BU Reuse System

buildscc | 28 Jul 2010 | | projects


Reuse systems are used for trading disused goods around campus. Individuals may get rid of useful waste by stacking potentially reusable items in a hallway or behind a building and then notifying the Reuse system of these items and their location. Users of the Reuse system are then notified via e-mail about the items; the first users to locate the Reuse Pile get dibs on what they find. Reuse piles typically exist for a week or so before they are discarded as waste by the original poster.

By setting up a reuse system at BU, we can facilitate inter-departmental (and inter-student) exchanges of useful and reusable waste (projectors, TVs, couches, electrical components, construction supplies, etc).

The System

The reuse system can be created, in its simplest form, by making a public mailing list called reuse-list@bu.edu. Users can then add items to and remove items from the reuse-list as they see fit.

A better implementation of this system would be to create a graphical front-end and host it at builds.cc/reuse . Users would have the option of managing their own reuse accounts, and seekers could specify search terms (i.e. “couch”) and be auto-notified when such an item is posted to the Reuse System. As this system grows, traffic to builds.cc would increase – which would be a boon for our hackerspace.

Interested Parties

This project is still in its planning stages. Add your name below if this interests you.

  1. David House

  2. John-Nicholas Furst

  3. Jim Chatham

  4. Kenny Kalenderian

  5. Daniel Kamalic

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Housing Database


I want to make a database to make the search for rooms easier.


The idea is to take raw data that students could use: square footage, number of closets, kitchens, common room, laundry rooms, floor, gender, is it a single or a double, is it renovated (this would require checking the place in person), and etc. The floor plans indirectly list most of them and they have a separate binder that list room capacity and gender.

Ideally, a user can enter what amenities they want (ie a student wants to know what dorms have a kitchen) and they can get a list of dorms with rooms that have it. The ability to find out the square-footage of a room or if a dorm have a kitchen in an easy and fast way can be useful.

Okay, so the exact data points seems to go under two areas: Room amenities and Dorm amenities.


Square footage

Number of closets

Additional rooms




Personal Bathroom (yes, I found that a few rooms, have a personal bathroom without the charge, one even had a personal kitchen but was not categorized as apartment)



Laundry Room?

Storage Room?

Number of Common Rooms

Common Kitchen (The French House have 2, at least on paper)?

Bike Room?

Other Special Amenities?


I have gathered some data, but I’ll need more. BU housing open 9-5, but I work 9-5, so progress could be a little slow. Towers RHA does have some of the data and open 7-11 (or something like that), but a good portion are not very legible and they only have floor plans. If someone want to help me on this front, it would defeat one of the biggest bottlenecks of this work.

Basically, there’s three main types of work.

  1. Data Gathering (going through floor plans and documents and put it on the computer, let me tell you, it is slow work)
  2. Front End work
  3. Back End work

Anyways, if anyone want to help in any way, sign up!


  • Antoine (Project leader)
  • John-Nicholas Furst (Database and infrastructure)
  • Kenny Kalenderian (Party Interested in Helping)


BUILDS cc Website To-Do List

Put [Your name] on things you are working on!

  • Under ‘Events’ Tab, make google calendar PUBLIC so that users don’t have to sign-in to their google docs account to view the calendar. [Furst]

  • Under ‘Membership’ Tab, get a reliable system for joining going – i.e. Register user for an access card, the mailing list, and a website account, all under this one section. - Under the Wiki, set all pages to be OPEN to viewing (but not to writing) by default. [Furst]

  • Interface the BUILDS Website Account Registration with Wordpress accounts, so users can push posts. [Furst]

  • Auto-place new projects generated via BUILDS Website Control Panel on PROJECTS page in the wiki. [Furst]

  • Fix bug on the front page, wherein only 3 post boxes are displayed. [Furst]

  • Email verification before accounts created [Furst]

  • Verify account name is not already in our system [Furst]

  • Pull Name from BU Directory [Furst]

  • Allow members to change passwords [Furst]

  • Add Projects link to the wiki sidebar