Friday, October 1, 2010

Cornell University’s Riley Robb Hall, located in Ithaca, NY, and the ABVI-Goodwill Call Center located at 546 South Clinton Avenue in the City of Rochester, were recently awarded LEED-Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a third-party certification program, and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Cornell’s researchers moved into the new $6M Biofuels Research Laboratory in the fall of 2009.  With Dr. Larry Walker, a leading researcher in the production of ethanol, SWBR transformed a portion of the existing Riley-Robb building into an 11,000SF state of the art bio-fuels research facility. 

"Under a single roof, we can perform all the major steps required to make biofuel," said Walker, director of the Cornell-based Northeast Sun Grant Institute of Excellence. "Other schools have bits and pieces of the process or specialize in pre-treatment, chemical conversion or cell wall analysis. In this lab, we can do it all."

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering occupy the space, which was funded by a $10M grant from the Empire State Development Corp. and replaces an agricultural engineering power and machinery lab in Riley Robb Hall.  “It has come full circle,” stated Peter DeBraal, SWBR’s Project Manager. “The building’s original purpose was as a repair shop for tractors that harvested hay and grass”.

The second SWBR project to received Gold Certification is the ABVI Call Center. SWBR’s design converted a 22,760 square-foot two-story office building and warehouse in downtown Rochester into a call center including new offices, a lobby, new elevators, and stairs. The design of a new exterior façade for the building not only upgrades the energy efficiency of the building, but also makes it an asset to the neighborhood. 

“The ABVI-Goodwill Call Center is an important building, not only for those with vision loss, but for the Rochester Community as a whole,” said Steve Rebholz, Principal-In-Charge for the ABVI project. “We are grateful to ABVI-Goodwill for allowing us to be an integral part of this building, which provides a safe, comfortable and sustainable working environment.”