Students living in Virginia Tech residence halls this fall may have noticed a small change when they have taken a shower.

This past summer, Housing and Residence Life replaced 266 traditional showerheads in all 21 campus residence halls with more energy- and water-efficient low-flow models.

Previously, only a few low-flow showerheads had been installed in some of the residence halls. Now the low-flow models have been installed in all showers.

Traditional showerheads use approximately 3.5 gallons of water per minute. The new showerheads only use 2.5 gallons of water per minute.

But this seemingly small change is expected to have a major impact on campus sustainability efforts. The change should save approximately 23 million gallons of water per year, reducing the university’s water bill by approximately $45,000 a year.

The project was funded as part of the Green RFP program. Now in its fourth year, the program encourages students and student groups to submit proposals for funding campus sustainability projects that support Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment. Preference will be given to proposals will produce tangible savings and those that require one-time rather than ongoing support.

Last year, the Green RFP program funded more than $92,000 in projects.

For more information about this program and other sustainability initiatives at Virginia Tech, visit the Office of Energy and Sustainability website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Emily Schosid.