UB Celebrates Commitment to Sustainable Energy Use

Creekside Village Community Center first in WNY to receive LEED certification

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: August 5, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's commitment to sustainable energy use and "green" building principles was underscored today as members of the university community gathered at the Creekside Village apartments to unveil a plaque citing the certification of the complex's community center as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building.

UB officials and the building's engineers and architects -- RobsonWoese Inc. and Lauer Manguso & Associates, respectively -- say the community center is Western New York's first LEED-certified structure and one of only a few hundred "green" buildings in the country.

"The Creekside community center's certification as a LEED Green Building reaffirms UB's longstanding commitment to environmental responsibility and leadership," said UB President William R. Greiner. "Environmental stewardship plays a key role in the commitment to public service that is a central part of our mission as New York State's most comprehensive public research university.

"We're proud to lead by example, and we hope that in the near future, Creekside's community center will be one of many buildings in our Western New York community that utilize environmentally sustainable design and employ ecologically sound practices," Greiner added.

Planning for the Creekside community center was an important event in UB's history, noted Dennis Black, UB vice president for student affairs. "It was one of those pivotal moments when a project designed to benefit one small corner of New York, could, with the right vision, also make an impact on our world. Many people deserve credit for the success of Creekside and for having vision that extends beyond our backyard," Black said.

The LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council is based on voluntary, consensus-based national standards for developing high-performance sustainable buildings.

"LEED certification identifies your project as a pioneering example of sustainable design and demonstrates your leadership in transforming the building and marketplace," wrote Christine A. Ervin, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, in a letter to UB administrators. "Creekside Village Community Center has earned this recognition for excellence in the built environment and a place among the finest measured green buildings."

The ceremony, held in the Creekside community building, was hosted by Greiner and Black. The plaque, which will be mounted on the outside of the community building, was unveiled and certificates were presented to the engineers, architects and UB staff who worked on the project.

Creekside Village, an $11 million project comprising 13 two-story buildings featuring 102 two-bedroom townhouses and 14 ranch-style units, was built on a quiet, natural site on the northern edge of the North Campus near the Ellicott Complex. Seven buildings are located along the west side of Bizer Creek and six buildings -- plus the community building -- are located on the east side of the creek. The fifth apartment-style complex built for student housing by UB in five years at no cost to New York State taxpayers, it opened last August.

The village's community center features many "green" design elements that significantly reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment and residents. Among them are:

• Environmentally friendly building materials, including some with recycled content

• Non-CFC refrigerants in the air-conditioning system

• Low-VOC coatings for walls and floors

• Partially bermed walls for passive insulation

• Solar-powered deck lighting

• Special lighting controls that turn off lights in unoccupied rooms and also reduce artificial lighting levels in proportion to the available natural light to further reduce energy needs.

• A decorative indoor pond that helps to humidify the building's interior while reducing comfort-heating requirements

• Heat recovery from ventilation system

• High-efficiency HVAC equipment and DDC controls reduce energy use.