Over the past decade, Carolina completed $2.3 billion in capital improvements and expanded the square footage on campus by 58%. The more than 6.8 million square feet of new or renovated space on the campus is more space than exists on many college campuses. This growth has been guided by a Campus Master Plan and Campus Development Plan that incorporate the full range of smart growth principles — mixed uses; compact buildings; multi-modal, pedestrian-oriented transportation; varied housing types; preservation and creation of green space; and collaboration among a large and diverse group of stakeholders.

All new buildings entering design since 2008 will achieve a minimum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver performance standard. They will also use at least 30 percent less energy than allowed by N.C. Building Code standard. A Sustainable Campus Walking Tour Map is available for those interested in seeing these high performance buildings.



UNC Facilities Planning & Design

Carrington Hall Addition

Carrington RoofCompleted in 2005, the Carrington addition is the first building in the UNC system to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certification is voluntary and based on design and construction practices that promote environmentally responsible buildings that are healthy places to work.

Carrington is the first campus building with a semi-intensive green roof to capture rain water and reduce stormwater runoff. Additional green features include drought resistant plants, high albedo surfaces, natural daylighting, recycled content, air monitoring systems, local building materials, and much more.


Carrington Hall Building Brochure

Environment, Health and Safety Building

Completed in early 2006, the new Environment Health and Safety (EHS) building is the first on campus to incorporate controlled daylighting. Rooftop “monitors” harvest daylight while excluding glare and unwanted heat gain. Light sensors ensure that electric lights only turn on when required, thus reducing electricity bills and the need for cooling.

Because the EHS building and a new facility for the in-house, small project construction staff have joined the existing physical plant and warehouse space, a district cooling system was installed to serve the entire complex. This cooled water loop will improve efficiencies and result in less noise than stand-alone compressors.

FedEx Global Education Center

FedEx Global Education CenterOpened in the spring of 2007, the Global Education Center is home to multiple departments that uniquely integrate student and faculty services with academic instruction and research.

Previously a surface parking lot, the building site for the Global Education Center was designed around a grove of oak trees that remain part of the property. Next to this grove is a multi-purpose green area designed to store rainwater in an underground cistern. The stored water is used for on-site irrigation and toilet flushing.

An underground parking deck, comprised of 134 spaces on 2 levels, reduces impervious surface area. The slope of the land helps to conceal the parking garage. Expanded green space and underground parking resulted in a 7% decrease in impervious surface. The Global Education Center also features a green roof, which contains two permeable, drought-tolerant sedum gardens that minimize stormwater runoff and reduce the urban heat island effect.

Additional green features include local construction materials, day-lit spaces, air monitoring systems, and water efficient plumbing.


FedEx Global Education Center Building Brochure

Morrison Residence Hall

Completed in Fall 2007, the Morrison Residence Hall renovation was another High Performance Building project. Morrison is now connected to the centralized chilled water system. A new heating system and energy-efficient windows were also installed.

Morrison was the first building on campus to incorporate renewable energy technology. 176 solar thermal panels were mounted on the roof of all four wings of the building to provide domestic hot water. The plumbing system draws first on solar-heated water from the storage tank and then adds steam-heated water when supplementing is required. The student-run Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RESPC) committed $184,000 for the solar array. The North Carolina State Energy Office also awarded a $137,500 grant to fund the project.

Morrison is also home to the Sustainability Living Learning Community. Students participate in programs on sustainability, such as dormitory composting,compete in energy/water saving contests, and complete projects that further their understanding of sustainability. Submetering of the building’s electricity, water, heating and cooling loads provides real-time, web-based feedback to the students. This can be accessed online or via a special touch-screen kiosk in the building’s lobby.

Morrison dormitory was the winner of the EPA‘s first annual Working Off the Waste Competition, reducing energy consumption by 36% and averting 733 metric tons of waste ona budget of only $35,000. It remains a national leader in energy efficiency.

Green features in Morrison include a more efficient HVAC system, water efficient landscaping, low emitting materials, and daylighting of 75% of spaces.


North Carolina Botanical Garden Education Center

Botanical Garden Education CenterOpened in fall 2009, the Education Center at the Botanical Garden is a LEED Platinum building—the highest designation of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. The building employs green features such as rainwater cisterns, stormwater retention ponds, site selection, and clerestory windows, and is the first building at Carolina to employ a geothermal heating/cooling system and photovoltaic panels. Solar panels atop the building provide 20% or more of the total electricity to the building.

Almost all of the water used to irrigate the conservation gardens is harvested from rainfall and stored in cisterns. Reclaimed wastewater flushes the toilets, reducing potable water consumption in the building by 60 percent. Permeable pavers and an underground storage system manage the stormwater that falls on the parking lot.

