RIT Receives High Performance Energy Efficiency Award From NYSERDA

University Services Center reduces energy costs by up to $50,000 annually

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A. Sue Weisler

High-efficiency equipment used at the University Services Center saves an equivalent to the amount of energy used by 50 single-family households.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recognized Rochester Institute of Technology with a High Performance Building plaque for energy-saving investments that will reduce energy costs by $49,558 annually.

With its high-efficiency equipment, the 54,000-square-foot University Services Center saves more than 360,085 kilowatt-hours annually, or the equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by about 50 single-family households.

The project was supported by $170,581 in NYSERDA incentives, which helped fund energy efficiency improvements including a high-efficiency HVAC system, high-efficiency lighting and premium efficiency motors. All sponsored incentives were required to meet NYSERDA standards in order to receive funding.

RIT’s University Services Center, which opened in 2009, is the first building in Monroe County to receive LEED Platinum certification and is the second university facility in New York to have such an achievement under its belt.

“The latest LEED Platinum achievement is a new benchmark for our university with far-reaching impact on our future design, engineering and construction practices where superior performance, finalized with a successful project commissioning, becomes a new norm,” said Witold Bujak, sustainability manager at RIT. “The success sends a strong signal that RIT is on its way to becoming a sustainability leader.”

RIT’s initial goal for the building was to reach LEED Silver certification. It moved to LEED Gold certification by participating in NYSERDA’s New Construction Program, using natural building materials and natural light to illuminate work and meeting spaces. In an effort to decrease the building’s carbon footprint, RIT installed a photovoltaic solar energy system. The photovoltaic system serves as a teaching tool and helped increase the building’s LEED certification to the platinum level.

The LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, rating system was designed by the United States Green Building Council to facilitate and encourage the development in sustainable and more energy-efficient buildings.

NYSERDA High Performance Building plaques are presented to hospitals, colleges, universities, schools, businesses and other organizations that have constructed or renovated their buildings to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Code. The University Services Center is expected to perform 50 percent more efficiently than code-compliant buildings.

For more information about RIT’s LEED initiative, go to http://www.rit.edu/fa/ritgreen/leed_main.html.

RIT in the News:
Henrietta Post — Dec. 21, 2011
RIT receives energy efficiency award from NYSERDA