At a Glance

A comprehensive Landscape Framework Plan is an important component in the University’s sustainability goals to achieve net zero water and greenhouse gasses.

Project Description

Faced with growing enrollment demands, the University of North Carolina (UNC) sought a comprehensive landscape framework for the 720-acre main campus to support and enhance vital native ecosystem components. To develop a Landscape Framework Plan that explores holistic, resilient solutions for future projects that aim to address increased educational demands, UNC turned to a master planning team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (MVVA).

Biohabitats supported MVVA by providing historical context related to campus ecological assessments and planning; green stormwater infrastructure assessments, planning and design; and sustainability goal setting, with a focus on landscape ecology, water use, and management. Biohabitats reviewed existing stormwater infrastructure in future project areas and helped develop innovative solutions to improve water quality and reduce flooding. The team completed stream channel and stormwater outfall surveys and used the data to craft recommendations on potential stabilization and enhancement projects. Biohabitats also identified native plant communities that thrive in the region and developed a list of recommended native species to plant for upcoming projects.

The final plan addresses UNC’s goals to replace lost tree canopy, restore habitat, improve carbon storage, reduce heat islands, and mitigate flooding. As UNC grows, the plan will ensure that future expansion projects not only maintain the campus’ aesthetic appeal, but also improve stormwater management strategies and ecological function.



Southeast Atlantic

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Ecological Restoration


The University of North Carolina


Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Project Team
  • VHB
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.