Teaching and Inspiring Environmental Stewardship (TIES)

TIES logo

The Teaching and Inspiring Environmental Stewardship Program (TIES) teaches sustainability and green design by showcasing the University of Michigan’s first green building – the LEED Gold-Certified Samuel T. Dana Building.

Suitable for schools, businesses, and community groups, the TIES program encourages participants to learn and make sustainable choices that reduce human impact on the environment. The historic Dana Building serves as a living-learning laboratory.

The University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability is proud to offer the TIES program free of charge.

TIES Tours

Student Field Trips

The Great Green Adventure

This building tour teaches students to identify sustainable features of green building design. Students learn about alternatives to new construction and outward expansion, and compare conventional building materials to the sustainable materials found in the Dana Building.

The tour is organized around interactive displays featured through the building, which enable students to experience sustainability in practice. These displays encourage students to identify, interpret, and analyze green building features. Highlights include the building’s radiant cooling system, native plant landscape, and composting toilets.

Sustainability Stations
Complementing the docent-led tour of the Dana Building, these hands-on activities encourage students to consider the environment in everyday lifestyle and behavior choices. Students discover the environmental impacts of consumer products, identify environmentally responsible behaviors, and learn ways to reduce their own ecological footprints.

These tours are designed for youth grades 4-12. TIES programming aligns with State of Michigan benchmarks and grade-level content expectations. Younger audiences may be accommodated upon request.

Teacher resources

Community and Business Tours

TIES provides all individuals, businesses, and community organizations the opportunity to learn about sustainable building. U-M docents highlight sustainable features of the Dana Building, including infill design, use of salvaged and recycled building materials, and innovative technology that improves energy efficiency and conserves water.

TIES can accommodate a range of audiences and formats – from a 45-minute introductory tour, to a 2-hour in-depth session on a specific interest. Classroom space is available for group discussions upon request.

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