President Harvey Stenger and Tracie Hall, executive director of the state chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, share a laugh about how heavy the LEED© Platinum plaque is before seeing it mounted on a wall of the Engineering and Science Building.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Engineering and Science Building earns LEED© PlatinumTweet
The two-story glass, metal and stone Engineering and Science Building celebrated achieving LEED© Platinum status at a news conference Tuesday. The $66-million building, which officially opened Nov. 15, 2011, was designed by University architect Bill Hall and incorporates passive solar energy for heating, geothermal technology for heating and cooling, energy-efficient windows and skylights to allow for maximum use of daylight. It also includes the latest technology for heat recovery and humidity control.
Noting his excitement about “this building that probably started in someone’s mind several years ago,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said that, to him, the platinum designation means that “a lot of engineers, architects and construction folks had a tremendous amount of fun building this building, by doing new and innovative things. It’s just incredible how many things were used building this building that are thought about and talked about.
“But it’s also the work we do inside the building, where faculty and students are also trying to solve one of world’s toughest problems: ‘How do we use energy efficiently?’ To have building that is housing the research that will help build the next building is a lot of fun and very exciting. It’s quite an honor. “
The Engineering and Science Building was one of the first projects Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo saw from start to finish. “I came to discuss the dream and now it is a premier place in New York state and in the SUNY system. It’s only one of 63 LEED© Platinum buildings in all of New York state − and that’s a big deal – my first platinum dedication! Having seen the blueprints and the work and heart and soul that went into it, I’m very proud today.”
Home to the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science dean’s office, as well as the departments of electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering, state-of-the-art laboratory space, suites for business start-ups and offices, the building is a catalyst for innovation and an excellent teaching tool according to Watson Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari. “The ability to recreate labs, all those are significant selling points for us, and when we look at this Innovative Technologies Complex, taken together, these are superb labs and the infrastructure is very, very good. it encourages working together and we can capitalize on the synergy with many faculty working together in one area and compete with universities all over the world for the best and brightest students.”
In the Watson School’s 30th year, “this building allows us to continue the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation for our scholarship and teaching.”
“Let me be the fourth person to welcome you to this celebration,” said Lawrence Roma, associate vice president for facilities management. “It’s been a long and laborious road. LEED Platinum is not easy, and it took a very, very close collaboration and a lot of people.” After thanking the staff of Physical Facilities, project engineers and contractors for their work to design and construct a building that could achieve platinum status, singled out the solar cells on the walls, entranceway and roof as one particular achievement. “On a sunny day, we can achieve up to 20 percent of our electrical needs.”
Tracie Hall, executive director of the state chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, who presented the LEED Platinum plaque to Stenger, reminded the audience that part of Binghamton University’s mission is to enrich lives through people, through discovery and through innovation.
“This building exemplifies that,” she said.
The USGBC, which began about 20 years ago, is about she said. “We spend about 90 percent of our lives indoors and it’s time we start paying attention to what happens. It’s not just about reducing energy consumption, water consumption and the use of materials, but it’s about ensuring that indoor environmental quality is maintained. I like to think of this high-performance building as one that can be maintained and be the best learning environment for students and teaching environment for faculty.
LEED buildings improve the quality of life for the community and students living and learning here, Hall said. “Think of all the imaginative work it took to make this a place where people will discover and receive an education. Binghamton University is doing a lot to ensure this building is here for generations to come.”
The building, which connects to the Biotechnology Building at the University’s Innovative Technologies Complex, is only the third in the SUNY system to achieve LEED Platinum status. In 2011, The Engineering News Record named the building its top “Green Project of the Year in the New York Region” in its annual competition.