green area on campus

Buildings and green spaces

Help us make every space on campus greener. We work actively to be stewards of the land by conserving and augmenting the natural environment of the campus.
green wall surrounded by students in the Faculty of Social Science building

Vision for buildings and green spaces

Our vision is to create a campus in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem and increase the amount of functional indoor and outdoor green space and establish a LEED Silver minimum standard for major construction projects.

Buildings and green space tips

Here are a few tips for how you can enjoy the green spaces on campus and help us improve the quality of our green spaces:

Don’t Litter
Tossing your waste on the ground creates pollution for humans and animals.

Take Advantage of the Space
If green space on campus is important to you, engage with it! The more the space is used, the more it will be incorporated into campus design and culture. So bring those textbooks outside and take in some fresh air.

Ask for More Plants
Being close to plants when you study can promote calmness and wellbeing. You can book space inside the plant room of the Wellness Lounge to get closer to plants indoors or you can send us requests to increase the number of plants in study spaces.

For more tips, please check out our Sustainability Tips page.

A student watering a garden plot in a community garden on campus

Progress

  • In 2017, the number of community garden plots increased to over 50 plots on campus.
  • Two buildings on campus have achieved LEED Gold certification, and another two buildings on campus are targeting LEED certification. This represents approximately 15% of the building space on campus.
  • Facilities has changed their building standards so that all roofs on campus that meet the requirements, must be a green roof.

LEED Certified Buildings

The University of Ottawa builds all its major buildings to a LEED Silver certification standard.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification, the international mark of excellence for green building, provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health:

  • sustainable site development
  • water savings
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • indoor environmental quality

A plan to green the campus

One of the “big moves” identified in Facilities’ Campus Master Plan, our framework for the evolution of the University, is to green it.  

More trees and landscaped open spaces will soften the built environment and create a more attractive campus; provide places for relaxation, gathering and learning; help to manage stormwater and mitigate the impacts of climate change; and generally support a healthy campus and healthy lifestyles. New landscaping initiatives implemented with every new development or renovation will ensure that the character and experience of the campus is gradually enhanced and extended to all areas of the campus.

A number of other landscape projects have been identified in the Plan, some of them to be implemented on their own and others associated with new buildings or infrastructure.

Plants and herbs growing in a pot ready to be planted in a uOttawa community garden

Community Gardens

There are over 50 community garden plots available on campus.

Living plant wall growing vertically in the Faculty of Social Science building at the University of Ottawa

Living Wall

The FSS Building houses one of North America’s largest biofilter walls. Our six story living wall is made up of 2000 plants of 12 different species. The biofilter living wall reduces the amount of air intake and lowers heating and cooling costs. The unit can even render the building’s humidifier unnecessary and lower concentrations of dust, fungal spores, and airborne bacteria as well.

Green roof with succulents growing on Henderson Residence at uOttawa

Green Roofs

The University of Ottawa has six buildings with green roofs. These roofs help reduce storm water run-off, cool down buildings, and provide shelter for animals and insects. Green roofs also help reduce the urban heat island effect. There are currently almost 3,814 m2 of green roof space on campus.

  • Colonel By - 1,719 m2
  • Henderson residence - 135 m2
  • Learning Crossroads - 331 m2
  • FSS - 963 m2
  • Montpetit - 273 m2
  • University Centre - 393 m2
Sun shining through the trees on the lawn in front of the Tabaret building at the University of Ottawa

Campus Green Spaces

The green spaces on campus offer places for the campus community to come gather, engage in recreation, relax and lounge, as well as providing essential ecosystem services.

  • Tabaret Lawn
  • Thompson Park
  • UCU Park
  • FSS Indigenous Garden
  • Park X
  • Husky Courtyard
  • STEM Park
  • Colonel By Green Roof
  • 200 Lees Park