Introducing the Cardinal at West Center

Avian name is a nod to UA history, bird-friendly design

The Cardinal at West Center LogoConstruction on our newest project is well underway, and we’ve just rolled out the website for The Cardinal at West Center.

We chose the name “The Cardinal” in honor of the bird that was the University of Arkansas mascot until 1910. The Cardinal’s avian name is also a reference to bird-friendly design elements throughout the project.

We are new to bird-friendly design, but a building’s impact on birds is clearly a part of its environmental footprint, so we were curious to know more. On the advice of Dan Schieman at Audubon Arkansas, our design team attended an American Bird Conservancy workshop on bird-friendly design.

The ABC estimates that a billion birds are killed each year after colliding with buildings. In an effort to be a better neighbor to birds, we have selected lighting that will be less distracting to migrating birds.

In the entry area of the building, we will use a specially selected pattern on the glass to make it more visible to avian eyes. Joe Woolbright of Ozark Ecological Restorations has advised us on the landscape plan, selecting native plants that will provide forage and habitat.

The operation of the building — the lighting in particular — is just as important as design, so we plan to monitor and adjust our practices over time, hoping to model best practices in bird-friendly buildings.

In addition to the bird-friendly elements, The Cardinal is registered for LEED green-building certification, and green elements include high-efficiency windows, appliances, and HVAC systems. No-VOC paint, non-toxic flooring and carpet, and other interior finishes have been selected to protect indoor air quality. The location of the building is vital to its environmental footprint, as it will provide walkable housing for 471 students who would otherwise likely be commuting by car.

The project includes numerous streetscape and infrastructure improvements, including the addition of wide sidewalks with street trees and improved pedestrian crossings. The Harmon Avenue crossing will include a flashing signal to warn drivers of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Electrical lines will be buried along Center and Duncan Avenues. A new stoplight with pedestrian crossing signals will be installed at the intersection of Center and Duncan.

Construction on the 150-unit building began in May, and will be completed next summer. Renderings, floor plans, construction updates, and more details are available at The Cardinal at West Center’s website:

Please join us in launching The Cardinal’s leasing office at 4 S. Duncan this Thursday from 3-6:00pm. We’ll have refreshments, an acoustic set by Backroad Anthem, and door prizes!

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