News & Events

05/13/2015 -
GDF Suez Joins as Industry Partner...

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05/05/2015 -
Syracuse Center of Excellence Daylighting Study...

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03/10/2015 -
SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund Call For Proposals...

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Labs and Testbeds: New SyracuseCoE Facilities to Accelerate Innovations...

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Come visit us for a "Friday at Three" tour...

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2012 Annual Progress Report...

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Building Features

Below is an overview of some of the features of the SyracuseCoE HQ that make it so "green," besides the paint job!

To download a PDF version of this list, click here.

To view an HQ building infographic created by the Syracuse Post-Standard, click here.

Photo: SyracuseCoE HQ's green roof, created by Carlisle with sedum plants provided by Mother Plants of Ithaca, NY.

Overall Building Features

Building Shape and Form - The building is relatively narrow, reducing brownfield site disturbance and excavation, with extensive windows providing a high level of occupant comfort with ample natural light and opportunities for views and natural ventilation.

Building Orientation - To optimize the building's southern exposure in order to avoid solar energy drain during the colder months, the tower portion of the building is rotated 13-degrees from the urban street grid.

Structure - The use of substantial cantilevers in the steel structure on the north, south, and west sides of the building reduce the number of columns, overall steel tonnage, and required footings for the building.

Landscape Design - Large sloping landforms provide a dynamic reflection of the building, as well as a means for safely encapsulating contaminated soil instead of shipping it to a distant landfill. To view the brochure for our self-guided landscaping tour, click here.

Brownfield Remediation - Environmental contamination associated with previous industrial site uses was remediated, restoring the site for sustained use by future generations.

Sustainable Construction Practices - The construction team, led by LeChase, diverted 98% of construction waste from going to a landfill.

Vapor Intrusion System - Ventilation below the foundation prevents underground vapors from entering the building, eliminating a potential source of contaminants in indoor air.

Storm Water Retention Tank - The southwest corner of the property features a storm water retention tank to control run-off entering the sewer system.

Urban Ecosystem Observatory - The 150-foot Urban Ecosystem Observatory tower is being used for a long-term, one-of-a-kind study that will assess Syracuse’s urban air quality, air flow, and how outside air affects air quality inside a building. To see real-time data captured by the tower, click here.

Demand-Controlled Ventilation - The amount of fresh air delivered to a room varies depending on the number of people who are present, saving energy when rooms are partially occupied.

Insulation - Solid façades include superior insulation to reduce heating and cooling loads. Interior insulation uses Demilec, a 100% soy-based spray foam. Exterior insulation boards were created from sustainable natural fiber materials.

Underfloor Ventilation and Raised Flooring - Ventilation is provided close to occupants for improved thermal comfort using a raised floor system, allowing for even air distribution with lower fan speeds. The Tate raised floor system, situated 12 inches above the concrete deck, also provides convenient wire routing.

Radiant Ceilings - Most of the heating and cooling in rooms is provided via ceiling panels that are embedded with copper piping that efficiently carries warm or cool water.

Restrooms - Restrooms feature waterless urinals, dual flush low-flow toilets and faucets, and sustainable paper and cleaning products.

Furniture - Furniture by Haworth and Herman Miller is made from recycled materials and FSC wood and wood products. Furniture is also 100% recyclable by the manufacturers upon return.

Lighting - High efficiency compact fluorescent and LED lighting, controlled by a daylight harvesting (auto dimming) system and auto shut-off occupancy sensors, are used throughout the building.

Windows - The south façade features highly insulated glass with integrated electronically controlled blinds that provide solar heat and glare control, capable of operation at 15-degree increments. The ceramic white dots on the windows passively reduce glare and solar heat gain.

Roof - The building roof is designed to reflect most of the sunlight, minimizing solar heat gain and reducing the cooling load. The roof is also designed to allow future installation of photovoltaics, building-scale wind turbines, and roof top HVAC units.

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Photo: The rainwater collection tank, used to send harvested rain and melt water to the SyracuseCoE bathrooms.

Features of the HQ Lobby

Regenerative Elevator - The Otis elevator generates electricity on the way down, which can then be used for going back up, used elsewhere in the building, or fed back into the grid.

Reception Desk - The desk, built by Syracuse firm CabFab, features an e2e Materials product that uses renewable fibers processed with a soy protein-based resin system. To see a news story related to e2e Materials and CabFab's work, click here.

Underfloor Heating - Hot water is circulated through tubes embedded in the lobby floor to provide efficient heating with a high level of comfort.

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Photo: The SyracuseCoE HQ Lab Wing, with space for research and demonstration projects.

