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Buildings certified by ‘green’ group

President Lois B. DeFleur, right, and Tracie Hall, executive director of the U.S Green Building Council's New York Upstate Chapter, stand next to a plaque awarded to the University for one of its two LEED-certified buildings.

The Windham and Cascade residential buildings in Mountainview College received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council last week. They are the first buildings in Greater Binghamton — and the first SUNY residence halls — to achieve the nationally recognized standard.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, encourages the design, construction and operation of energy-efficient, high-performance buildings. The system serves to protect and save precious natural resources while also making good economic sense. LEED also verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return.

Cascade and Windham halls in the Mountainview College residential community were designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use and also incorporated a variety of other sustainable strategies.

Certification for the two buildings is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community, including:

Site selection and development.
Water-efficient landscaping.
Use of local and regional materials.
Post-construction and pre-occupancy indoor air quality management.
The ability to control building systems, daylight and views.

“Our efforts to preserve the environment and conserve energy have enabled us to attain this LEED certification,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “Of particular note, the buildings’ mechanical systems and thermal performance exceed the code-mandated, governor- instituted minimums for energy efficiency. We’re proud of this recognition and we will continue our commitment to protect our environment and conserve natural resources in future projects.”

Additional features that enabled Binghamton University to achieve LEED certification for these buildings include the promotion of storage and recycling of materials, use of low-emitting materials, storm water management and indoor pollutant controls. The project also received recognition for its enhancements to the buildings’ environments and for care in protecting the spotted salamanders in the nearby Nature Preserve.

Tracie Hall, executive director of the New York Upstate Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, presented DeFleur with plaques made of recycled glass to be hung in each of the buildings.

“The true beneficiaries of a project such as this are the students,” she said, adding that human health is noticeably better in a green building because of improved indoor air quality.

Hall said just 18 buildings in her region, which includes all of upstate New York and one county in Massachusetts, have been LEED certified so far. Another 600 projects have registered with her chapter, indicating that they plan to seek such certification.

“The future is indeed green,” she said.

DeFleur noted that exceptional teamwork made the Mountainview project a success. Partnerships with Binghamton’s own Physical Facilities Department, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, Mach Architecture and Pathfinder Engineers were vital to the job, and all demonstrated remarkable vision, leadership, cooperation and talent, she said.

“Binghamton University is to be congratulated for achieving LEED Certification,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the Green Building Council. “The certification of Cascade and Windham halls sends a message that Binghamton University cares about the health of the buildings’ users and employees. Everyone’s comfort, safety and well-being will benefit from the fresh air and natural daylight.”


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Last Updated: 10/14/08