Glass Tower Residence Hall Earns Coveted LEED Certification for Green Construction

07/20/2008 

A cutting-edge residential facility at SUNY Cortland was recently awarded a prestigious designation by the nation's leading evaluator of environmentally sustainable and energy efficient buildings.

Constructed in 2005, the Glass Tower Hall is one of approximately 40 newly constructed buildings in New York State to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is an internationally recognized proprietary designation of the USGBC.

Officials at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and SUNY Cortland announced on July 17 that the USGBC recently completed its project review and granted LEED certification based on its stringent energy conservation measures and the environmentally safe materials used in its construction.

"Students at SUNY Cortland strive for excellence every day so it only stands to reason that they should live in a state-of-the-art residential facility that matches and inspires their goals and aspirations," said Paul T. Williams, Jr., executive director of the Dormitory Authority.

"As a scientist � specifically a biologist � I was aware of this kind of certification," added SUNY Cortland's president, Erik J. Bitterbaum. "We're very proud here at SUNY Cortland that we made a decision early on that all of our buildings were going to be LEED-certified, both new construction and renovations. By doing so we are as close to a zero-carbon footprint as possible and are improving our energy efficiency and letting our students, faculty and staff know the importance of the environment. It's an ambitious goal, but we think an important one. We hope to set an example for future generations regarding energy use."     

Glass Tower Hall, a four-story residential facility with 194 beds, is the first new dormitory on campus in 32 years, DASNY officials noted. The $12.6 million project was completed on time and some $400,000 under budget. Glass Tower Hall opened in August 2005 and the intensive review process for LEED certification began in Spring 2006.

LEED certification goes well beyond installing energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, weather-tight windows and well-insulated walls, noted Rob Davenport of SUNY Cortland's Facilities Planning, Design and Construction Office and the College's site representative for the Glass Tower Hall project.

"People are surprised to learn about all the elements that go into this," Davenport said. "The number of spaces in a bike rack; charging stations for our renewable energy cars; the size of the trees planted to convert more carbon to oxygen; outside lighting requirements to reduce light pollution; and the widths of sidewalks to reduce our carbon footprint. These are just some of the design details that have to come together to have a green building and meet the certification requirements."

"The creative collaboration on Glass Tower Hall between our agency, the SUNY Cortland administration, the architect and general contractor has produced a stellar building that proudly reflects the forward-thinking environmental and educational values of the College," Williams said. "This project exemplifies the statewide energy efficiency and environmental sustainability goals of Governor Paterson and it sets an example for others to follow."

The Dormitory Authority works closely with the State University of New York to finance, design and build high quality, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable residential facilities. SUNY and the Dormitory Authority are currently adding more than 2,700 beds in new residence halls either under construction or being planned at a number of campuses including Binghamton, Stony Brook, Oswego, Geneseo and Potsdam.

Founded in 1944, the Dormitory Authority is the largest higher education, healthcare and public-purpose bonding and construction authority in the nation, currently managing 700 projects statewide valued at $7 billion.


More News

On the air with William Dickerson ’69

On the air with William Dickerson ’69

SUNY Cortland's first WSUC broadcaster has his own north country radio station.


Alumni employees gaining visibility

Alumni employees gaining visibility

The College has at least 282 alumni employees. Many finally met on May 30 downtown.


Alumni celebrate at Reunion 2019

Alumni celebrate at Reunion 2019

Check out photos and video from a weekend full of events.


Cortland in the news

Cortland in the news

A roundup of SUNY Cortland faculty, staff and alumni mentions in print and digital media.


Former Cortland national champion named Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach

Former Cortland national champion named Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach

Sulekha Modi Zaug was the first gymnast in the history of the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association to win three individual national titles in the same event.


SUNY Cortland hosts South Korean sport industry students

SUNY Cortland hosts South Korean sport industry students

Hanyang University students listed to faculty lectures and visited iconic sites around the state.


College explores potential neurological therapy: Musical shoes

College explores potential neurological therapy: Musical shoes

Senior Emma Madonna is pursuing this as an undergraduate research summer fellow.


Faculty, Students to Study Invasive Jumping Worms

Faculty, Students to Study Invasive Jumping Worms

The research is supported by a $95,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation.


Cortland in the News

Cortland in the News

A roundup of SUNY Cortland faculty and staff mentions in print and digital media.


Class Creates 'Flying Frogs' Proposal

Class Creates 'Flying Frogs' Proposal

Students visited the Adirondacks to hatch fixes for the park's economic and environmental issues.