The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) just announced that the University of Texas at El Paso Campus Transformation Project is the first project in the world to receive the official GBCI Sustainable Sites designation. SITES was created to align land development and management with innovative sustainable design, helping to create ecologically resilient communities, and benefit the environment, property owners, and local and regional communities and economies.
Awarded SITES Silver by the GBCI, the UTEP Campus Transformation Project completed the outdoor space reconfiguration that began more than 10 years ago. At the heart of this 12-acre project is the creation of a continuous pedestrian environment that uses walkways, bike paths, and green spaces to knit together campus buildings, improve circulation to and from campus, increase pedestrian safety, and create more inviting gathering spaces on an inner campus that has previously been dominated by vehicles. In addition to improving safety, this more appealing campus environment and the sense of community it builds will help to foster student success.
Highlights on the project include the creation of Centennial Plaza, a traffic-free meeting place; and the redesign of many areas of campus, including Leech Grove, The Arroyo, and Miner Alley, with new pathways, bike lanes, fountains, and shaded gathering spots.
Ten Eyck Landscape Architects was the prime consultant and lead designer of the project. Lake/Flato Architects was a sub-consultant responsible for the design of the shade structure. Others contributing firms include Quantum Civil Engineers (Civil Engineer); AEC (Structural Engineer); EEA (MEP Engineer); Aqua Irrigation (Irrigation Designer); RLB (Cost Control Consultant); Altura Solutions (Accessibility Consultant); Biohabitats (Ecological Engineer); Regenerative Environmental Design (Sustainability Consultant); and Yarnell & Associates (Lighting Designer); LAS (Local Site Reviewer).