Featured Project:

Your Campus Partner for Over 20 Years

Florida Gulf Coast University -
South Village

Overview:


2008 BEST COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY PROJECT

Description:

For over 10 years, UHS has helped Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) meet their increasing student housing needs to become the fastest growing public university in Florida, now with over 11,200 students. FGCU South Village, UHS' latest master-planned project and FGCU's first five-story facility, opened its first phase of housing, Everglades Hall, in August 2008. Consisting of 407 suite-style beds, a dining hall, associated parking, campus support facilities and a central energy plant, the project is a well-crafted collaborative effort among all parties involved and serves as a model in sustainable design towards a true living-learning community. Due to its success, FGCU selected UHS to develop a sister building, Biscayne Hall, in which LEED Silver accreditation is being sought. Biscayne Hall was completed in July of 2009.

Known as Florida's "environmental university," FGCU's guiding philosophy is to instill in their students a consciousness that balances their economic and social aspirations with the imperative for ecological sustainability. Adhering to this guiding principle, the FGCU Foundation fostered a collaborative approach to the development process that ensured that the project’s environmental goals were clearly communicated to all project stakeholders. These project drivers included:

UHS worked closely with our design team, HADP Architecture, and construction partner, Kraft Construction Company, to develop a building program that is sustainably responsible and eco-friendly. While the site chosen for the South Village encompassed a total of 124 acres, the final development plan utilized just less than 50 acres to achieve the stated goals. By honoring the University’s commitment to the environment by the responsible use of this land, UHS has further demonstrated our firm’s strong shared commitment to FGCU’s goal of developing projects with a focus on ecological sensitivity. 

A responsible development is characterized by more than just responsible design; it is also about the responsible execution of that design. The South Village project incorporated many sustainability measures not only in the building and its systems but also in the development of the site.

The potential impact of a development of this magnitude, built on a tightly constrained site surrounded by wetlands, was significant.  UHS performed a detailed evaluation of many different building systems with sensitivity to both cost and environmental impact.  The result was the determination of a building structural system that was both highly cost effective and non-damaging to the surrounding environment.

To minimize vehicle generated dust and other anthropogenic emissions, the entire building structure was precast offsite at a local manufacturer and transported to FGCU.  This approach significantly reduced the impact of construction traffic through a heavily populated campus, reduced jobsite vehicular dust by limiting the number of vehicles and workers required on site and eliminated a considerable amount of waste debris due the fabrication of these components in a controlled environment. These measures alone significantly reduced the development’s “carbon footprint” and aided in the maintaining of the pristine flora and fauna surrounding the project site.

Additional measures undertaken include:

As importantly, UHS also placed a very high priority on limiting the "off-gassing" of volatile organic compounds (VOC) of all interior finishes, thereby immediately creating a living environment more conducive to learning. 

Although it was not originally intended to be a LEED certified building, the project is currently being reviewed for compliance to certification standards.

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