Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- After nearly two years of work, SUNY ESF’s new centerpiece to campus is nearly complete.
The Gateway Building will serve as a student center, classroom and grand entrance, among other things.
“This is sort of our front door. When people come in here they’ll now see the impressive wood structure and they’ll know they’re someplace different…it will be part of what ESF is about,” said SUNY ESF Director of Renewable Energy Systems, Mike Kelleher.
But more impressive than the physical layout of the building is how and why it’s built the way it is.
Each part of the building was done with energy efficiency in mind. The angling of the windows for instance allows for plenty of natural light, but also cuts down on direct sunlight that would heat up the building. It will use one third of the energy than that of a building constructed to current energy code. A green roof, which is still being constructed, will provide space for people to gather, but also save storm water and allow native plants to grow.
An ESF student once said, “If they’re going to teach green, they better be green.”
"It will be part of our educational program, both for our matriculated students, as well as community outreach seminars, conferences and we can show people what the technology is and how it works,” Kelleher said.
ESF plans on showing off the building’s power plant, too. Each year, by using wood chips, the school will save the equivalent of the power that would be used for 700 homes. And, not only will it heat and power the Gateway Building, it will also provide heat for Illick Hall, which is next door, as well as three other campus buildings. In total, it will produce 70 percent of the heat and 22 percent of the electricity to campus.
The building should be finished this fall. ESF is already planning to add solar panels outside and a fitness center inside the Gateway Building.