Sustainable Campus Development

How does a university find opportunities to grow in a manner that is not detrimental to the environment? Sustainable development is a primary consideration at University of Maryland, Baltimore. UMB’s Office of Design and Construction incorporates sustainable practices in its Urban Design Guidelines which act as guiding principles for developing the University’s campus. Cross collaboration between the Offices of Design and Construction and Real Estate, Planning, and Space Management allow for opportunities and solutions for reuse of buildings and creative visioning for space utilization. 

“In the broadest sense, the University seeks to create a campus environment that actively improves the quality of life and the environment for its users. University operations will address sustainability as a continuous process affecting environmental, social, and fiscal concerns. Sustainable practices occur at all scales -- from the city and campus, to buildings and landscapes, to products used within those buildings.” 

Creating healthy spaces on campus is integral to the mission of the University. Green design not only mitigates the campus’s environmental impacts when it comes to continued development, but provides our students, faculty, and staff a better quality of life. 

LEED Buildings

UMB has built all new renovations and buildings to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standards since 2007. Following LEED standards helps save money, conserve energy, reduce water consumption, improve indoor air quality, and make better building material choices. To take things a step further, UMB has certified three (3) buildings and two (2) campus spaces.

Building/Space Name 

Rating System 

Certification Level 

Date Certified 

UMB Biopark 

LEED BD+C: Core & Shell 



UMB Pharmacy Hall Addition 

LEED BD+C: New Construction 



BRB 7th Floor Renovation 

LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors 



UMB Health Sciences Facility Phase Three 

LEED BD+C: New Construction 



UMB Design and Construction Office Suite 

LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors 




For additional information, visit the Maryland Green Building Council.

Landscaping & Green Spaces

D&C Green Wall in the Lexington Building

UMB has integrated thoughtful design into its landscaping to provide more green space onto campus. Whether that be a small bump out to incorporate a flower garden along walking paths, finding creative solutions to lessen the impervious area on campus, or saving older trees from new construction and “recycling” them by placing them in other spaces.

Stormwater management on campus also provides opportunities for additional greenery and usage of native plants. When you walk around campus, look around. Something that may look like a simple garden could actually be working hard to help treat rainwater.

When you can, visit the 6th floor of the Lexington Building. This space boasts a 20-foot-long living green wall that helps with filtering the air, provides greenery for the office space, and uses a sophisticated irrigation system that reduces the need for water.

Spaces to look forward to:

  • Pocket Park on Greene St. with mural
  • Green wall at the School of Nursing’s addition

Green Roofs

Green Roof on Health Sciences Research Facility III

UMB has three (3) green roofs on campus:

  1. Social Work (2008)
  2. Plaza Garage
  3. Health Sciences Research Facility III (2018)
    This green roof is accessible

Green roofs have a number of benefits:

  • Help reduce air pollution and GHG emissions
  • Help reduce building temperature
    • Reduce cooling costs/energy use
  • Help reduce heat island effect
    • Increase human health and comfort
  • Provide a source of stormwater runoff treatment.

Green roofs cool and humidify the surrounding air, provide a natural habitat for animals and plants, create biodiversity, reduce dust and smog levels, and absorb contaminants from rainfall and the air.

Additionally, green roofs reduce stormwater runoff, typically, by 50 to 90 percent. Not only do they greatly reduce the volume of stormwater runoff, but they also minimize the impact of stormwater on existing sewer systems.

Buildings with green roofs boast reduced cooling costs and dampened noise pollution. They also increase the life expectancy of a roof by protecting building materials from climatic extremes.

For additional information, visit EPA Green Roof Information.