Among Davis Hall's eco-friendly features are 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.
UB engineers and their students are improving the environment in
Western New York and beyond.
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 the
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,” says 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 labs 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 says.
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 the 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, Vladimir Mitin, SUNY
Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, 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,” says 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
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, UB’s New
York State 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 Hall.
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