The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems is a research center for a federation of more than a dozen institutes and corporations that promote energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Located on a contaminated site in downtown Syracuse, the building anchors the corridor connecting the city center and the university campus. The laboratories are organized along a circulation path that acts as gallery with its activities visible to the public.
Considered a living lab, the facility incorporates cutting-edge technology for energy efficiency, embodying its sustainable mission. Sustainable design strategies include photovoltaic panels to generate electrical supply, a horizontal wind turbine, and a geothermal borefield that provides half of the heating and cooling needs. The building's relatively narrow width promotes daylighting, natural ventilation, and panoramic views. The energy-efficient north and south long façades optimize solar radiation in both summer and winter. The north façade provides acoustic insulation from the adjacent highway. Radiant heating and cooling and displacement ventilation reduce the building's demand for mechanically driven air. Recycled and non-volatile-organic-compound-emitting materials lower embodied energy costs and foster better indoor air quality. A green roof above thermally insulates the area below and collects storm water for the building's non-potable water needs. The building is slated to receive a LEED Platinum certification.
The design for the Center of Excellence demonstrates that with intelligent and integrated planning and design, a highly performative sustainable building can be easily achieved.