Buildings & Grounds

Our buildings and grounds are the spaces where the members of our community gather to pursue the University’s mission of excellence in education, research and creative work, service and health care. Our buildings are also the primary consumers of critical resources like energy and water and are our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. How we design, construct, maintain and operate our buildings can also become part of our curricula and research through use of the campus as a living laboratory/classroom. For these reasons, buildings are a critical component of our sustainability initiatives. Facilities are not islands – they are connected to and by our landscape – another key area for sustainability.












Virtually all new construction on campus targets LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system and this must include a minimum of seven points from the Optimize Energy Performance Credit. In 2010 UK opened its first LEED certified facility, the Davis Marksbury Building. When the projects currently under construction are completed and certified, the university will have more than 25 LEED buildings representing more than 15% of our total building stock. Fourteen of these are new residence halls which are designed to be an average of 60% more efficient than their predecessors. 

Registered LEED Buildings on campus and certification status

Boyd Hall (Certified)
Champions Court I (Silver)
Champions Court II (Pending)
College of Pharmacy 4th and 5th Floor Fit-up (Silver)
Donovan Hall (Silver)
Eastern State Replacement Facility (Silver)
Haggin Hall  (Pending)
Holmes Hall (Pending)
Jacobs Science Building (Certified)
Johnson Hall (Silver)
Lewis Hall  (Pending)
Patterson Hall Renovation (Pending)
The 90 (Silver)
UK Kroger Field (Silver)
Davis Marksbury Building (Gold)
UK Football Training Center (Pending)
UK Gatton Student Center Expansion (Pending)
University Flats  (Silver)
University of Kentucky CAER Lab 2  (Gold)

UK College of Law (Silver)
Wildcat Coal Lodge (Certified)
Woodland Glen I  (Certified)
Woodland Glen II  (Certified)
Woodland Glen III (Pending)
Woodland Glen V  (Certified)

In 2019, UK received a sliver rating from the AASHE STARS system. Below are the credits and our scores on buildings. 


OP-3: Building Operations and Maintenance 0.00/4.00

OP-4: Building Design and Construction 1.40/3.00

OP-5: Indoor Air Quality 1.00/1.00




The Arboretum


The Arboretum was created in 1991 as a joint effort between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The Mission of The Arboretum is to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research and conservation.


Urban Forest Initiative


The mission of the Urban Forest Initiative is to advocate for and elevate the function, value and perception of urban forests in the Bluegrass Region, from the UK campus to broader regional communities, by providing a dynamic framework for opportunities to partner across organizational and community boundaries to enhance urban forests.


Robinson Forest


The Robinson Forest, managed for research, teaching and Extension education by the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry, is one of the largest research and educational forests in the eastern United States.  Robinson Forest is a collection of seven tracts totaling 14,800 acres, and is located on the Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Kentucky.


Tree Campus USA Status


The University of Kentucky's campus has received designation as a Tree Campus USA  from the Arbor Day Foundation each year since 2011. Staff from UK Grounds and students, faculty and staff from the Forestry Department and Urban Forests Initiative Working Group meet regularly to organize events and compile the information necessary for retaining the certification. 


In 2015, UK received a sliver rating from the AASHE STARS system. Below are the credits and our scores relative to campus grounds. 


OP-10: Landscape Management 1.00/2.00

OP-11: Biodiversity 2.00/2.00