Two campus buildings receive LEED gold, platinum ratings

Two SU buildings received the campus' first LEED certifications from U.S. Green Building Council founder Monday.

The founding chairperson of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Richard Fedrizzi, blew into town Monday and handed out Leadership in Energy and Environmental Designs, aka LEED, certifications like they were candy. Well, not really since Syracuse University staff and administrators, architects, builders and community supporters worked really hard for nearly 3 years to get the buildings up to the USGBC standards.

LEED Certification requires that buildings implement certain design features such as use of recycled building materials and on-site renewable energy systems. The distinction is difficult to achieve and the USGBC has given out less than 9,000 awards throughout the world.

Ernie Davis Hall: LEED Gold

Richard Fedrizzi, founding chairperson of USGBC, speaking at Ernie Davis Hall LEED certification

At 2:30 p.m., Ernie Davis Hall, on-campus residence with accomodations for 250 freshman and sophomore students, a dining hall, disabled person-accessible gym and academic rooms was granted LEED Gold with 60-79 out of a possible 100 points on the LEED checklist of sustainable and environmental building designs.

Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina hosted the ceremony, while Eric Beattie, director of Campus Planning, Design and Construction, New York State Assemblyman Samuel Roberts and Mr. Fedrizzi spoke and Chancellor Nancy Cantor looked on. Not present, possibly due to space constraints in the event room, were students. 

Ernie Davis Hall was built for students as "more than just a place to sleep or hang your hat," said Mr. Spina. The residence hall has a store selling fresh produce and spaces for students to gather and build community, two unusual features for a college dorm. 

Mr. Fedrizzi spoke about LEED's goals and how they came to fruition at Ernie Davis. Buildings should be designed so people have the ability to feel healthy, feel a sense of place and enjoy the sunlight, open space and clean air, Fedrizzi said.

Here's a list of Ernie Davis' green features:

  1. White, reflective roof to mitigate the "heat island effect" that pavement-covered cities suffer
  2. Fresh air ventilation system, so building inhabitants breathe cleaner air
  3. Large, blanketing windows that utilize the sun for light and heat


Syracuse CoE: LEED Platinum

Shortly after, around 4pm, the Syracuse Center of Excellence, a downtown research center funded in part by the government but whose building is owned by SU, received the LEED Platinum with 80-plus points, the highest rating. 


Syracuse CoE accepts LEED platinum certificationThe same crowd gathered at the 727 East Washington Street location to watch Mr. Fedrizzi hand out the second, but higher, LEED rating to an SU building. Sitting in a room opened up by large windows and heated from the ground up with water pipes, people watched as executive director of the CoE, Edward Bogucz, accepted the long-awaited and high-deserved honor along with Chancellor Cantor and a new face, Peter King from king+king architects. The architecture firm on 358 West Jefferson Street, the 4th oldest in the world, had received LEED-certification earlier on. King talked about making a pact with Mr. Bogucz to get both of their buildings up to LEED standards.


The ceremony concluded with Mr. Fedrizzi's blessing. "There is no building right now that is more exciting or performs better than this building right here in Syracuse," Fedrizzi said.


Syracuse CoE's features include:

  1. Green roof covered in sedum to capture stormwater and mititgate heat island effect
  2. Geothermal heating system
  3. Landscape featuring hearty, native plants

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