UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA                                                                                                          GROUNDS PLAN                                                                                                          OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT





Infrastructure systems provide energy and water, and manage the flow of sanitary sewer / stormwater for the University.  The University’s infrastructure systems--electrical, heating, cooling plants and utility corridors, as well as waste, recycling, stormwater management, and metering and information systems--represent both the key to infill development on Grounds and its limit.  Efficient, reliable, and innovative management of these systems is crucial to the continued expansion and improvement of the University’s academic, research, residential and athletic facilities.


Infrastructure Objectives

UVA’s Energy and Utilities Department of Facilities Management provides efficient and reliable utilities and recycling to facilities in support of the University.  This is accomplished with appreciation for renewable and recoverable resources, dedication to environmental conservation, and pride in the historical and cultural legacy of the Grounds.  The Department is responsible for minimizing energy and water usage through its management program, which considers all opportunities for achieving energy savings, including consolidation of plants, design and implementation of energy saving operations, and commissioning and scheduled maintenance procedures.  Natural systems, specifically streams and related hydrological networks within the Grounds, act as green infrastructure, helping to perform critical stormwater management functions.  Based on a “Water Balance” model, a strategic plan has been created for the University to help minimize net stormwater impacts and demonstrate the value of alterative management techniques involving natural system restoration for developed areas that sustain large amounts of stormwater run-off.  A robust recycling program reduces the University’s solid waste by more than 40%.

  • Facilitate infill development on Grounds through continued consolidation of utility plants into regional-scale facilities, providing more efficient distribution of energy.
  • Reduce or achieve a zero growth rate in annual heating energy, electric energy, central plant chilled water and total annual water use on a per unit basis.
  • Decrease the University’s ‘carbon footprint’ as rapidly as possible given the identified technical and financial constraints.
  • Meet or exceed state mandates for recycling disposable materials and further reduce the amount of disposable materials transported to a landfill.
  • Consider opportunities to integrate compatible utility and non-utility projects and uses where appropriate, including covering utility corridors with crushed gravel for use as pedestrian and bicycle paths, day-lighting underground streams, and stabilizing stream banks as part of utilities maintenance adjacent to underground or impaired natural waterways.
  • Strive for a stormwater management system that replicates the natural water balance of the region, reducing run-off and flooding, maximizing groundwater infiltration, and improving water quality for the region.
  • Coordinate with the City, County and regional utility authorities to ensure operational efficiency and seek opportunities for further development of sustainable approaches to infrastructure development.

BY pursuing these objectives embodying the principles of environmental quality and connectivity—promoting interaction within the University community, multiple uses of green spaces and buildings, ease and safety of circulation, a pleasing spatial order, mindful management of resources and impact—the Grounds Plan assures that all the University’s systems can accommodate growth compatible with sustainability.

Section 3 of the Plan, drawing on the Grounds Plan program model developed by UVa, provides an estimate of growth for the next twenty years with the use of redevelopment zones. This approach shows in concrete ways how redevelopment within and among the University’s main precincts—Central, West, and North Grounds—can meet projected needs and heighten opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration, increasing the integration and coherence of the University’s academic, spatial, and cultural environment.