UE Earns Sustainability Award from City of Evansville


The University of Evansville has earned top honors for water conservation in the inaugural year of the City of Evansville’s Sustainable Evansville Awards.

Along with Hafer Associates and Mackey Mitchell Architects, UE won the “Water” category for the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building, the first LEED-certified building on campus and in the City of Evansville.

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and Dona Bergman, director of the City of Evansville’s Department of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Quality, presented the award during the Rotary Club of Evansville’s lunch meeting Tuesday, December 6 at the Coliseum.

The 35,000-square-foot Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building opened in August 2007 and received LEED certification in February 2009. The building, an addition to the existing McCurdy Alumni Memorial Union building, set a new standard for energy-efficient design at the University of Evansville.

One area of emphasis in the project was water management and conservation. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures, such as low-flush toilets, were utilized. Landscaping around the building was designed to eliminate the need for irrigation so a sprinkling system was unnecessary. Drought-resistant plants shade the building to reduce solar heat gain.

One remarkable feature is the stormwater infiltration/detention system, which includes reinforced corrugated plastic arches installed underneath the parking lot. During heavy rains, instead of rainwater flowing into and overloading the combination sewer system, discharging untreated sewage into the Ohio River, the rainwater is captured and slowly percolates into the soil. This stormwater management system also improves water quality because bacteria consume contaminants before the water enters the soil, preventing pollution of the water table.

As a result of the implementation of these and other green design features, the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building achieved energy savings of 24 percent and water savings of 33 percent, compared to conventional construction.

The Sustainable Evansville Awards were created to recognize those who have made important contributions to sustainability during the last five years. The program was open to entities in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, and Gibson counties. From a pool of nominees, winners were chosen by a panel of five experts, each with profound knowledge of Evansville and/or sustainability issues. For more on the Sustainable Evansville Awards, visit the City of Evansville’s website here.