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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2011-01-25 12:35:00
  • Article ID: 572750

Ithaca College in Elite Company for Environmental Leadership in Building Construction

  • LEED Platinum logo from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

  • LEED Platinum certified Peggy Ryan Williams Center at Ithaca College.

  • LEED Platinum certified Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise at Ithaca College.

Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost for sustainability, at 607-274-3787 or mbrown@ithaca.edu

The Peggy Ryan Williams Center and the Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise at Ithaca College have now both been certified to the LEED Platinum level by the USGBC. Ithaca thus joins the company of Yale University as the only academic institutions in the world to have two newly constructed LEED Platinum buildings on their campuses.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Named for the college’s seventh president — now president emerita — the Peggy Ryan Williams Center was designed by HOLT Architects and built by Christa Construction to incorporate the highest of sustainability principles. Opened in the fall of 2009, it houses the Office of the President and other senior administration, Office of Human Resources, Division of Enrollment and Communication, and Division of Graduate and Professional Studies.

“Great credit goes not only to the PRW Center’s designers and builders, but also to our facilities staff and to those who work in the building,” said Ithaca College president Tom Rochon. “Their day-to-day occupancy and operations ensure that its sustainable elements are used to their fullest. To be in such distinguished company with two Platinum LEED buildings gives us all an incredible sense of pride and achievement.”

In addition to offices, the 58,000-square-foot building features a large atrium overlooking Cayuga Lake and a multipurpose auditorium for admissions presentations to prospective students and their families.

Over 50% of the building’s energy comes from renewable sources, with a geothermal system using the Earth’s relatively consistent temperature to provide heating and cooling. Other sustainable features of the building include:

• Nearly 6,500 square feet of vegetated roof area to replace land taken by the building, reducing airborne pollutants and adding oxygen to the atmosphere.

• Natural convection ventilation that pre-cools the atrium at the start of each day by drawing cooler night air across a shade garden on the north side of the building and relieving it out the light monitor four stories above.

• Sensors that control light fixtures and mechanical ventilation based on natural light levels and occupancy to reduce their use and conserve electricity.

• A 12,000-gallon tank below the garden that collects rainwater from the roof, serving over 85% of the building’s yearly water needs.

The LEED system awards points according to a strict set of criteria that fall within a half-dozen categories, such as indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, and water efficiency. Projects can be designated at one of four levels (in ascending order) — certified, silver, gold or platinum — based on the number of points earned.

The PRW Center is located adjacent to the Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise, which serves as home to the Ithaca College School of Business. In 2008 the Park Center became the first facility for a college or university business school in the world to be certified LEED Platinum.

Connecting those buildings with one another and with others on campus is the Classroom Link corridor, which itself has earned LEED Gold certification. Currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall of 2011 is the college’s new athletics and events center, a multipurpose complex that has been designed to meet at least LEED Silver standards.

The college has also been recognized with the prestigious Energy Star seal for three of its residence halls. A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, Energy Star encourages and recognizes efforts that help save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

For more information on Ithaca College’s sustainability programs and practices, visit http://www.ithaca.edu/sustainability/ or contact Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost for sustainability, at 607-274-3787 or mbrown@ithaca.edu.

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Rutgers Scientists Discover 'Legos of Life'

Rutgers scientists have found the "Legos of life" - four core chemical structures that can be stacked together to build the myriad proteins inside every organism - after smashing and dissecting nearly 10,000 proteins to understand their component parts. The four building blocks make energy available for humans and all other living organisms, according to a study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Small Hydroelectric Dams Increase Globally with Little Research, Regulations

University of Washington researchers have published the first major assessment of small hydropower dams around the world -- including their potential for growth -- and highlight the incredibly variability in how dams of varying sizes are categorized, regulated and studied.

Researchers Reveal How Microbes Cope in Phosphorus-Deficient Tropical Soil

A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has uncovered how certain soil microbes cope in a phosphorus-poor environment to survive in a tropical ecosystem. Their novel approach could be applied in other ecosystems to study various nutrient limitations and inform agriculture and terrestrial biosphere modeling.

Scientists Discover Material Ideal for Smart Photovoltaic Windows

Researchers at Berkeley Lab discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties.

Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-Ton Estimate

Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? The answer is yes.

On the Rebound

New research from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Stanford University has found that palladium nanoparticles can repair atomic dislocations in their crystal structure, potentially leading to other advances in material science.

Coupling Experiments to Theory to Build a Better Battery

A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

A Shortcut to Modeling Sickle Cell Disease

Using Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan supercomputer, a team led by Brown University's George Karniadakis devised a multiscale model of sickle cell disease that captures what happens inside a red blood cell affected by the disease.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.


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Theoretical Physicist Elena Belova Named to Editorial Board of Physics of Plasmas

Theoretical physicist Elena Belova named to editorial board of Physics of Plasmas

Superconducting X-Ray Laser Takes Shape in Silicon Valley

An area known for high-tech gadgets and innovation will soon be home to an advanced superconducting X-ray laser that stretches 3 miles in length, built by a collaboration of national laboratories. On January 19, the first section of the machine's new accelerator arrived by truck at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park after a cross-country journey that began in Batavia, Illinois, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Kelsey Stoerzinger Earns Young Investigator Lectureship

Kelsey Stoerzinger, Pauling Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is one of the 2018 Caltech Young Investigator Lecturers in Engineering and Applied Physics.

North Dakota State University Joins Two National Distributed Computing Groups

The NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) joins OSG (Open Science Grid) and XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment).

DOE Announces Funding for New HPC4Manufacturing Industry Projects

The Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) today announced the funding of $1.87 million for seven new industry projects under an ongoing initiative designed to utilize DOE's high-performance computing (HPC) resources and expertise to advance U.S. manufacturing and clean energy technologies.

DOE Announces First Awardees for New HPC4Materials for Severe Environments Program

The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) today announced the funding of $450,000 for the first two private-public partnerships under a brand-new initiative aimed at discovering, designing and scaling up production of novel materials for severe environments.

Two Argonne Scientists Recognized for a Decade of Breakthroughs

Two scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been named to the Web of Science's Highly Cited List of 2017, ranking in the top 1 percent of their peers by citations and subject area. Materials Scientist Khalil Amine and Energy and Environmental Policy Scientist David Streets say they are thrilled to see their work -- and the laboratory -- recognized in such a way.

Argonne Welcomes Department of Energy Secretary Perry

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Argonne National Laboratory yesterday, getting a first-hand view of the multifaceted and interdisciplinary research program laboratory of the Department.

Argonne names John Quintana Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and COO

John Quintana has been named Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Developing Next-Generation Sensing Technologies

Recently, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $20 million in funding for 15 projects that will develop a new class of sensor systems to enable significant energy savings via reduced demand for heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings.


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Exploring Past, Present, and Future Water Availability Regionally, Globally

New open-source software simulates river and runoff resources.

Arctic Photosynthetic Capacity and Carbon Dioxide Assimilation Underestimated by Terrestrial Biosphere Models

New measurements offer data vital to projecting plant response to environmental changes.

DRIFTing to Fast, Precise Data

Non-destructive technique identifies key variations in Alaskan soils, quickly providing insights into carbon levels.

Superconducting Tokamaks Are Standing Tall

Plasma physicists significantly improve the vertical stability of a Korean fusion device.

Graphene Flexes Its Muscle

Crumpling reduces rigidity in an otherwise stiff material, making it less prone to catastrophic failure.

Remotely Predicting Leaf Age in Tropical Forests

New approach offers data across species, sites, and canopies, providing insights into carbon uptake by forests.

What's the Noise Eating Quantum Bits?

The magnetic noise caused by adsorbed oxygen molecules is "eating at" the phase stability of quantum bits, mitigating the noise is vital for future quantum computers.

Rewritable Wires Could Mean No More Obsolete Circuitry

An electric field switches the conductivity on and off in atomic-scale channels, which could allow for upgrades at will.

Filtering Water Better than Nature

Water passes through human-made straws faster than the "gold standard" protein, allowing us to filter seawater.

Machine Learning Provides a Bridge to the Texture of the Quantum World

Machine learning and neural networks are the foundation of artificial intelligence and image recognition, but now they offer a bridge to see and recognize exotic insulating phases in quantum materials.


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