DOE News
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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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    Spotlighting Differences in Closely-Related Species

    Aspergillus fungi play roles in fields including bioenergy, health, and biotechnology. In Nature Genetics, a team led by scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, the DOE Joint Genome Institute, and the Joint Bioenergy Institute, present the first large analysis of an Aspergillus fungal subgroup, section Nigri.

    Researchers switch material from one state to another with a single flash of light

    Scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have demonstrated a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and then back again, with single flashes of laser light.

    The Stories Behind the Science: How Does the Ocean's Saltiness Affect Tropical Storms?

    Two researchers with personal experience of hurricanes set out to investigate the role of an underestimated factor in storm's strength - salinity. They found that salinity plays a larger role than anyone thought, including them.

    Surprise finding: Discovering a previously unknown role for a source of magnetic fields

    Feature describes unexpected discovery of a role the process that seeds magnetic fields plays in mediating a phenomenon that occurs throughout the universe and can disrupt cell phone service and knock out power grids on Earth.

    Genetic behavior reveals cause of death in poplars essential to ecosystems, industry

    Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species' inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.

    Pushing the (Extra Cold) Frontiers of Superconducting Science

    Ames Laboratory has developed a method to measure magnetic properties of superconducting and magnetic materials that exhibit unusual quantum behavior at very low temperatures in high magnetic fields.

    Scientists Find Unusual Behavior in Topological Material

    Argonne scientists have identified a new class of topological materials made by inserting transition metal atoms into the atomic lattice of a well-known two-dimensional material.

    Wind Farms and Reducing Hurricane Precipitation

    New research reveals an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: the ability to lessen precipitation from hurricanes.

    New simulations confirm efficiency of waste-removal process in plasma device

    PPPL scientists have found evidence suggesting that a process could remove the unwanted ash produced during fusion reactions and make the fusion processes more efficient within a type of fusion facility known as a field-reversed configuration device.

    How Animals Use Their Tails to Swish and Swat Away Insects

    A new study shows how animals use their tails to keep mosquitoes at bay by combining a swish that blows away most of the biting bugs and a swat that kills the ones that get through.


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    Physicist Takes Cues from Artificial Intelligence

    In the world of computing, there's a groundswell of excitement for what is perceived as the impending revolution in artificial intelligence. Like the industrial revolution in the 19th century and the digital revolution in the 20th, the AI revolution is expected to change the way we live and work. Now, Cristiano Fanelli aims to bring the AI revolution to nuclear physics.

    Engineering professor receives Department of Energy grant

    New Mexico State University Department of Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Ehsan Dehghan Niri has received a United States Department of Energy grant. This is a three-year award for $400,000 and is a collaboration with Arizona State University.

    Argonne and Capstone receive funding to advance thermal energy storage technology

    The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corp. have received $380,000 in DOE Technology Commercialization Funding to refine Argonne's high-efficiency, fast charging/discharging latent heat thermal energy storage system (TESS) for use in building applications and process/manufacturing industries.

    AVS and AIP Publishing Expand Partnership to Launch AVS Quantum Science

    AIP Publishing and AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing (AVS) today announced an agreement to publish AVS Quantum Science, a new online interdisciplinary journal. The announcement coincides with the AVS 65th International Symposium & Exhibition in Long Beach, California, from October 21-26, 2018.

    Prototype Solar Energy, Battery Systems to Fuel Commercialization

    Designing, building and testing prototype systems that show how renewable energy can power devices, such as a weather and soil sensor station, can help bridge the gap between basic science research and commercialization.

    Argonne to Advance High Performance Computing in Manufacturing

    Argonne awarded funding to partner with Industry to advance the use of high performance computing in manufacturing.

    "Invisible Glass" Wins 2018 Create the Future Design Contest Grand Prize

    Scientists from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials developed a technique for making nonreflecting glass, silicon, and plastic surfaces.

    Missouri S&T researchers win multimillion dollar grant to build fast-charging stations for electric cars

    Researchers from Missouri S&T and three private companies will combine their expertise to create charging stations for electric vehicles that could charge a car in less than 10 minutes - matching the time it takes to fill up a conventional vehicle with gasoline."The big problem with electric vehicles is range, and it's not so much range as range anxiety.

    Making batteries store more energy, last longer

    A new solid polymer electrolyte may help make cell phone batteries store more energy and last longer.

    Three Brookhaven Lab Scientists Named Fellows of American Physical Society

    The American Physical Society (APS), the world's largest physics organization, has elected three scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory as 2018 APS fellows.


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    Cryocooler Cools an Accelerator Cavity

    Researchers demonstrated cryogen-free operation of a superconducting radio-frequency cavity that might ease barriers to its use in societal applications.

    Shining Light on the Separation of Rare Earth Metals

    New studies identify key molecular characteristics to potentially separate rare earth metals cleanly and efficiently with light.

    Placing Atoms for Optimum Catalysts

    Precise positioning of oxygens could help engineer faster, more efficient energy-relevant chemical transformations.

    How to Make Soot and Stardust

    Scientists unlock mystery that could help reduce emissions of fine particles from combustion engines and other sources.

    Breaking the Symmetry Between Fundamental Forces

    Scientists improve our understanding of the relationship between fundamental forces by re-creating the earliest moments of the universe.

    Water Plays Unexpected Role in Forming Minerals

    Water molecules line up tiny particles to attach and form minerals; understanding how this happens impacts energy extraction and storage along with waste disposal.

    Heavy Particles Get Caught Up in the Flow

    First direct measurement show how heavy particles containing a charm quark get caught up in the flow of early universe particle soup.

    Seeing Between the Atoms

    New detector enables electron microscope imaging at record-breaking resolution.

    Scaling Up Single-Crystal Graphene

    New method can make films of atomically thin carbon that are over a foot long.

    Discovered: Optimal Magnetic Fields Suppress Instabilities in Tokamak Plasmas

    U.S. and Korean scientists show how to find and use beneficial 3-D field perturbations to stabilize dangerous edge-localized modes in plasma.


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