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Sustainability -

Building & Development

10106. Sustainable Building & Design


The goal of the Building and Development work group is to aim for campus policies for sustainable development, to create a healthy, ecological, economic, and socially responsible living and learning environment for all students and staff, and to make the school or campus a model of best practice for the community where it is located.

Steps Taken 

  1. New Construction
  2. Green Purchasing
  3. Storm Water Management
  4. Recycling on campus
  5. Energy efficient construction on campus


Program Description

New Construction

The University's first major plan is based upon best practices for sustainable initiatives. Example of this includes the LEED certification program "gray to green" concept of reducing surface parking lots and replacing them with more sustainable features including the landscape, green spaces and tree canopies. Another example would be the new Center St. Green project bordering the east edge of the campus at Center and Mitchell Streets which began construction in the second half of 2010.

Green Purchasing

The University through the Facilities Management Office continually explores product selections that are sustainable for both building construction and consumable products. This has been true for many years and examples include energy efficient roofs sometimes called "cool roofs," insulated glass with solar film, certified wood products such as those used in lab cabinetry, and the use of "green label plus" certified flooring materials. We have also incorporated use of sustainable building elements as in construction using "green cement" in concrete structures and longer life products including upgraded HVAC system components.

Storm Water Management

Storm water management improvements in this area have included the incorporation of a 28,000 gallon rainwater collection system for the Engineering Research building and the development of Center Street Green project. The rainwater collection system will retain approximately a one inch rainfall on site as well as the ability to capture condensate water from the air conditioning system's summer operation. This water will be used on site for irrigation purposes. Center St. Park project incorporates several sustainable features that are covered more thoroughly under another work group highlighting a rill garden which filters storm water prior to it leaving the site. The park also replaces four large apartment buildings that were acquired by the university in 2009 and demolished, resulting in increased green space on campus concurrent with the Campus's Master Plan.

Demolition Debris Recycling

Demolition debris from structures removed is consistently recycled as a sustainability initiative. Recent examples include the removal of Coronado and the Alpha/Delta apartment complexes. This practice is currently routine for all demolition work.

Green Roofs

Green roof initiatives are incorporated into new construction where practical; the Engineering Research Building currently incorporates green roof technology.

Innovation Design

Innovation design construction will increase where buildings are intended to be functional beyond normal life expectancy. Construction materials such as concrete and steel structural elements are inherent in the design, an example of this includes the Engineering Research Building as well as the proposed Special Events Center and Parking Garage/Residence Hall planned.

College Town UTA 

Development of College Town, as part of developing a more sustainable campus, which will offer students an environment whereby they will be able to remain on campus, without leaving for a wide variety of additional services and amenities. Services congruent with the needs of the students as well as the immediate community are being considered within this project, a parking garage to be included will mitigate the need for additional surface parking thus preserving a more green campus. This parking structure will also feature a solar photo voltaic electrical generating source which will reduce the total energy off site requirements. This system is further discussed under the energy and water workgroup.

Pedestrian Malls

Within the Campus Master Plan is the concept of creating additional pedestrian malls in areas which are currently vehicular streets. A recent example includes the closure of West First St. between Yates and College streets. This area has been transformed into an attractive outdoor space featuring enhanced landscaping, with brick pavers and benches, etc. Yates St. east of Nedderman Hall was converted to a pedestrian mall as well.

Parking Lot Remodeling

Additional "gray to green" initiatives include the removal of a surface parking lot which formerly existed north of the Engineering Lab building. It reopened as an attractive mall with seating areas, water feature, and others concurrent with the opening of the ERB.

Greek Row Refurbishing

In 2009 Greek Row Drive was completely refurbished including the installation of underground utilities, the final product promotes landscaped islands which divide the student traffic flow thus creating a calmer and scenic traffic pattern. This renovation also increased pedestrian safety by providing islands for pedestrian crossings.

Historical Real Estate Review

Regarding real estate transactions for the university, when new properties are acquired an environmental assessment is conducted by the University's Historic Review to reveal any potential for environmental concerns with its prior usage. An asbestos survey and review of other construction factors that would impact the sustainable nature of the property is also conducted. In those cases where the property structures are demolished, any necessary abatement of hazardous materials as well as the recycling of those products is also determined. The final product is a site restored to an appealing and aesthetically improved landscaped area.