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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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What's On Your Skin? Archaea, That's What

It turns out your skin is crawling with single-celled microorganisms - (break)and they're not just bacteria. A study by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Medical University of Graz has found that the skin microbiome also contains archaea, a type of extreme-loving microbe, and that the amount of it varies with age.

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Tracking movements of individual particles provides understanding of collective motions, synchronization and self-assembly.

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Producing biofuels like ethanol from plant materials requires various enzymes to break down the cellulosic fibers. Researchers from ORNL and NC State used neutrons to identify the specifics of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction that could significantly reduce the total amount of enzymes used, improving production processes and lowering costs.

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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven't agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now a research team at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

New Class of 'Soft' Semiconductors Could Transform HD Displays

New research by Berkeley Lab scientists could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of "soft" semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.

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A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, Berkeley Lab researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

2-D Material's Traits Could Send Electronics R&D Spinning in New Directions

Researchers created an atomically thin material at Berkeley Lab and used X-rays to measure its exotic and durable properties that make it a promising candidate for a budding branch of electronics known as "spintronics."

Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun's Energy

New material based on common iron ore can help turn intermittent sunlight and water into long-lasting fuel.


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Yi Cui Named Blavatnik National Laureate

Pioneering nanoscientist Yi Cui, professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford University and of photon science at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named a 2017 Blavatnik National Laureate. The $250,000 award recognizes the most promising researchers age 42 and younger at top U.S. academic and research institutions.

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Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oregon Health & Science University are part of a nationwide effort to learn more about the role of proteins in cancer biology and to use that information to benefit cancer patients.

The Electrochemical Society and Toyota North America Announce 2017-2018 Fellowship Winners for Projects in Green Energy Technology

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee has chosen three winners who will receive $50,000 fellowship awards each for projects in green energy technology. The awardees are Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Professor Julie Renner, Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Shuhui Sun, Institut National de la Rechersche Scientifique (INRS).

Chicago Quantum Exchange to Create Technologically Transformative Ecosystem

The University of Chicago is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.

Department of Energy Awards Six Research Contracts Totaling $258 Million to Accelerate U.S. Supercomputing Technology

Today U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that six leading U.S. technology companies will receive funding from the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward program, accelerating the research necessary to deploy the nation's first exascale supercomputers.

Cynthia Jenks Named Director of Argonne's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division

Argonne has named Cynthia Jenks the next director of the laboratory's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. Jenks currently serves as the assistant director for scientific planning and the director of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Division at Ames Laboratory.

Argonne-Developed Technology for Producing Graphene Wins TechConnect National Innovation Award

A method that significantly cuts the time and cost needed to grow graphene has won a 2017 TechConnect National Innovation Award. This is the second year in a row that a team at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials has received this award.

Honeywell UOP and Argonne Seek Research Collaborations in Catalysis Under Technologist in Residence Program

Researchers at Argonne are collaborating with Honeywell UOP scientists to explore innovative energy and chemicals production.

Follow the Fantastic Voyage of the ICARUS Neutrino Detector

The ICARUS neutrino detector, born at Gran Sasso National Lab in Italy and refurbished at CERN, will make its way across the sea to Fermilab this summer. Follow along using an interactive map online.

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Jefferson Sciences Associates announced today the award of eight JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowships. The doctoral students will use the fellowships to support their advanced studies at their universities and conduct research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) - a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear physics laboratory managed and operated by JSA, a joint venture between SURA and PAE Applied Technologies.


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Magnetic Particles that Flock Like Birds

Tracking movements of individual particles provides understanding of collective motions, synchronization and self-assembly.

Graphene Ribbons Result in 100-Fold Increase in Gold Catalyst's Performance

Bottom-up synthesis of tunable carbon nanoribbons provides a new route to enhance industrial, automotive reactions.

Breaking the Rules to Make Electricity from Waste Heat

More atomic bonds is the key for performance in a newly discovered family of cage-structured compounds.

Magnetic Curve Balls

A twisted array of atomic magnets were driven to move in a curved path, a needed level of control for use in future memory devices.

New "Gold Standard" for Flexible Electronics

Simple, economical process makes large-diameter, high-performance, thin, transparent, and conductive foils for bendable LEDs and more.

New Class of Porous Materials Better Separates Carbon Dioxide from Other Gases

Enhanced stability in the presence of water could help reduce smokestack emissions of greenhouse gases.

Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun's Energy

New material based on common iron ore can help turn intermittent sunlight and water into long-lasting fuel.

Oxygen: The Jekyll and Hyde of Biofuels

Scientists are devising ways to protect plants, biofuels and, ultimately, the atmosphere itself from damage caused by an element that sustains life on earth.

The Rise of Giant Viruses

Research reveals that giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, with implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup.

Grasses: The Secrets Behind Their Success

Researchers find a grass gene affecting how plants manage water and carbon dioxide that could be useful to growing biofuel crops on marginal land.


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