The Office of the Architect for the University (OAU) oversees architectural design of all capital and non-capital projects that result in a new facility or an exterior or significant interior change to existing facilities. This includes all UVA-owned or affiliated sites. From the earliest planning stages through project conception, the Office of the Architect works with campus constituent groups and/or project stakeholders to develop project level design guidelines. The Office of the Architect is also responsible for the University’s two-step architect selection process, and the actual oversight and approval of the design of architectural projects, including serving as the liaison with both the Board of Visitors and the Commonwealth Art and Architectural Review Board.
The OAU continually seeks to incorporate sustainability into the preservation, planning, and design of the University of Virginia through collaboration with the UVA Office for Sustainability, the University Committee on Sustainability, the Grounds Plan, LEED Certification for all new and renovation projects, preserving our existing building resources and their embodied energy, and incorporating native plants and award-winning storm-water management in the landscape of the Grounds. The University's first Environmental Footprint Reduction Plans, developed by the Office of the Architect, led the Board of Visitors to commit UVA to reduce both carbon and nitrogen footprints to 25% below 2009 levels by 2025. This commitment has been recently revised to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and be fossil fuel free by 2050.
The University of Virginia demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through a diverse set of initiatives ranging from energy conservation and recycling measures to interdisciplinary coursework and Academic Institutes.