From the beginning, UTAD has sought to follow good environmental practices and management of green spaces. In May 1988, the Ibero-Macaronesian Association of Botanic Gardens recognized the campus as a Botanic Garden, having considered as botanical foundations areas with significant botanical value, including cliffs and terraces facing the Corgo River, traces of forest forest arboretum and the landscaped areas surrounding the buildings.
Characterized by a vast and diverse group of natural resources, the UTAD Campus is composed of a diverse set of ecological systems that promote the occurrence of a large number of species which it is vital to preserve. Sustainable use of the natural resource is the determining tool for building a healthy, genuine and resilient economy.
Aware of the need to incorporate environmental ethics in its activity, UTAD decided to focus on the creation of an Eco campus and to commit to ecological sustainability, through physical operations, academic and research programs, as well as sports, cultural and technological aspects .
In this context, the promotion of an environmental sustainability agenda has been sought, involving the entire academic community and the users of the Botanical Garden in practices of continuous improvement of environmental performance, betting on the fulfillment of commitments from the planning of the campus, energy efficiency , renewable energy sources and air quality, resource and waste management, water conservation and effluent management, and environmental training and participation of the academic community.
In recent years, measures have been taken to reduce the carbon footprint of university facilities, which, although recognized as a multi-year plan, represent a structural measure for UTAD. One of the objectives is the recognition of the University Campus at the level of ISO 14001 and 50001. In this sense important steps have been taken, both in the reduction of the energy bill and in the management of water and waste. In 2017 and 2018, an important step was the energy and air quality certification, under Decree-Law no. 118/138, of all UTAD’s buildings.
Likewise, the environmentally friendly materials in the built heritage have been phased out gradually, and strategies have been adopted for sustainable construction in new buildings.
In the scope of efficient resource management, a system for monitoring energy consumption, water, and air quality and thermal comfort was also implemented. This system, designed at UTAD as a scalable and integrative tool, was built in 2016 with about 1000 sensors, counting around 2500 at the end of 2017.
The campus has been the target of successive interventions in the green spaces, fulfilling the Botanical Garden’s requalification plan outlined by Professor Torres de Castro that accompany the requalification of the buildings and privilege the “return” to the academy of outdoor spaces that were designed for socializing, studying, and resting, but whose access was not evident. This scenario includes the spaces that function as an extension and expansion of the covered areas.
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