Binghamton University building earns LEED Platinum status

2013-09-24

BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University's Engineering and Science Building has received LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible ranking given by the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program.

The $66M academic and research facility was completed in 2011. It was built using state-of-the-art innovative energy conservation measures and today, the Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter, presented University President Harvey Stenger with a plaque certifying the building's "Platinum" status.

"We are thrilled that our efforts have paid off and the Engineering and Science Building is now officially a LEED Platinum facility," said Stenger. "This certification does not happen by accident. It was a concerted effort by our University staff and our design and construction partners to make sure this building meets and even exceeds the highest standards of energy efficiency."

Achieving LEED Platinum status is not an easy task. In all of New York state, including New York City, only 30 buildings have received the Platinum certification. Only nine buildings on all college campuses in New York state have achieved this status, and Binghamton University's Engineering and Science Building is only the second building in the SUNY System to earn LEED Platinum designation.

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification, Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for the project.

"The achievement of LEED Platinum for the new Engineering and Science Building is in the top 3 percent of all LEED 2.2 New Construction activities in the United States and in the top 5 percent of all activities in New York state," said U.S. Green Building Council representative Tracie Hall. "The USGBC New York Upstate Chapter commends President Harvey G. Stenger, the Trustees and the project team for their work in providing this amazing facility for the staff, faculty and students of Binghamton University."

The University designed this building to demonstrate the school's commitment to sustainability while also developing it to be a teaching facility that enhances the University's academic mission, enabling students to learn and conduct research with faculty in a hands-on, energy-efficient environment.

The two-story glass, metal and stone building is connected to the Biotechnology Building, which is part of the University's Innovative Technologies Complex, future home to the Center of Excellence and Smart Energy Research buildings. The E&S building houses the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science dean's office and the school's departments of electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering. It also houses state-of-the-art laboratory space.

Funding for the building was obtained through the efforts of state Sen. Thomas W. Libous and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. Both praised the University's commitment to energy conservation and sustainability.

"With this latest recognition, the University continues to be beacon of pride in our community, and it's shining brighter than ever," said Senator Tom Libous.

"Congratulations to President Stenger and the entire Binghamton University community on this very prestigious designation," said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. 

The building was designed by the University's own architect William H. Hall. From the outset, the plan was for this building to achieve LEED Platinum status. To reach that achievement, Hall and members of Physical Facilities Design Team incorporated passive solar energy for heating and geothermal technology for heating and cooling. It also includes the latest technology for heat recovery and humidity control.

From the moment someone approaches the building, the energy efficient features are obvious. There are photovoltaic panels covering the southern facing exterior wall of the building. The interior halls are brightly lit by sunshine that streams through energy-efficient skylights manufactured with special panels to allow for maximum use of daylight. There are rows and rows of solar panels on top of the building, and green roof applications were also utilized.

Last Updated: 9/17/13