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Biking is part of the culture on the University of Vermont (UVM) campus in Burlington. The University participates in the regional bike share program, and hosts a bike co-op that offers bike loans. The bike co-op also operates a bike repair shop, and its students help spread the good word about the benefits of biking. These students also host Friday night cruises, encouraging bikers of all levels to participate in a group ride.
Such support has earned UVM a Silver Medal as a Bicycle-Friendly University from the League of American Bicyclists. That support was strengthened last Fall when the first fully enclosed bike shelter opened. The structure was designed by WTW Architects in Pittsburgh, and the internal bike-rack structure was engineered by Duo-Gard Industries. The 19’ x 63’ shelter accommodates 176 bikes with custom-sized dual-height racks.
About a third of UVM’s students own bikes, estimates Michelle Smith, Green Building Coordinator, Capital Planning and Management. “Biking is an important and popular mode of transportation on campus and in Vermont,” she said.
The shelter is located at the new WTW-designed Central Campus Residence Hall for first-year students. The residence hall connects by pedestrian-bridge to the Bailey-Howe Library. The bicycle shelter is between the library and the residence hall.
WTW principal Tom Wiley, AIA LEED AP, said the goal was to have the design of the bicycle shelter consistent with surrounding structures, citing the shelter’s sloped, standing-seam metal roof, glass walls, and steel framing which complement the residence hall and the library. “Due to local zoning, the shelter has many more than the LEED-required number of enclosed and secure bike storage spaces. This contributes to the LEED Gold certification level we’re aiming for,” he added.
Wiley said it was important to make sure the shelter was well-ventilated, so the walls have a small gap at the top and bottom for air flow. Security was also important, so the shelter doors can be locked.
“The shelter has been well-received by the University, has turned out to be easy for students to use, and fits well with the vernacular of the architecture in that zone,” said Smith.