Projects > University at Buffalo, Founder’s Plaza

University at Buffalo, Founder’s Plaza

Watts provided civil, electrical, and environmental engineering for the reconstruction of Founders Plaza and the pedestrian walkways of the main Academic Spine at the University at Buffalo North Campus.  This included a full scope of site paving, utility, lighting, and landscape design, and construction contract administration services.

The Campus asked Watts to emulate the original Sasaki Associates’ 1973 design and make improvements to the planting, lighting, and utilities.

The redesign of the plaza and spine changed the space to exclude vehicles and change it to a pedestrian space only.  Landscape architecture efforts included site analysis, plant and tree selection, and planting arrangement in granite curbed raised beds.  The civil engineering included tinted bands and exposed aggregate concrete pavement design, grading, storm drainage, waterlines, irrigation services, granite curbing, stairs, and railing. The electrical engineering included new lighting design to provide a more pedestrian friendly and secure plaza with new ducts and wiring.  Light poles were located in planters to clear obstruction in the walkways.  Renderings of the plaza were produced for the Campus to communicate the improvements to the community.

Watts investigated hazardous materials in the below grade waterproofing membrane materials and sealants.  Abatement design and construction monitoring were performed in preparation of new subsurface basement roof waterproofing, flashing, and concrete paving.

Watts also provided a full time site representative for the two construction seasons it took to fully renovate the plaza.


  • 2010 Gold Award of Engineering Excellence

    ACEC of New York for the University at Buffalo, Founders Plaza Renovations, Amherst, NY