Proposed Cornell NYC Campus Ultra-Green

Cornell University’s proposed New York City Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island has a number of green tech elements built in, including passive solar orientation, solar power and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The main educational building, a home for the Cornell and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology partnership, is being planned to harvest as much energy from the campus site as it consumes, achieving net zero energy status.

If built today, this 150,000-square-foot academic building would be the largest net zero energy building in the eastern United States and among the top four largest such buildings in the country. Its design calls for a high-performance envelope, daylight harvesting to minimize the use of artificial light, demand-controlled ventilation, and the use of recycled materials in construction. Planners are aiming for LEED Platinum certification.

Cornell's proposed NYC Tech Campus

image via Cornell University

The remainder of this 10-acre campus, which will include residences for faculty, staff and graduate students, a public atria and corporate space, all designed to achieve a green certification of LEED Silver or higher. These buildings will exceed the energy performance of similar baseline structures by at least 30 percent (in line with buildings on Cornell’s Ithaca campus).

Additionally, the Roosevelt Island campus plan includes provisions for storm water treatment onsite, which will contribute in the creation of community gardens on the campus. More information on the proposed campus is available online from Cornell University.

“This proposed campus goes beyond buildings and reduced energy use — it’s a living laboratory that brilliantly anticipates and integrates forward-thinking design and building technologies,” says Kent Kleinman, Cornell’s Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art and Planning, in a statement. “Forget the cliché ‘game-changer,’ this New York City campus is more than that. It is the ideal plan for creating an educational environment to train future engineers and designers in the science of sustainability for decades to come.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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