Designed by SWBR Architects, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s College for Applied Science and Technology Building was recently awarded LEED Gold certification from USGBC. SWBR’s design includes many of the standard LEED features, including recycled-content and locally-sourced building materials, lighting occupancy sensors and low-VOC paints and sealants. A graywater system that includes two 1500-gallon cisterns should conserve 75 percent of water over a conventional building, and energy efficient building systems are projected to save 21 percent on energy consumption annually (enough to power 47 homes in New York State).
A “living wall” in the building’s lobby also includes a multimedia display to educate both students and visitors about the building’s green features, which earned the project team an additional point under LEED’s innovation credit category. The wall is irrigated by the graywater system, which also provides water for the building’s bathroom fixtures. The project team also created an on-site stormwater pond that, in addition to functioning as part of the building’s stormwater management system, will also serve as a wetlands habitat.
RIT anticipates that the building’s carbon footprint will be 41 percent less than a conventional building of similar size. Design work started in March of 2006; the building has been open since last April.