From the University of Texas at Dallas to Kroon Hall at Yale, we are breaking down some of the best examples of sustainable landscaping at universities. A great design can make all the difference in student engagement, school spirit, sustainability, and even enrollment.
3 Incredible Examples of Sustainable University Landscaping
University of Texas at Dallas
The landscaping project undertaken at the University of Texas at Dallas has actually improved enrollment rates while “radically changing the perception of [the] campus.” What was once a large parking lot is now home to newly planted trees, enough trees to omit the CO2 produced by driving 370,000 miles in a single passenger vehicle. In addition, the tree canopies intercept over 1 million gallons of stormwater runoff each year.
A survey of 334 UT Dallas campus users (including students, staff and faculty) revealed that it improved the perception of the campus for 87 percent of respondents. 70 percent of campus users said it also improved their quality of life by reducing stress and giving them more space to meet with friends in the great outdoors.
According to 44 percent of students surveyed, the appearance of the campus influenced their decision to apply or enroll at UT Dallas.
- The 1.1-mile main entry drive includes 71,825 square feet of native woodland. The forest is home to over 5,000 trees, some of which originated from other areas of campus. The tree-lined drive takes you to the formal entrance of the campus.
- The 24,090 square foot central arbor is made from Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer, which is a green alternative building material with a low carbon footprint and long lifespan.
- 97 percent of the greenery used throughout is native plants, reducing water consumption, as well as costs associated with maintenance and upkeep.
Kroon Hall, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, located in New Haven, Connecticut, has big shoes to fill when it comes to the landscaping of their campus – and they have done a great job doing just that. Once the site of a decommissioned power plant and parking lot, now rests an LEED Platinum building with two courtyards spanning across 3.5 acres.
The university’s landscape design includes a uniquely innovative rainwater system and phytoremediation that treats the first inch of rainfall to reduce the building’s potable water usage by as much as 81 percent. Each year, the school saves an impressive 634,000 gallons of potable water – they use zero potable water for irrigation.
The beautifully designed courtyards serve as a much-needed space for graduation, happy hour, school activities and alumni events, among many other things.
- The loading docks and utilities building have a green roof that is equipped with a water feature for rainwater harvesting.
- The south courtyard includes a 19,000 square foot ground-level green roof.
- There are 25 different plants found throughout the landscaping, all of which are native to Connecticut.
- By adding a 20,000-gallon underground harvesting tank, the school is able to collect pond overflow and excess rainwater that can be used for irrigation or transported to a different tank for further filtration before being used for plumbing purposes.
Loyola University Lake Shore Campus
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus ranks number four on the Sierra Club’s “America’s Greenest Colleges.” This is largely due to their stormwater capture and filtration system, water harvesting, 11 green roofs, and beautiful urban garden.
The school relocated to its current Lake Shore Campus on Lake Michigan back in 1912. In 2007, the university’s sustainability mission propelled a redesign that is now inspiring other campuses around the globe.
The school has been able to save $182,000 through the reutilization and retrofitting of existing light poles. Learn how you can restore your existing light posts with Post Covers.
- Loyola’s three campuses have the largest green roof area of any other Midwestern college.
- They addressed serious stormwater concerns related to their lakefront location by installing a series of on-site stormwater infiltration systems.
- The campus offers tours to as many as 800 visitors per year to show off their remodel and promote awareness of green infrastructure.
- The beautiful green campus provides local neighborhoods with land to plant and maintain a community garden that is home to 196 raised beds.
- In addition, the school produces over 2,500 pounds of produce and students are able to pull in around $4,000 in revenue from this produce using under 1/3 of an acre. An impressive twenty percent of all produce is donated to local food banks.
Put TerraCast on your Campus
Our long lasting and sustainable landscaping features and site furnishings add a wealth of benefits to all who implement them. From graffiti-resistant planters to a myriad of lighting fixtures to light up your campus after dark, we have so much to offer. Plus, many of our products qualify for LEED credits.