The building incorporates a wide range of sustainable building practices, including local and salvaged materials, efficient lighting systems, and an abundance of porches and breezeways to connect occupants and visitors to the outdoors.


NC Botanical Garden Brochure


NC Botanical Garden

Rams Head Plaza

Located within a short walk of 9,000 residential students and most campus classrooms, Rams Head Plaza connects South Campus and Main Campus. Built in place of an existing parking lot, the facility boasts a dining hall, recreation center, intensive green roof, and two large rainwater cisterns all built around a 700- space parking garage. This dramatically reduces the need for driving on or around campus.

The 40,000 square foot green roof absorbs rainwater, while two cisterns collect and hold roof runoff. The 30-inch deep green roof can hold 32,000 gallons of water and support trees that will eventually grow to 40-60 feet tall. The two cisterns hold 56,000 gallons, filled by 2.7 inches of rainfall.

Besides offering a range of sustainable dining options, the Rams Head Dining Hall was also designed to be a more sustainable dining facility. Food waste from kitchen and dish lines is pulped and dehydrated for composting. Waste kitchen grease is also kept and turned into fuel.


Rams Head Center Fact Sheet Building Brochure


Carolina Dining Services

Facilities’ Service Station

Another new building to benefit from increased daylight is the Facilities’ Service Station. Two of the five work bays have extended height ceilings and windows that wrap around all four sides of the extension. The daylight, coupled with white reflective floor paint, results in many of the electric lights remaining off during the day. The wash bay is open to the outdoors and requires no electric lighting.

Frank Porter Graham Student Union

UNC has installed a zinc roof on the Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Zinc roofing is 100% recyclable, often made with recycled/salvaged material, nontoxic, especially as compared to lead-coated copper roofing, and uses half of the energy in production compared with copper roofing. It also has a life cycle of 50 to 100 years, bringing its life cycle costs down below shingles or stainless steel.

Genome Sciences Building

The Genome Sciences building, constructed on a former surface parking lot in the center of campus, houses biology laboratories, offices for faculty from multiple disciplines, classrooms, and a rooftop greenhouse. The 190,000 square foot building contains a variety of environmentally friendly features such as a green roof, low-e glazing, and lots of natural sunlight. The building’s cement is recycled from a steel industry byproduct, and 90% of the materials discarded during construction were recycled.

The building uses 72% less potable water than standard buildings of comparable size. It is also the first campus building to use chilled beams that provide cooling independent of the ventilation system. The Genome Sciences Building is certified LEED Gold.


Genome Sciences Building Brochure

Marsico Hall

Marsico Hall, a cross-curricular building for the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and the Institute for Nanomedicine, is designed to LEED Silver certification. Heat created by the imaging equipment will be used for steam and cooling purposes, cooling six nearby buildings. A rainwater storage tank will provide water for irrigation.

Koury Oral Health Sciences Building

The 216,000 square foot Koury Oral Health Sciences Building on South Columbia replaced the outdated Dental Research Center and Dental Office buildings. Its green features combine to make the building 40% more water efficient and 36% more energy efficient. Construction incorporated recycled content and 40% regional materials. A condensation recovery system provides more than four times the building’s irrigation needs by capturing ten gallons of water for every 50,000 cubic feet of air that cycles through the ventilation system. A touchscreen in the lobby displays the building’s energy usage and savings, as well as its LEED Gold certification.


Koury Oral Health Sciences Building Brochure

Manifold Fume Hoods

UNC has specified manifold fume hood systems in the Science Complex and installed them in the McGavran-Greenberg building. These designs offer significant savings in energy use, materials, labor, operation and maintenance, and space. In addition, manifold systems offer flexibility, redundancy and safety – the dilution of exhaust from these designs lessens potential risks.

Sustainable Flooring

Approximately 50% of the carpets on campus contain recycled material.

Natural linoleum is made from rapidly renewable materials (such as linseed oil, pine rosin, limestone dust, and jute), lasts longer, and produces less offgassing than vinyl flooring. Natural linoleum floors are found in the following buildings:

  • Giles Horney
  • Health Sciences Library
  • Brauer Hall
  • McColl
  • Beard Hall

Rubber flooring is made from natural rubber, which is a rapidly renewable resource, and contains 10-50% recycled rubber. Rubber also has a lower life-cycle cost due to ease of maintenance. Rubber flooring does not require stripping, waxing and sealing like VCT and linoleum. Rubber flooring is found in the following buildings:

  • Neurosciences Research
  • South Building
  • Rosenau
  • Giles Horney
  • Housing Facilities Office (in Teague Hall)
  • Graham Hall/Aycock Hall link
  • Bioinformatics
  • Taylor Student Health (Physical Therapy)
  • Student Recreation Center