SyracuseCoE looks to make its work meaningful to the people of Syracuse. To that end, SyracuseCoE and its collaborators are currently involved in projects in the city's historically dis-invested Near Westside neighborhood (NWS) that try to decrease energy use in homes and increase indoor air quality; help find environmentally-friendly solutions to storm water management; promote deconstruction practices; and create green collar jobs.
SyracuseCoE is working with the Near West Side Initiative (NWI) to revitalize the Near Westside. The NWI is a not-for-profit led by Syracuse University and composed of partners from many different agencies and institutions. The main purpose of the NWI is to revitalize the NWS through the use of art, technology, and innovations.
Photo: A ceremony to launch the green renovation of the Lincoln Supply Building in Syracuse's Near Westside Neighborhood, September 2009.
Projects in the Near Westside Include:
With funding from SyracuseCoE, consultant Raimi + Associates—along with Agora Group, City of Syracuse, Home HeadQuarters, Northeast Green Building Consulting, Opticos Design, Syracuse University's Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development, and SU's School of Architecture UPSTATE initiative—created a LEED-Neighborhood Development green "retrofit" plan for the SALT District, a 156-acre residential, business, and industrial zone within the NWS. The recommendations attained Gold Certification under the US Green Building Council's LEED-ND pilot program. SyracuseCoE will continue its engagement through participation in the technical portion of the neighborhood plan that is currently being developed.
For more information about LEED-ND in the Near Westside, click here.
SyracuseCoE partnered with Home HeadQuarters (HHQ), a not-for-profit housing organization, to provide energy audits to homeowners in the neighborhood that participated in the HHQ administered program of energy mini-grants. A total of 34 audits were completed, giving the opportunity for SyracuseCoE staff to interact directly with 34 families in the neighborhood.
Out of that effort, SyracuseCoE identified 5 homeowners that could benefit from innovative energy-efficient technologies and green infrastructure. These homeowners were approached with an offer to provide funding for specific equipment in exchange for getting permission to monitor performance, and access to the equipment as needed. The data collected will help validate the equipment in a real life situation.
In addition, SyracuseCoE is working with HHQ and UPSTATE, a design research and advocacy organization housed within Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, providing expertise and funding to improve the energy efficiency of building rehabilitation projects, as well as new construction. Two major examples of this collaboration are the “From the Ground Up” competition and the reconstruction of the old Lincoln Supply building.
“From the Ground Up” was an international design competition (presented by UPSTATE, HHQ, SyracuseCoE, and others) that sought to develop green, affordable homes. Out of 52 entries, 3 were selected for construction in the Near Westside. SyracuseCoE’s involvement has included technical review of projects during the judging phase, advice and expertise during construction, and monitoring of energy use after completion. SyracuseCoE partner, CDH Energy, is monitoring the energy consumption of the three homes. For more, click here.
The Lincoln Supply building project involves and old 4-story warehouse that is being transformed into a mixed-use building. When completed, it will provide retail/office space on the first 2-floors, and live/work space in the upper 2 stories. SyracuseCoE has provided much of the funding and expertise for the selection of the building systems, which include a geothermal field, solar panels, hot water on-demand, an innovative living wall screen over part of the building, rain water recycling capacity, and others.
SyracuseCoE also has worked with collaborators including Home HeadQuarters, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Near West Side Initiative to install a green infrastructure demonstration project at 515 Tully.
Syracuse Center of Excellence SyracuseCoE has installed a Freewatt micro-CHP system at a home on the Near Westside of Syracuse. The purpose of this field test is to measure and confirm the energy and environmental performance of this innovative system. This residential-scale combined heat and power (CHP) system has been developed by Climate Energy. The system includes a natural gas-driven engine generator that provides about 1 kW of electric power for the home. Waste heat from the engine is used to provide space heating for the home. The system combines a Honda engine generator and a conventional gas furnace for backup heating. The furnace includes a hot water coil in order to use heat from the engine jacket to provide space heating. A Monitoring Plan summarizes the instrumentation and systems that have been installed and provides the rationale for the test approach. For more, click here
In the city of Syracuse, SyracuseCoE and CDH Energy partnered, to install Solar Panels on a home in order to reduce energy spent to heat hot water. Although the Solar Panels do not fully heat water, they allow water to be brought to a warm state prior to the heating process rather than have the process begin with cool water. By initiating the hot water process, these panels reduce the amount of non-renewable energy used in-home. For more, click here
Passive House Construction on Syracuse's Near Westside
Structural Insulated Panel Construction at a Near Westside Green Home