lake nona student sidewalk



Our Green Buildings

Since 2006, Valencia College has built all new buildings to LEED Silver or Green Globes Level 2. We hire architects and building contractors with LEED AP qualifications and require that they design and implement to follow the LEED certification criteria or more recently to Green Globes standards.

Guidelines are provided to architects upon new construction. Compliance is assured through design review process and inspection by superintendents and Asst VP for Facilities and Sustainability.

General Information on our Green Buildings

Valencia College has been working to protect indoor air quality for students, faculty, staff and visitors. We are now a Smoke Free Campus. We work hard to prevent mold and mildew and to eliminate volatile organic compounds in paints, carpets, furniture, and equipment used. We use green housekeeping products.

Architectural and Engineering Guidelines

Operations and Maintenance Guidelines

See tabs at left for information on each campus and our green buildings.

Our Green Campuses

All of the Valencia College campuses have elements of the natural Central Florida environment. We seek to maintain and enhance these to use each Campus as a Living Laboratory. Special attention is given to using Florida native plants and create wildilfe habitat.

Tree Campus USA

Valencia College has been awarded the prestigious Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation, and is one of only 7 colleges in Florida to achieve this status this year. The college achieved this designation by meeting the required five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.More information about the Tree Campus USA program is available at

Tree Campus USA 2012

Tree Campus Service Learning Project 2012

Arbor Day Observances 2012

Tree Campus USA 2011

Tree Campus Service Learning Project 2011

Arbor Day Observance 2011

Valencia College received its Tree Campus USA plaque and flag at our March 29, 2012 Arbor Day Foundation Tree Planting Event. Jennifer Boettcher of the Arbor Day Foundation and Charlie Marcus, of the Florida Forest Service, presented Valencia with its Tree Campus USA plaque and flag.

Tree Campus USA Planting Event March 29. The grant to purchase 100 large trees for planting came from the Arbor Day Foundation in conjunction with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, with support from Toyota. Valencia is the only two-year college to receive a tree-planting grant this year – and it’s just the second community college to receive the grant since the Tree Campus program began in 2008. The other colleges receiving grants this year are Purdue University, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and University of Illinois, Chicago.

Big oak East Casmpus

New Student Orientation Tours

Plant and Habitat Checklist West Campus
Animal Checklist West Campus

Native Plants and Xeriscape

Valencia College has the following policy in its Architectural and Engineering Guidelines for new construction: 2.11 Landscaping 2.11.1 Statement of Intent

Landscape designs should be developed to provide landscaping that is relatively low cost and low maintenance and should emphasize simplicity, balance and ecological sensitivity.  Designs should incorporate plant materials that are water wise, disease, pest and drought tolerant.  The use of native plant material and natural plant arrangements is strongly encouraged, whenever possible. Natural landscaping is considered an important component of the design and the designer shall make every effort to incorporate existing natural landscapes into the design and to preserve any natural vegetation on the site.  Landscape and site designs should preserve existing trees to the maximum extent possible. Proposed removal of existing trees shall be thoroughly evaluated before committing to a design strategy.  The college encourages the preservation of wildlife habitat and the consideration of wildlife use in plant material selection. Landscape designs shall be based on the long term cost effectiveness and sustainability of the materials selected.  The use of materials requiring excessive pruning, which drop noxious fruit or plant parts is discouraged.  Landscape designs shall be cognizant of the need for a safe and secure environment for campus users.  The use of inappropriate plant materials (e.g., poisonous, sharp needled, nuisance or invasive) is discouraged.  Landscape and pedestrian area lighting shall be incorporated into the landscape design.  In general, all designs shall promote the principles of low cost, safe, sustainable, cost efficient and low maintenance landscapes.

See also Outdoor Water Use Efficiency

Wildlife Habitat

Valencia College campuses are managed as Wildlife Habitat to the extent possible. We have installed wood duck and other bird boxes on West Campus, an osprey platform on Osceola Campus, and are working on bat boxes, with monitoring for student research on West and East Campuses. We maintain native habitat, remove invasive plants to the extent possible, and plant native plants.

Master Planning with the Environment in mind

Valencia College has contracted with landscape and design firms to produce Master Plans for our campuses with the environment in mind.

Here are sample pages of plans for East and West Campuses. A Master Plan for Osceola Campus, to guide further native plant landscaping, is currently being developed. For further information on these plans, contact our Director, Energy Conservation & Sustainability at or 407-582-1706.

West Campus LAKE PAMELA Design Intent 2009-partial

East Campus Master Plan partial 2009 CTHsu

East Campus Green Plan2011-partial Aecom

Integrated Pest Management

Valencia College Grounds Services Departments follow an integrated pest management plan using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s four-tiered approach to integrated pest management as follows:

1)  Set action thresholds - Valencia College Grounds Services Departments will use a threshold of greater than 65% infestation prior to instituting chemical control.
2)  Monitoring - The Grounds Services Departments will monitor and identify pests on a routine basis.
3)  Prevention - IPM programs work to manage the crop, lawn, or indoor space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. The Design Choices and Cultural Practices described in these guidelines are Prevention measures.
4)  Control - The college uses mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding, and where chemical treatment seems to be the only resort, organic and biological controls are preferentially chosen.

Landscape Waste Composting

East Campus and Osceola Campus have compost piles for landscape waste, with East Campus grinding its woody material. For all of our campuses Municipal Solid Waste goes to the Orange County Landfill which charges for disposal of Yard Waste. Yard waste collected from Orange County homes and businesses is composted and made available to residents at no charge. Grounds crew periodically picks up and uses this compost.






The Grove