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New Paltz is Green!

Green Facilities & Construction

The Atrium: the Student Union Building Addition

Design accolades
The design of the Atrium has won several awards, including a 2009 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press. Established in the 1990s, the award programs honor and recognize outstanding new achievements and innovation for new architecture.

Green elements
The Student Union Atrium addition and renovation is a sustainable high performance building designed to reduce energy consumption and provide a healthy and enlightened interior environment. The project employs a number of green design elements that make the building sustainable and reinforce the design themes. The U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was used as a guideline in the design of the project.

Some of the green elements include:

  • Glass enclosure to harvest daylight, providing daylight to at least 75% of spaces
  • Use of lighting controls to minimize daytime energy use by electric fixtures
  • Use of energy efficient LED lights to wash perimeter walls at night
  • Heat recovery in the upper portion of the building volume to reduce heating needs
  • Radiant heating and cooling
  • Low water consumption plumbing fixtures
  • Use of natural and recyclable materials such as New York bluestone, concrete floor with recycled glass aggregate, and wood doors and architectural trim
  • Use of building materials with low VOC (such as paints and adhesives) to improve interior air quality
  • Maintain open space on campus by developing in a denser area
  • Recycling and/or salvaging of construction demolition
  • Use of building materials that are extracted, harvested, recovered or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site
  • Use of renewable materials and certified woods

Solar Panels on Athletic & Wellness Center Roof

In keeping with our Green Initiatives, the SUNY New Paltz Athletic and Wellness Center is currently having a photovoltaic system (solar panels) installed on its roof.

Old Main Renovation

In June of 2008 the college began a $25 million complete renovation of the Old Main Building, which serves as the primary academic and administrative space for the School of Education. Throughout the project, the college has integrated Green and Sustainable design. It will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified project on our campus.

Examples of these elements include:

  • Site work will look to reduce water consumption by planting native or adapted vegetation requiring minimal or no irrigation. Within a 5-year period, 50 percent of the hardscape (walkways, etc.) will be shaded through the use of trees and vegetation in order to reduce the "heat island effect".
  • The building will maximize water efficiency to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems by over 20 percent.
  • The building's HVAC, lighting, and other systems will combine to be over 10 percent more energy efficient then the minimum, baseline standards dictated by the New York State Energy Code.
  • Air conditioning systems will be installed with 0 percent ozone depleting refrigerant sources.
  • Materials with recycled content will be incorporated into the new construction. Items include steel beams and columns, metal studs for partitions, and finishes such as carpet, vinyl tile flooring and acoustic ceiling panels.
  • Adhesives, paints, and carpeting will be low Volatile Organic Compounds emitting materials.
  • During construction, a construction waste management plan will be used to recycle or salvage 50 percent of non-hazardous demolition debris.
  • At the end of construction, building mechanical and safety systems will be commissioned to verify the installation and performance of the systems.