SANDY CREEK, NY – Walking with a lighter footprint.
That’s how occupants of the Syracuse University Center of Excellence (SyracuseCOE) green technologies building describe the philosophy behind green technologies.
Their building exemplifies that philosophy.
SyracuseCOE houses research and development labs that explore ways to incorporate or develop green technologies, but it was the building itself that was the main focus of the Sandy Creek science students recent visit.
Students and their teachers were given a tour of the unique structure that structurally reflects the use of green technologies in almost every aspect.
Even the architectural structure of the building was selected with sustainability in mind, utilizing glass and stainless steel, not just for the esthetic, but for its recyclable aspect at the end of the building’s useful life.
The building utilizes a turf roof reducing the amount of rainwater, and its flow, into the sewer system in the city.
The building is situated to maximize the passive solar efficiency for heating/cooling and lighting, and the building’s distinctive angle aligns with the zenith of the earth’s azimuth to capture sunlight.
Incorporated into the window systems are blinds that automatically open or close based on internal heat/light sensors and the rooms’ needs.
Hallways and other unoccupied spaces are less cool or warm, depending on the season, to conserve energy.
Even the method of heating and cooling uses the earth’s own internal temperature, which remains relatively constant and therefore requires less energy to heat or cool to comfortable temperatures for personal comfort.
The geothermal system pumps air through pipes that were placed into the ground where the air is warmed or cooled, naturally, to approximately 55 degrees before being heated or cooled to a comfortable internal air temp.
It is far more efficient to heat 55 degree air to 70, than to heat 25 degree air in the winter, and vice versa in the summer.
An outdoor air exchange system also provides clean air for healthier indoor air quality.
The results of all of this green technology?
An energy footprint roughly one third the size of the typical office building of the same square footage and a spectacular showcase of these technologies for young people who will one day, shape the future of planet earth.