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Living Green at Greiner Hall: How UB's newest eco-friendly residence hall is making the grade with students and mother earth.
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Story by CHARLOTTE HSU

William R. Greiner Hall, UB’s newest residence hall (housing mostly sophomores), provides a glimpse at the future direction more and more buildings at UB will be modeled upon. The building, which debuted on the North Campus in August 2011, is the first of several state-of-the-art structures that have opened or will open on campus over a two-year period. UB’s recent burst of new on-campus construction has already been nationally noticed. 

The students living in Greiner Hall take pride in its environmentally conscious features, which earned it a gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system. The building’s architects packed it with innovative surprises, like an irrigation system that draws water from an on-campus lake and laundry room counters made from recycled Tide detergent bottles.

Greiner Hall also encourages a healthy lifestyle for all residents by adhering to universal design — design that empowers people of diverse abilities by encouraging health and wellness and social participation. UB’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access contributed ideas, and is a leader in this field.

And of course, to make sure its residents have every advantage to succeed in their academic pursuits, Greiner Hall offers dedicated classroom settings, as well as creative spaces for both individuals and groups to relax and unwind with a favorite book, or to enjoy their shared learning and living environment through casual discussions on anything from Pinterest to Pride and Prejudice.

 

Explore Greiner Hall

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Counter Measures: Countertops in laundry rooms are crafted from recycled Tide bottles—just one of Greiner Hall’s fun uses of vintage materials.

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Rain-Catchers: Outside Greiner Hall, man-made detention ponds called bioswales catch rainwater, preventing it from entering an over-burdened sewer system.

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Accessible Bathrooms: Amenities like oversized showers and shower heads with adjustable height make in-suite bathrooms comfortable for everyone.

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Creative Irrigation: Greiner Hall’s landscaping irrigation system draws water from nearby Lake LaSalle.

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Bike Racks: Racks outside Greiner Hall include spaces for more than 90 bicycles.

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Comfortable Controls: Controls on appliances—including stoves, washers and dryers—are easy to reach for wheelchair users.

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Flat Entrances: All of the main entrances to Greiner Hall are ground-level, avoiding the need for stairs or ramps that can present barriers to easy access.

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Frugal Faucets: Low-flow shower heads and faucets enable residents to save water.

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Signs in Braille: Signage throughout the building includes descriptions in Braille. Other features that make Greiner Hall a great place to live for students with limited vision include blue LED lights that help residents locate light switches at night, and floors and walls painted in contrasting colors to help people distinguish the dimensions of rooms more easily.

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Super-Roof: A reflective, ultra-white coating help keeps the building cool.

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Plyboo: Some of the building’s walls are made from plyboo, a bamboo plywood material harvested from sustainable forests.

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Green Tiles: Floor tiles next to the first-floor Au Bon Pain café are green in every sense of the word. They’re made from recycled Heineken bottles.

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Showers for Commuters: To encourage green commuting, staff biking to work at Greiner Hall can take advantage of on-site showers.

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The Man Behind The Name

Greiner Hall is named for the late William R. Greiner, UB’s 13th president and a longtime Law School faculty member.

The designation is fitting: During his 42 years at UB—including 13 as president—Greiner’s focus was always on making the UB experience better for students.

He oversaw the construction of five student apartment complexes, led the drive for UB’s athletics program to join the NCAA’s Division 1, and recruited world-class faculty to teach and conduct research with students.