Best Green Project
Advanced technologies and difficult site conditions posed stiff challenges to the team completing the new $66-million Engineering and Science Building at Binghamton University last May. The 125,000-sq-ft facility on the State University of New York campus in Binghamton, N.Y., includes a green roof and solar panels. The project began in August 2008 and was completed in May 2011.
The structure's proximity to a mission-critical utility building—and the knot of overhead and underground lines to that facility crisscrossing the project site—created a logistical puzzle. The design team led by Edmonton, Alberta-based Stantec Consulting Services adopted energy-efficient systems rarely deployed in the U.S.
A facet of the effort that was extremely rewarding for many project team members was the chance to share these on-the-job lessons with students, says Mike Heikkila, senior associate with Stantec and project manager for the facility.
“It was intended to showcase the technology,” he says. “It's in your building. Go touch it, feel it, look at it, understand it. Measure it if you want. It's more than just help in saving energy. They're going to go out and look at the photovoltaic panels and see if they're working on a snowy day.”
The project created space for faculty and students as well as research programs in a mix of flexible layouts. The focus is on shared laboratories to spur collaboration among users alongside specialized rooms for advanced research. The project aims for LEED-Platinum status.
Andrew R. Mancini Associates of Endicott, N.Y., led the construction team, which logged no recordable OSHA safety incidents and no lost time due to accidents across 22,171 man-hours.
Adapting energy-efficient technologies to a laboratory setting was its own challenge, Heikkila says. One solution, for example, was to work closely with the manufacturers of the chilled beams, a radiant cooling system set in the ceiling that uses water to capture heat from lights and office equipment, to ensure the technology would work properly in lab settings and save energy.
Binghamton University Engineering & Science Building
Owner: Binghamton University, Binghamton, N.Y.
General Contractor: Andrew R. Mancini Associates, Endicott, N.Y.
Lead Designer: Binghamton University
Civil, Structural, MEP Engineer: Stantec Consulting Services, Binghamton, N.Y.
Submitted by: Stantec Consulting Services