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
  • Acer saccharum 'Legacy', Sugar Maple
  • Azalea indica 'Formosa,' Azalea
  • Azalea hybrida 'Conlep,' Autumn Twist Azalea
  • Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pygmy,' Barberry
  • Betula nigra 'Dura Heat', River Birch (Multi)
  • Calamagrostis x acentiflora 'Karl Foster,' Feather Reed Grass
  • Cedrus deodora, Cedar
  • Cephalotaxus haringtonia 'Prostrata,' Japanese Plum Yew
  • Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud
  • Chrysanthemum x 'Becky,' Shasta Daisy
  • Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana,' Mouse-Eared Coreopsis
  • Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam,' Coreopsis
  • Corunus florida 'Cherokee Princess,' Dogwood
  • Cryptomeria japonica 'Radicans,' Cryptomeria
  • Cynodon dactylon 'Sahara,' Sahara Bermuda Grass Seed
  • Cynodon dactylon 'Sahara,' Sahara Bermuda Grass Sod
  • Echinacea purpurea, Purple Cone Flower
  • Hosta lancifolia 'Albo-Marginata,' Variegated Hosta
  • Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana,' Dwarf Burford Holly
  • Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf,' Holly
  • Ilex vomitoria 'Schillings Dwarf,' Yaupon Holly
  • Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens,' Holly
  • Illicium anisatum, Anise
  • Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet,' Sweetspire
  • Juniperus chinesis sargentii 'Viridis,' Green Sargents Juniper
  • Lagerstroemia x faurei 'Tuskegee,' Crape Myrtle
  • Liriope muscarii 'Big Blue,' Big Blue Liriope
  • Loropetalum chinensis 'Purple Pixie,' Lorpetalum
  • Loropetalum chinensis 'Ruby,' Fringe Flower
  • Magnolia gradiflora 'Claudia Wannamaker,' Magnolia
  • Magnolia gradflora 'Brackens Brown Beauty,' Beauty Magnolia
  • Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues,' Switchgrass
  • Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Boston Ivy
  • Phlox subulata 'Emerald Blue,' Phlox
  • Quercus nutallii, Nutall Oak
  • Raphiolepis inica 'Alba,' White Raphiolepis
  • Rosa x 'Radrazz,' Knock Out Rose
  • Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm,' Black-Eyed Susan
  • Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress
  • Trachelospermum asiaticum, Asiatic Jasmine
  • Ulumus americana 'Princeton,' American Elm