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SUNY Poly Utica campus to start construction of SUNY’s first zero-net, carbon-certified residence hall

By Eric Reinhardt


SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Utica campus on Thursday broke ground on construction of a $33.5 million, 257-bed residence hall project. The state says it is SUNY’s first “zero-net, carbon-certified” residence hall, per a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. (Photo credit: Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Twitter page)

MARCY, N.Y. — The Utica campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) has broken ground on construction of a new residence hall.

The state describes the upcoming structure as SUNY’s first “zero-net, carbon-certified” residence hall, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Thursday news release.

SUNY is working with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) on construction of the $33.5 million, 257-bed residence hall project. The state expects it will be available for student living by August 2020.

DASNY will contract with Syracuse–based Hueber-Breuer Construction Co. and use the design-build method. Both design and construction services are provided through a single contract to “expedite project delivery and provide savings,” Cuomo’s office said.

The state is financing the residence hall through DASNY’s SUNY dormitory facilities program, which issues low-cost, tax-exempt bonds supported by student residence-hall fees, per the release.

Energy-efficient design

Crews will build the residence hall as “zero-net, carbon certified,” meaning that “in addition to exceeding existing energy codes, the infrastructure to add future on-site renewable energy production systems will be in place.”

Once these systems are installed, the building will use “equal to or less than” the energy it can annually produce on-site through renewable resources, the state says.

The design-build team will pursue both zero energy building (ZEB) certification and zero carbon certification through the Seattle, Washington–based International Living Future Institute (ILFI). The building will be “ultra-energy efficient” with infrastructure and connections so that crews can install on-site renewable energy systems in the future to secure ILFI’s ZEB certification.

The project coincides with SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson’s plan to “retrofit and renovate” SUNY’s 64-campus system to produce “greater energy savings.” The plan includes SUNY sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon sources, including renewables and energy storage. It required the design of all new SUNY buildings to produce zero-net carbon emissions, per the news release.

By making the switch at SUNY’s 2,346 buildings, the state expects to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

SUNY’s 2,346 buildings represent 40 percent of the building infrastructure in New York, Cuomo’s office said.

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