University Park Town Center is going green as well

Benderson Development is working with Moule & Polyzoides, urbanist architects, and Two Trails Inc., green consultants, to develop an approach for integrating green technologies and materials in stores, homes and offices. The 1.9 million-square-foot University Town Center hopes to become the mixed-use development that achieves a "working sustainable lifestyle center."

University Town Center is using the "new urbanism" approach.Included in the development will be an upscale shopping center, movie theater, boutique stores and offices with living spaces above, and affordable housing residences in a park-like setting.

The key to making a lifestyle center is the use of "green spaces," strategically placed to create the overall atmosphere of a "park-like setting."

There are more than 60 acres of conservation area and miles of walking paths.

Landscaping throughout the development will be installed in accordance with Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Guidelines.

"It all starts at the entrance to University Town Center, where roads have been designed to gently flow around lakes and through the natural setting.

To provide monitored speed maintenance, a turn-about has been incorporated to keep traffic flowing at a manageable pace," Benderson's marketing materials say.

"Benderson Development is applying for the Florida Green Building Coalition 'green development certification,' and is exploring the possibility of LEED certification for the entire development," said Drew Smith, green consultant for Two Trails.

Some unusual aspects of the development will be the trolley system, which will run using an alternative fuel and will reduce the need for shoppers to move their cars.

Pedestrian walking paths and petite parks with benches and water views provide a serene setting.

Residents above shopping and offices will not be gazing on concrete roofs. Buildings will have "green roofs" providing additional space for gardening and relaxation.

The staggered building layout adds to the diversity needed to create an interesting overall design that is pleasing while fitting into the surrounding natural environment.

Benderson also has taken the step of added preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrid cars, and carpooling, preferred bicycle parking areas at all buildings and even showers provided in employee areas for those who choose to bike to work.

Providing LEED certifications nationwide and Florida Green Building Coalition certification, Two Trails provides hands-on consulting. You can find them on the Web _____