BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo engineers and their
students are improving the environment in Western New York and
It’s fitting, then, that the School of Engineering and
Applied Sciences’ signature building, Barbara and Jack Davis
Hall, would complement those efforts. The building, which
officially opened last May, has been certified gold under the U.S.
Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
Named after Jack Davis (a 1955 graduate of UB’s
engineering school) and his wife, the building is designed to
exceed the state’s energy efficiency code by 34 percent.
Among its eco-friendly features: an outdoor plaza that includes
water efficient landscaping and methods to capture stormwater; a
small green roof; waterless urinals; bicycle racks; the use of
recycled building materials; and energy efficient heating, cooling
and ventilation systems.
All combined to earn the gold designation, which is second highest
grade under LEED guidelines.
“Davis Hall is notable not only for its environmentally
friendly design and construction, but also because it has quickly
become a vibrant focal point for UB’s engineering
activities,” said Liesl Folks, dean of the School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences. “The common areas that are
available for students to gather and collaborate work wonderfully
and the lab’s and conference rooms are buzzing with academic
activity. The building functions beautifully!”
With an exterior of copper colored panels and glass, Davis Hall
evokes the look of a microchip. It will help the school attract new
faculty and students, as well as pursue groundbreaking research in
nanotechnology, pattern recognition, bio-based security systems and
other fields, Folks said.
The building houses two departments -- Computer Science and
Engineering and Electrical Engineering -- as well as the Center of
Excellence in Document Analysis (CEDAR) and the Center for Unified
Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS). It also serves as a gateway to the
engineering school’s complex of buildings on North Campus
that support five other departments: Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Civil, Structural and
Environmental Engineering; Industrial and Systems Engineering; and
Chemical and Biological Engineering.
The wide range of departments features an equally diverse array
of researchers and students, many of whom are helping to create a
more sustainable world. For example,
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering Vladimir
Mitin is developing more efficient solar cells. Alan Rabideau,
professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering,
pioneered a way to remove nuclear waste from groundwater. A student
club, Engineers for a Sustainable World, works to improve
environmental quality on campus and in Western New York.
“The faculty, students and staff of the School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences continue to not only be campus
leaders but national sustainability trailblazers,” said Ryan
McPherson, UB’s chief sustainability officer. “Davis
Hall’s LEED gold certification is but another verification of
the school’s commitment to both finding innovative solutions
to our global challenges as well as lessening our own environmental
Davis Hall, which received nearly $50 million in state funding,
supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative that
requires state buildings to operate 20 percent more efficiently
within the next seven years.
It is the latest in a series of building projects and
renovations at UB recognized for their commitment to creating a
more sustainable future. Other LEED-certified or LEED-designed
buildings at UB include: William R. Greiner Hall, the Center of
Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, the Clinical and
Translational Research Center, Creekside Village Community Center,
the Educational Opportunity Center, and John and Editha Kapoor
The building projects, as well as UB’s plan to hire an
additional 250 faculty members, are part of the UB 2020 strategy to
transform UB into one of the nation’s premier public research