The Student Center site has been designed and developed with several key sustainable features.

Selected Green Features

A. High albedo roofing to reduce heat island effect

B. Bicycle storage racks

C. Rainwater collection for reuse in landscaping irrigation

D. Adapted vegetation to minimize water usage

Photo of Student Center with sustainable features marked A-D


Promoting Sustainability

The Student Center meets the LEED criteria for site selection and development. Site selection and development are important components of a building’s sustainability. The Sustainable Sites category of LEED certification promotes sustainability in several ways:

  • It discourages development on previously undeveloped land.
  • It seeks to minimize a building's impact on ecosystems and waterways.
  • It encourages regionally appropriate landscaping.
  • It rewards smart transportation choices; It controls stormwater runoff.
  • It promotes reduction of erosion, light pollution, heat island effect and construction-related pollution.

Native and Adaptive Vegetation

Photo of native and adaptive plants around the Student Center

Native and adaptive vegetation requires less water, chemical pesticides, fertilizers and maintenance. By evaluating the regional and microclimatic conditions of campus, GGC has arranged over 40 plants and grasses that will thrive in the existing environment.  Several of the native plants and trees that aid in reducing water usage around the Student Center may be found in the table below.

The landscaping around the Student Center is irrigated with rainwater diverted from the roof of the building to a retention pond. Rainwater irrigation not only conserves the use of potable water, but also helps prevent erosion from stormwater runoff.

Native and Adaptive Vegetation at the Student Center

Acer rubrum 'October Glory', Red Maple

Ilex vomitoria 'Schillings Dwarf,' Yaupon Holly

Acer saccharum 'Legacy', Sugar Maple

Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens,' Holly

Azalea indica 'Formosa,' Azalea

Illicium anisatum, Anise

Azalea hybrida 'Conlep,' Autumn Twist Azalea

Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet,' Sweetspire

Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy,' Barberry

Juniperus chinesis sargentii 'Viridis,' Green Sargents Juniper

Betula nigra 'Dura Heat', River Birch (Multi)

Lagerstroemia x faurei 'Tuskegee,' Crape Myrtle

Calamagrostis x acentiflora 'Karl Foster,' Feather Reed Grass

Liriope muscarii 'Big Blue,' Big Blue Liriope

Cedrus deodora, Cedar

Loropetalum chinensis 'Purple Pixie,' Lorpetalum

Cephalotaxus haringtonia 'Prostrata,' Japanese Plum Yew

Loropetalum chinensis 'Ruby,' Fringe Flower

Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud

Magnolia gradiflora 'Claudia Wannamaker,' Magnolia

Chrysanthemum x 'Becky,' Shasta Daisy

Magnolia gradflora 'Brackens Brown Beauty,' Beauty Magnolia

Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam,' Coreopsis

Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues,' Switchgrass

Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana,' Mouse-Eared Coreopsis

Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Boston Ivy

Corunus florida 'Cherokee Princess,' Dogwood

Phlox subulata 'Emerald Blue,' Phlox

Cryptomeria japonica 'Radicans,' Cryptomeria

Quercus nutallii, Nutall Oak

Cynodon dactylon 'Sahara,' Sahara Bermuda Grass Seed

Raphiolepis inica 'Alba,' White Raphiolepis

Cynodon dactylon 'Sahara,' Sahara Bermuda Grass Sod

Rosa x 'Radrazz,' Knock Out Rose

Echinacea purpurea, Purple Cone Flower

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm,' Black-Eyed Susan

Hosta lancifolia 'Albo-Marginata,' Variegated Hosta

Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana,' Dwarf Burford Holly

Trachelospermum asiaticum, Asiatic Jasmine

Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf,' Holly

Ulumus americana 'Princeton,' American Elm