RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability Building Officially Opens

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Friday, hundreds of visitors, including industry and political leaders, received a firsthand look at the new Sustainability Institute Hall during a dedication event at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS), “a living lab” that represents RIT’s commitment to the environment. SWBR Architects in association with Design Architect FXFOWLE and design/build team leader LeChase Construction, sought to incorporate cutting-edge “green” technology into every inch of the 84,000-square-foot building, from the solar panels on the soaring canopy to the vertical wind turbines located near its entrance.

The building houses the GIS master’s degree and Ph.D. programs in sustainability and architecture along with specialized research labs, student work areas, classrooms and office suites. Its distinctive features include a fuel cell, microgrid, geothermal system, green roof and a green wall. “This new facility will enable RIT, and the Greater Rochester region, to become a world-class hub for sustainability research and education,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “It represents a significant new chapter in RIT’s commitment to serve as a major economic driver for our region, a leader in innovation and cutting-edge technologies, and a key partner with the community, government and industry.”

Since its construction began in 2011, the GIS facility was designed and built to exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards of the U.S. Green Building Council—the highest standard that can be achieved. Specialized research areas include the Staples Sustainable Innovation Lab, Eco-IT test bed and a fuel cell test bed.

Visit www.rit.edu/gis for more information on the facility.