The Top 10 States for LEED - RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability

Friday, April 17, 2015

Published on 17 Apr 2015      Written by Christopher Gray        Posted in LEED

The US Green Building Council has featured a profile of RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability building in its article "The 2014 Top 10 States for LEED."   

This article from USGBC features one project per week in each of 2014's Top 10 States for LEED. The goal of the series is to help share the powerful stories of how LEED buildings are positively impacting people's lives through providing healthier, more environmentally sustainable spaces for people to live, learn, work, play and worship.

Every state, beginning with Illinois, 2014's first overall state for LEED green building, will have a different highly impactful project profiled that touches on one of these core areas and demonstrates how business, universities, faith communities and non-profit organizations across the country are using LEED. This week's installment will focus on New York's contribution to the green building movement in 2014.

New York finished tied for 10th in the nation in 2014 with (1.74 square-feet of certified space per resident). New York has made the Top 10 every year since 2011, and it certified 250 projects last year across the state.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) certified its new Golisano Institute of Sustainability building as LEED platinum. RIT wanted its new facility to be a 'living laboratory' for the sustainability movement, and particular emphasis was put into the creation of innovative sustainability systems during the building's design and construction.

Some of the key sustainability features of the new building include: a high-performance building envelope made up of several varieties of glass that allow daylight to enter with minimal heat exchange; a sunshade system that reduces heat gain inside the building and permits a more passive cooling system; 144 roof-mounted solar panels capable of generating 45,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually; a mico-grid that inputs wind and solar energy into the building; a green roof, and vertical axis wind turbines.

"LEED Platinum is a significant accomplishment for our multi-story research building, particularly given that it is such an energy-intensive facility combined with our challenging climate here in Western New York," said Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of GIS. "We are especially proud that our building dedicated to sustainability has earned such a rare accomplishment, which required tremendous teamwork. I salute our building partners."

2014's Top 10 States have shown tremendous leadership in the green building movement by certifying 1,662 commercial and institutional projects representing 251.7 million square feet of real estate. These buildings will have a tremendous social impact over the coming years by providing healthy and environmentally sustainable spaces to produce new breakthroughs in many different fields of science, medicine, education, business, the fine arts and environmental and social justice.

SWBR served as executive architect and architect of record on the project, with LeChase Construction Company as design-build team leader and FXFOWLE as design architect. Most recently RIT GIS has been recognized with two awards by the Design-Build Institute of America. The DBIA 2014 Excellence in Design and the DBIA 2014 National Award of Excellence in the education category.