Paving the way to sustainability

Students walk towards the Davis Centre on the newly paved pathway.

Third-year Environment student revamps the Davis Centre courtyard

Elspeth Holland, a third-year Environment and Business student, joined the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI) in the spring of 2013, and by August she was the Project Leader of the Davis Centre (DC) Redevelopment Project. Last week, after almost a full year of hard work, the dirt pathways between DC and the Mathematics & Computing building (MC) were paved.

The DC Redevelopment Project originated as an effort to revitalize the Math Quad and educate students on successful paving alternatives, and initially, it got off to a rocky start with Elspeth struggling to find funding sources. Regardless, she persevered and after giving many presentations and writing multiple proposals, she found funding to complete the project.

“I have not stopped working on this project since last year and I can't believe it is becoming a reality,” she said as the short week of construction behind DC began.

The DC Redevelopment Project is entirely sustainable, and is a joint effort between the SCI and the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT), a graduate civil engineering group. The pavement stones, supplied by Oaks Pavers, provide a permeable pavement solution that allows water to irrigate between the stones and encourage a healthy courtyard ecosystem. This paving solution will reduce ice and mud on the path around the year.

The DC Redevelopment Project has received great feedback from students and staff, and Elspeth is happy to see that people appreciate the new courtyard.

 "This is the exact definition of a Sustainable Campus Initiative. well done @sustain_campus! #pathproject @UWFeds"

 "The path to DC is paved! IS this real life? #uwaterloo"

Though the project is finally completed, Elspeth doesn’t yet see it as completely successful. “Success will be achieved if this courtyard serves as an example of student achievement and collaboration between the university, students, and private companies. I hope that people love this space and spend more time in the area,” she said. “I look forward to seeing how people will use the new space and what sorts of construction projects other students may take on in the future.”

You can read more about the DC Redevelopment Project on Sustain Education and Feds News, and don’t forget to get outside and enjoy the revitalized space.

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