At UVM we are stewards of both tradition and innovation—our physical spaces reflect care for the world around us and our drive to propel academic life ever forward. Explore some of the thoughtful, intentional decisions that create our sustainable surroundings.
Green roofs in action: the Aiken Center's roof features eight research watersheds, sloped sections that channel unabsorbed water into separate drains for measurement and further data collection. While the roof's plantings actively absorb runoff, the roof also acts as a testing environment to improve green roof designs of the future.
Commitment to environmental design in new and renovated buildings
In 2006 UVM created a green building policy for all new buildings and major renovations, requiring at least a Silver rating in LEED, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). By 2020, six buildings were rated Gold, six Silver, and one, the Aiken Center, achieved Platinum. Learn more about our LEED buildings on campus.
Maintenance Makes a difference
Sustainability also includes being good stewards of our built environment, including our historic buildings. For nearly two decades, UVM has invested in addressing the deferred maintenance needs of its facilities, and performing regular preventive maintenance on building systems to ensure our campus buildings are sustained into the future.
Thoughtful Grounds Management
UVM's Grounds staff strive for ecologically responsible practices in all aspects of their work. Take snow and ice removal. Keeping roadways and walkways safe for the campus community is high priority but can be tough on the environment. By pre-treating road salt with a liquid product made from refined corn carbohydrate and magnesium chloride, salt usage is reduced. And did you know that UVM uses Integrated Pest Management practices to minimize use of chemical pesticides on campus?
The 459 acres of Main Campus are in four different stream watersheds (Centennial Brook, Englesby Brook, Potash Brook and Winooski River) that discharge to Lake Champlain. UVM takes runoff seriously.
- UVM uses best management practices to prevent, control, and treat stormwater runoff from campus, including use of swales and ponds and limits on where and how impervious surfaces can be established. Learn more
- UVM also works collaboratively, with the cities and towns we inhabit, to create facilities that help municipalities meet their stormwater obligations. This includes a combination irrigation and stormwater pond at the UVM Horticulture Farm, preservation of wetlands in Colchester, and smaller stormwater treatments on UVM land in South Burlington.
- UVM reps work with regional partners promoting the Rethink Runoff campaign. Check it out!
If you walk around campus you'll find a variety of physical facilities related to stormwater, some student-initiated, some research-related, and some demonstration projects providing real-life curricular opportunities:
- Green roofs on the Davis Center, Aiken Hall and University Heights South.
- Raingardens near the Votey parking lot, and near Redstone Apartments.
- Research into stormwater treatments near Jeffords Hall.