In the spring of 2008, the Quad underwent a dramatic renovation. It was transformed into a park-like setting for residents’ relaxation and enjoyment. As part of this transformation, the Washington Quad now features the campus’ first stormwater irrigation system. A 10,000 gallon cistern receives stormwater from the roofs of the surrounding buildings. A computer controlled system then directs the water to a drip irrigation system to the plant beds nearby. The system eliminates the need to water all the beds during warm periods and thereby also reduces costs. In addition to collecting stormwater, the project included other sustainable efforts such as:
- replacing approximately 30 percent of concrete and asphalt with grass and other plantings;
- increasing the number of replacement trees on the finished site by 33 percent, in addition to adding hundreds of new foundation plants and shrubs;
- adding recycling and trash containers on the site;
- salvaging and re-using some existing sidewalk brick;
- recycling concrete, asphalt, and other construction waste (instead of dumping into local landfills);
- planning for the mulch for new plant beds to come from the composted food waste taken from campus dining facilities; and
- adding 12 new bicycle racks.