during the competition.

The Okada building was the most improved residence and remained in first place throughout the competition; it started with an 8.16-minute average shower time and reduced it to 5.3 minutes. The entire complex reduced water usage by 10% over the course of the competition.