In accordance with the 2006 Campus Master Plan, which declares the university’s intention to become “a model for environmental sustainability,” the outdoor landscape of the Davis Center features native plants, pedestrian and multi-use paths, and innovative ways to collect and recycle stormwater. UVM also chooses not to irrigate any plantings on campus, except on the University Green. Not to mention, the Davis Center actually added green space to UVM’s campus (the majority of the building was constructed over an old parking lot).
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- The grounds around Davis are planted with drought-resistant grasses and shrubs that are native to Vermont. This eliminates the need to irrigate and strengthens the connection between the campus community and local nature.
- Outdoor seating, pathways, and a performance space invite people in the Davis Center to value, respect and make use of campus green space.
- The 18,000 square foot green roof over the loading dock is planted with 11,900 square feet of a variety of drought-resistant grasses. Around the edges, tall ornamental grasses give the roof a garden feel without the need for watering: Flame Grass (Miscanthus purpurescens), Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon ‘Saphirsprudel’), Red Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Rostrahlbusch’), Blue Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’), and Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). In the center of the roof, a lawn of specially blended Fescues (Festuca sp.) and Ryegrasses (Lolium sp.) survives drought without irrigation: Creeping Red Fescue, Spartan Hard Fescue, Azay Sheep’s Fescue, Fiesta Perennial Rye and Annual Rye Grass.
- The green roof absorbs stormwater and uses the nutrients it contains to nourish the plants. Without the green roof, this stormwater would run off and carry salts and dissolved chemical nutrients into Lake Champlain, polluting it and contributing to unwanted algae blooms.
- The layer of soil on the green roof varies from 6 -21 inches deep with an average depth of 12-14 inches. It can hold up to 80 lbs of weight per cubic foot including the soil itself, the grasses and stormwater. If too much water falls onto the roof at once, the excess runs into roof drains located below the soil and at the level of the grass and paving. However, since the roof is designed to absorb between 12 and 42 lbs of water per cubic foot, only very large storms overload it.
- The roof is not designed for growing vegetables or other plants with heavy nutrient and water requirements. Large storm events have the potential to wash some nutrients from the roof down the drains so adding compost or fertilizer to the roof could result in wasteful pollution of Lake Champlain.
- With 100 outdoor spaces for bicycles and showers on every floor (in the gender-neutral bathrooms), the Davis Center makes it easier for people to walk, run or bike to campus.
- Main Street is one of Burlington’s busiest vehicle traffic areas, but thanks to the corridor that extends from the 1st floor of the Davis Center to the other side of Main Street, there is no longer any need to try to cross in front of cars. Check out the Sodexo Sustainability Gallery online and at the kiosk by corridor’s entrance to see how much energy and water the building is using in real time.
- The Campus Area Transportation System (CATS) shuttle buses pick up and drop off riders in front of the Davis Center oval near the building’s third floor entrance. These buses, which run on compressed natural gas and/or biodiesel, make it easy to get around campus.
- Local public transportation from Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) picks up on Main Street right outside of the Davis Center. Riding the CCTA buses, which run on biodiesel, is free for students, faculty and staff with an active UVM ID card.
Last modified January 24 2011 09:05 PM