The project team at the University of Houston’s new College of Medicine encountered a unique circumstance at the beginning of this project. The project site is located on 43 acres of previously undeveloped property, so environmental conservation was a major focus of its development. In preparation for the new construction, the project team worked with the University of Houston, arborists, the design team, and trade contractors to devise a site plan that would minimize waste and protect existing wetlands and wildlife.
The site happens to be home to a family of bald eagles protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. According to Houston Audubon’s website, bald eagles build some of the largest of all bird nests—typically 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet tall. To ensure the eagle family remained protected during construction, the team erected a protective 330-foot chain link fence around the nesting site and used down lighting and noise barricades to reduce the impact of construction activity. Though the project has proceeded as usual, the nesting birds have not been affected. In fact, two babies were recently spotted by Trey Morris, photographer for Houston Audubon. The nation’s emblem since 1782, the Bald Eagle is a symbol of freedom, longevity, and strength. The project team was honored to not only protect but bear witness to the birth of these beautiful birds.