Grainger Hall is the home of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. The site design was conceived as a rehabilitation project which transformed the former highly unsustainable site into a usable, sustainable, and cohesive natural campus system. The site previously consisted of two asphalt parking lots and a vegetated hillside which created a 15-foot elevation change through the site. The rehabilitated site design eliminated the two parking lots and replaced them with new pedestrian-oriented campus spaces which connect Grainger Hall to the overall campus fabric and to the natural environmental systems. A green roof known as the “research roof” consists of undulating topography which creates a myriad of growing conditions for students to use in their research. The entire garden was planted with edible plants which are maintained and harvested by the students. In addition to the green roof, the project incorporated other high-performance sustainable systems such as a 25,000-gallon cistern for irrigation, FSC-certified wood decks, a 50% reduction in impervious surface, heat-reducing tree canopy, reduced stormwater runoff, and native/adapted plantings. Grainger Hall received LEED Platinum certification.
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