If being “cool” can be equated with “cutting edge,” then RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability is the epitome of coolness.
The institute—a world class “living lab” at 190 Lomb Memorial Drive on the Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus—represents the school’s commitment to sustainability, and to solving real-world manufacturing problems.
“Green” technology has been incorporated into every inch of the 84,000-square-foot building—from the solar panels on the canopy to its vertical wind turbines. The institute is designed to be 56 percent more efficient than a standard building. It has been certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest standard that can be achieved in that rating system.
The facility has extensive data sensors and feedback loops that monitor and inform building operations. Highlights include a geothermal system and an open-air terrace that features large areas of sedum and plantings. The “green roof” also provides some insulation value, and absorbs runoff from rain and snow. Rainwater, for example, is filtered and used to flush the toilets. A veritable “green wall” near the west entrance contributes to air quality as well as aesthetics.
Led by Associate Provost Nabil Nasr, more than 100 full-time engineers, technicians, research faculty and sponsored students work on institute projects for hundreds of local, regional and international businesses.
The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was established in 2007 with a $10 million gift from Paychex Inc. founder B. Thomas Golisano. The institute’s home was dedicated on April 12, 2013. LeChase Companies, SWBR Architects and FXCollaborative worked together to create the space.