Features of the Lab Wing

Façade Testbed - The south façade of the laboratory wing includes an opening of the building envelope that can be used to test future building envelope and window systems. The current research apparatus was installed into the curtain wall unit by licensees HeliOptix and Island External Fabricators.

Solar Power Prototype - This is the first building-integrated concentrating photovoltaic system, developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with collaborators at Harvard University, and tracks the motion of the sun and uses lenses to concentrate sunlight 500 times, generating both electricity and heat. This system was developed with funding from NYSERDA, NYSTAR, and the US Department of Energy. It is being tested in collaboration with SyracuseCoE.

Biofuels R&D Lab - An advanced biofuels laboratory is planned in the east end of the laboratory wing to develop new methods of extracting and synthesizing fuels and chemicals using woody biomass as feed material.

Water Tank - Rain and meltwater are collected from the roof, stored in an 8,000-gallon tank, and used to flush toilets, reducing both the consumption of drinkable water and the amount of water that is discharged to the sewer.

Laboratory Exhaust - Air from laboratories is exhausted at low speed via a tall stack, which saves energy compared to conventional high-speed designs.

Energy Recovery Ventilator - All buildings need to breathe fresh air. In winter and summer replacing indoor air consumes energy to heat or cool incoming air. This advanced energy recovery ventilator exchanges heat and moisture between outgoing and incoming air streams, significantly reducing the amount of energy required to condition incoming air.

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Features of the 2nd Floor

Carpet - Carpet tiles by InterfaceFLOR are made from recycled materials and installed with minimal adhesive. Zero waste was created by our order: extra carpet< tiles were sent back to the manufacturer to be used for another order.

Boiler - The boiler, made by The Fulton Companies, touts 93% efficiency and uses the latent heat of vaporization to create more heat.

Heat Pumps - Carrier heat pumps optimally manage the heating and cooling needs of the building.

Geothermal Pipes - Heat exchanged with the ground—via water circulated through more than five miles of tubing installed in 49 300-foot-deep wells—is used for both heating and cooling, saving about 35% of energy compared to traditional systems. With a constant temperature of 53 degrees, the groundwater helps heat the building in the winter and cools it in the summer.

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Features of the 3rd Floor

Green Roof - Plantings on the laboratory roof, made up of six different varieties of sedum, provide rainwater retention and a visible connection to nature, while also reducing the heat island effect.

Kitchenette - Cabinets were created by RB Woodcraft out of a unique e2e Materials product that uses renewable fibers processed with a soy protein-based resin system.

SyracuseCoE Offices - The third floor houses SyracuseCoE staff, who work to catalyze collaborations among academic, industry, and government partners to create environmental and energy innovations for a sustainable future. The open office configuration allows for maximum daylighting, air circulation, and enhanced views. This suite will be used for testing of new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

EFC Offices - This space houses the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University (EFC) staff, who work to enhance the administrative and financial capacities of state and local government officials and the nonprofit and private sectors as they endeavor to improve environmental infrastructure and quality of life.

Natural Ventilation Indicator Lights - Manual windows are provided to allow for natural ventilation throughout the building. Red and green lights alert occupants when it is best to open windows based on measurements of outdoor temperature, humidity, air quality, and wind speeds. While the windows are open, sensors notify the building management system to reduce the amount of mechanical ventilation to save energy.

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Features of the 4th Floor

Building Management System - The building automation system installed by Siemens ensures that heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and other building >systems perform in harmony. The system provides information needed to maximize energy efficiencies and optimize indoor air quality, such as advising occupants when outside conditions are favorable for natural ventilation, controlling the amount of artificial lighting, and managing the blind controls to reduce glare and heat gain.

Interstitial Mechanical Equipment Room - This area provides flexible space to install and test new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Air Treatment Modules (ATMs) - These Carrier ATM units are European technologies being introduced in the US for the first time. They allow individuals to control their environment to meet personal preferences at desktops located at the Willis H. Carrier TIEQ Lab. Energy use measurements for these units allow for optimal control of comfort while balancing energy consumption.

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Features of the 5th Floor

Willis H. Carrier Total Indoor Environmental Quality (TIEQ) Laboratory - A unique facility, funded by NYSTAR and Carrier, in which researchers will study how multiple factors—including temperature, humidity, air quality, lighting, and sound—combine to affect human health and performance in built environments.

P. Ole Fanger Room - This room is dedicated to the memory of Prof. P. Ole Fanger of Denmark for his contributions to the field of thermal comfort and ventilation, and for his service as University Professor at Syracuse University during 2006-07.

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Additional questions about the building? Email us at