The Catholic University of America

2012 Campus Master Plan
Section 4.16 – Sustainability Initiatives

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The Catholic University of America is committed to environmental stewardship as an important part of expressing its Catholic mission. The University supports the creation of a sustainable campus environment through landscaping, grounds and facilities maintenance, building construction, and renovation projects.

The Master Plan recommends that the University continue to expand its current initiatives and outlines campus-wide strategies that can further this mission, including the following:

– Reduce impervious surfaces by eliminating redundant vehicular streets currently dominating the campus

– Continue to install green roofs on new and renovated buildings when feasible

– Increase tree cover across the campus by planting large canopy trees in identified green corridors

– Implement low-impact stormwater designs, such as rain gardens and vegetated swales, as part of the landscape to reduce and filter runoff

– Continue metering program development for existing buildings to identify campus energy use

– Assess existing plant operations and distribution systems to determine ways of reducing carbon emissions. Improving the existing system’s efficiency to that of a typical steam plant could result in a reduction of 500 metric tons of carbon emissions per year.

– Consider specific retrofit programs for buildings with high-energy uses

– Reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by incorporating a district chiller plant in the initial planning for new construction

– Locate and design buildings to shield and reduce east-west sun exposure, capture summer winds and limit significant regrading of the existing terrain

– Ensure new buildings and major building renovations meet or exceed LEED guidelines

– Implement the proposed Transportation Demand Management Plan that reduces vehicular trips and provides incentives for using alternatives modes of transportation such as Metrorail and bicycling, while creating disincentives for driving to campus

– Encourage students to become active participants in realizing a more sustainable campus with academic initiatives and activities, such as challenges to conserve energy in student residences

Sustainability Plan