RIT building shows its true color—green
May 1, 2008
by John Follaco
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RIT has opened its first ‘green’ building, as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts. The new College of Applied Science and Technology Building was designed to meet the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council, the most widely accepted rating system for evaluating sustainable, high-performance buildings.
The building, which is currently undergoing evaluation to obtain its LEED certification, was officially dedicated during an April 18 ceremony.
“We’re extremely excited to have dedicated the college’s first building and RIT’s first LEED certifiable facility,” says Carol Richardson, interim dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology. “The many environmentally friendly features and the technology used in this building will allow it to serve as a living laboratory for our students.”
The building features controls that monitor building occupancy and reduce power demands accordingly. The improved systems provide an approximate 21.4 percent savings in electrical energy (estimated annual savings at over $24,000), which is comparable to the power necessary to service approximately 47 New York state homes.
It also includes two 1,500-gallon cisterns that were installed to collect rainwater from the roof to flush toilets in the restrooms. Rainwater is also used to irrigate some unusual plantings in the main lobby, where a vertically landscaped ‘green’ wall improves air quality.
“The opening of the new College of Applied Science and Technology Building further establishes RIT’s presence as a global leader in sustainable technology, research and innovation,” says New York State Sen. Jim Alesi. “This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a model for future building not only in New York state, but throughout the world.”
New York state Assemblymember Susan John agrees: “I applaud Rochester Institute of Technology’s leadership on sustainability. This facility has the look of a 21st century building and the design of the 22nd century. I know that the College of Applied Science and Technology Building will serve as a model for all construction projects in the county, state and nation.”
The College of Applied Science and Technology Building features the William G. McGowan Center for Telecommunications, Innovation and Collaborative Research, the William G. McGowan Student Commons, the REDCOM Telecommunications Systems Laboratory and Lecture Facility, the American Packaging Corp. Center for Packaging Innovation and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Training Center.
The building is also home to the college’s Department of Civil Engineering Technology/Environmental Management and Safety and Department of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology.
In addition to RIT’s investment, funding for the $10.5 million, 33,600-square-foot facility came from the following individuals and organizations: William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, New York State Higher Education Capital Facilities Program, REDCOM Laboratories Inc., American Packaging Corp., Rock-Tenn Co., Eastman Kodak Co., Joseph Clayton, One Communications, Melles Griot, Mitel Inc., Fibertech Networks LLC, O’Connell Electric and Green Living Technologies LLC.