Village certified gold by U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the 68 units of SUNY Oswego’s new residential community, the Village, as meeting the “LEED Gold” rating under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes program.

The Village townhouse community shown in winter.The college opened the Village’s 12 townhouses to 348 juniors, seniors and graduate students for fall semester.

“We knew we had achieved our goal of meeting the gold standard in spirit, and we are thrilled to receive the official certification,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “This project was a model for our students of how big, complex organizations like SUNY Oswego and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York can get the details right and produce a high-quality result that is environmentally responsible.”

Green features

“Looking at the exterior, you might think this is just another beautiful design, but this people-friendly village is also environmentally friendly,” said Rick Kolenda, Oswego’s director of residence life.

The exterior siding is a concrete fiberboard made to withstand winters on the shore of Lake Ontario and to last longer than many other standard building materials. Under the siding are 6-inch structurally insulated panels (SIPs) that wrap the buildings in a tightly sealed, insulated envelope to make the buildings extremely energy efficient.

The LEED analysis recognized the SIPs as design innovation, said Tom Simmonds, the college’s associate vice president for facilities.

He listed some of the Village’s other sustainable features: a frost-protected shallow foundation, which is heavily insulated; a passive valance heating and cooling system; landscaping with drought-tolerant plants; a storm water management system; high-efficiency water fixtures; recycling of waste materials during construction; environmentally preferred products, like Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood for the roof framing; and a high-efficiency heat recovery ventilation system within each four- and six-bed unit.

Kolenda added that Barnes and Noble donated copies of “The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time” to put in every apartment to help students be mindful of sustainability and environmental concerns.

Campus renewal

The Village is part of the college’s $800 million campus renewal program, which—in addition to the primary goal of improving the learning and social environment for students—aims to meet rigorous standards of environmentally responsible construction, Simmonds said.

Oswego’s green approach to all new construction on campus is consistent with the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which Stanley signed in 2007 and which pledges to reduce the college’s carbon footprint.

SUNY Oswego built the Village in concert with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Ashley McGraw Architects with Burt Hill were the design consultants, with Ram-Tech Engineers, Pathfinder Engineers, Klepper Hahn & Hyatt, Fisher Associates, and Trowbridge & Wolf LLP as sub-consultants. The prime contractor for the buildings was Hueber-Breuer Construction Co.

PHOTO CAPTION: Gold for green Village—Concrete fiberboard siding well suited to Oswego’s winters is one of many environmentally friendly features that won SUNY Oswego’s new residential facility the “LEED Gold” rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes program.

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(Posted: Jan 21, 2011)

Tags: vitality, village, sustainability, residence life, leed, green, gold, environment, energy smart, distinction