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A photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 5,000 panels is the centerpiece of the hybrid landscape.
Story by Arthur Page
Walter Hood, artist and landscape designer. Photo by: Reanna Kaopuiki, BFA ’01
COME NEXT SPRING, UB’s North Campus will be the site of the largest solar array installation on a college or university campus in New York State and one of the largest on a college or university campus in the United States.
Located east of Flint Road between Maple Road and Audubon Parkway, it will contain 5,000 photovoltaic panels that will generate solar energy for 735 student apartments and reduce UB’s carbon emissions by more than 500 metric tons per year.
It also will advance a principal goal of the UB 2020 strategic plan: improving the environmental sustainability of the university’s three campuses.
The installation is being built by UB in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and funded with up to $7.5 million from the NYPA.
The proposed design is derived from “the strand,” a linear landscape formation and DNA fingerprint. Together, water and light merge, harnessing nature’s energy from sunlight and hydrological infiltration.
Work on the site will begin this fall.
The university, envisioning the solar array
as a significant land art installation, conducted
ational international design competition to ensure that it would integrate beauty with engineering innovation and environmental sustainability.
Artist and landscape architect Walter Hood, winner of the competition, is founding principal of Hood Design of Oakland, Calif., and professor and former chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of California at Berkeley. He calls his winning design “The Solar Strand,” a term that refers both to a linear landscape formation and to the way pairs of molecules entwine to form DNA.
Indeed, Hood’s design physically resembles the linear pattern of a DNA fingerprint, and will incorporate plantings in and among the solar panels to reinforce and merge with the existing creek and campus wood patch ecology. He envisions educational and social uses for the solar panel system, primarily through the development of “social rooms” that would “break through” the array at three locations.
Like a DNA fingerprint, solar panels are codified, arranged to show how much power is captured or generated and where it is used.
2/19/2017 An article in Politico Magazine about UB alumnus Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed , who was elected president of his native country, quotes Don Grinde who said they discussed the different models of democratic governance, warlordism and religious extremism.
2/19/2017 David Schmid tells USA Today that it is not unusual for the president to have a hostile relationship with the press. But Trump's description of the press is unprecedented, he says.
2/17/2017 NPR's Marketplace looks at why the NBA, its players, coaches and owners are speaking out more on national political issues these days and speaks with Nellie Drew .