College campuses are going green, creating eco-friendly buildings, such as Lehman College’s New Science Building.
The new science building, celebrating its groundbreaking on Wednesday, September 24 will be the first step in the CUNY Decade of Science initiative. Throughout the CUNY system, buildings will be renovated and created in the interest of bringing more students into the growing science field as well as making the building more environmentally friendly.
“The new facility will allow Lehman’s science programs, especially on the graduate level, to attract a new generation of students and scholars,” states Ricardo Fernandez, president of Lehman College.
When the proposal arose in the 2002 Campus Mater Plan, the college worked with Pekins & Will to create a three-phase design.
The new building itself is only the first and second phases, envisioned to be over 210,000 gross square feet. The third phase will include renovation of Gillet Hall to coincide with the new building. When completed the idea is to create a ‘campus within campus’ for the scientific field.
The New Science Building will feature state-of-the-art labs and facilities. Many rooms follow a modular design, allowing for versatility and flexibility. Spaces can be converted to suit the demands and needs of the students and staff.
The building’s structure is also deigned to encourage collaboration between the many scientific disciplines, which may allow research to go further than imagined before. Undergraduate and graduate activities will be linked to encourage broader research projects.
“The subsequent research that is conducted will open the door to discoveries, in areas such as improved food preparation and the development of new pharmaceuticals, that we can only imagine right now,” explains Fernandez.
A central courtyard will include an urban constructed wetland featuring plants that will naturally clean stormwater and graywater for reuse in the toilets and maintenance.
In addition the building will have a highly reflective ‘cool roof,’ solar hot water panels to convert sunlight to energy, and a structure allowing significant use of daylight hours as a light source and trees for shade to minimize unnecessary light sources.
“CUNY is preparing students to meet global challenges – in the environment, the control of disease, the search for new resources, and many other areas of human life,” states Iris Weinshall, the CUNY vice chancellor for facilities planning. “Meeting faculty research and teaching needs by providing up-to-date labs and instrumentation is essential to the learning process.”