SUNY-Buffalo’s Engineering School Aims to Transform Nickel City Into Tech Hub

While its Rust Belt roots continue to fade, the University of Buffalo’s new $75 million engineering school hopes to help position Western New York as a tech industry leader.

While Buffalo may be the country’s rudest city, efforts to transform the Nickel City from its Rust Belt roots into a twenty-first century hub for advanced technology definitely are not. Designed by Perkins+Will’s New York City office, the Barbara and Jack Davis Hall on the University of Buffalo’s north campus hopes to help its School of Engineering and Applied Science position this former Rust Belt city at the vanguard of high-tech industry, green infrastructure, and sustainability.

The $75 million, 130,000-square-foot Davis Hall classroom and laboratory building is home to SUNY-Buffalo’s computer science and electrical engineering departments and was built by Turner’s New York City office. Its hybrid design offers interactive and collaborative learning spaces thanks to a multi-story glass gallery space that integrates pedestrian traffic through the building into campus. It also features a state-of-the-art “cybertorium,” or “smart” auditorium.

Davis Hall is aiming for a LEED Gold rating from USGBC and should help the university in its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. Its colorful architecture is a bold statement about Buffalo’s plans to become a hub for clean technology, green infrastructure, and associated research, spearheaded by SEAS. Indeed, last week, SEAS hosted the “Western New York Green Infrastructure Forum” in conjunction with EPA. The Forum discussed how Western New York can prepare for, fund and create green infrastructure projects, focusing on land-use, transportation, energy, housing, and stormwater issues.

“Perkins+Will is proud to work with the University of Buffalo to help launch a new generation of interdisciplinary, innovative and sustainable buildings on the UB Campus with the design of the Barbara and Jack Davis Hall,” Robert Goodwin, AIA, LEED AP, Design Principal, said in a press release. “The hybrid program, sculptural form and interactive spaces of the building make a bold statement about the University’s commitment to explore new directions in research, education and collaboration.”

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at stephen@gbNYC.com, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

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