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Current PDF Version of This Guideline

Site Walls

Site walls are divided into 2 categories: walls above 4’ in height and walls less than 4’ in height. For walls less than 4’ that are related to the site rather than the building, the material for the wall should be chatham stone, a local found rather than quarried material. These walls are primarily used as seat walls, and can be either free-standing or retaining walls. They are typically a minimum of 2’ deep and approximately 18 to 24 ‘’ in height, although if not used as seat walls their height can be up to 48 inches. They do not typically require substantial footings or rebar. The materials of the walls greater than 4’
in height, retaining or free-standing, should reflect materials most suitable for the site conditions, and the relationship with adjacent buildings, and do not include the Chatham stone.

Chatham Wall
Walls under 4’ in height – Chatham wall


WalkwayNew walkways should be carefully planned to connect major destinations and offer pedestrians safe, accessible and relatively direct travel. These new walkways should be indicated on the schematic design site plan. Steps and features hazardous to the visually impaired should be avoided. Special consideration should be given to locations where pedestrian pathways cross vehicular routes. On campus-controlled roads, brick paving material should continue across the vehicular route where pedestrian traffic is meant to dominate. Existing brick paving materials and patterns should be matched. Brick walls should be dry-laid (see Standard detail). Brick walks that provide service or emergency vehicle access should be built on a concrete base. Consistent widths should be maintained across the campus.

Standard Widths

Major pedestrian corridors:
16 ft. wide
Major pedestrian walks:
8 ft. wide
Minor walks:
6 ft. wide

*Courtesy of, “Design Guidelines,” A Guide to Physical Development, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1988, Johnson, Johnson and Roy

Site Lighting


Campus standard benches are 5’ teak benches from a sustainable source. They must be equivalent to in quality and weight to the Kingsley Bate, Hyde Park teak bench. The benches must be placed on a paved surface and be accessible. They can be placed as a single unit or in groups. Location(s) must be approved by the Facilities Planning Landscape Architect, and approval may also be required by the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Grouped benches
Grouped benches
Grouped benches
Grouped benches

Bike Racks

Bicycle riding is encouraged on campus and bicycle racks should be included in the project when appropriate. Include bicycle parking racks and parking surface in the bid documents and consider as part of the construction costs. Bicycle parking racks should be installed on a paved surface. Brick pavers are the preferred material. The number and site of bicycle racks is determined in joint consultation with the Department of Transportation and Parking and the Facilities Planning Project Manager. Bicycle parking sites shall be considered at the schematic design phase and final site locations indicated in the final construction documents. When siting bicycle racks choose locations that are accessible by bicycle; avoid paths with outdoor stairways. Locate each bicycle rack site as close as possible to the perceived destination of the bicyclist (doorways, entranceways, etc.) Use building overhangs and other sheltered locations for bicycle racks when possible to afford protection from the elements. Include street curb cuts and ramps for bicycle riding access to buildings and structures. Bike racks must be located on a paved surface.

External Stairs

External Stairs

  • Stone (preferably granite) should particularly be used at main entrances.
  • Concrete is also acceptable.

Screen Walls

Screen Walls

  • Ideally, perforated brick should be used to better hide loading docks and trash receptacle sites.
  • Loading and service doors should be designed with as much care as front doors.


Wherever railings are related to the site rather than the buildings, the railings should be the traditional campus standard. Where the railing relate to the building, they can be other materials if desired.

  • The ornamental lamb’s tongue end piece should match the end piece used on handrails to complement one another.
  • Bronze railings are preferred.
  • Painted steel is acceptable.
Guardrail Elevation
Traditional Guardrail


ADA accessible, and typically are brick or concrete. At the edges of the ramps railings are preferable to walls, unless the walls act essentially as a tall curb with a railing attached.


Removable bollard detail
Removable bollard detail
Non-removable bollard detail
Non-removable bollard detail

Walkway Trash and Recycling Containers

Place receptacles at the intersections of major pedestrian corridors, plaza areas, and entries to major student areas such as the Student Union and snack bars. Coordinate placement of “walkway” recycling receptacles with the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling and the Grounds Department to ensure that the site can be serviced adequately. All containers shall be located on an accessible path of travel per the ADA and State Building Code.

Recycling sites must have three containers. Containers should be level, firmly secured to the ground contiguous to walks, and on a brick-surfaced area extending outward from the walk.

Resources and more information are available on the Site and Space Planning, Walkway Sites section of the OWRR design guidelines.

Bus Stop Shelters

Transportation and Parking’s Transportation Planner shall determine where to locate bus stop shelters when ridership volumes justify use and adequate space is available. The unit used on campus is the standard unit used by the Town of Chapel Hill, mounted on a brick paved area. It should be appropriately illuminated and adequately transparent to ensure user security and safety. Provide a suitable clear space around the shelter to allow for visual accessibility and maintenance. Integrate related site furnishings such as waste receptacles, lighting, newspaper machines, public telephones and landscaping features into the space surrounding the shelter. Bus Shelters shall comply with current state and federal accessibility requirements.