LeMoyne College continues to grow but amazingly, it's energy use continues to go down.
Thursday night, the brand new high-tech science building was unveiled on the DeWitt Campus.
"Over the last 5 years, we have doubled the number of students in biology," said Joe Della Posta with LeMoyne College. That increase in students, demanded the need for more space.
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked completion of the $20-million dollar project. The 48,000 square foot building was built on time and under budget. And it's expected to achieve gold level LEED certification in the next few months.
Nearly every detail in the building works together to make it as energy efficient as possible.
"We reduce the level of artificial light when the sun is shining and we harvest that energy from the sun," said Jim Dishaw with LeMoyne College. "We use plywood, rapidly renewable woods throughout. We're not destroying trees that have been growing for 50 years. We use bamboo, it grows like grass."
92% of the construction materials used in the building process were recycled instead of being dumped into landfills.
LEED certification is not only about how it's built, but also how it's maintained. The floors throughout the building are considered "sustainable" because they don't have to be cleaned as often or waxed like other types of flooring. That cuts back on energy use, manpower and harmful chemicals being used.
The shiny new building has a dozen new classrooms and science labs, plus the largest teaching space on campus, a 125 seat lecture hall.
It's not only a place for students to learn, it's part of the lesson too. "The building becomes part of the experiment. Students will be monitoring the energy use, water use. They can make adjustments to try to make the building as efficient as possible," said LeMoyne President Fred Pestello.
Building information is right at students fingertips. A touch-screen smart board in the hallway provides up to the minute data on energy use. "T hey tell us it's energy efficient, but now we can see it how is it," said student Andrew Dearing. " You can compare the electricity use to every day things like toaster ovens and microwaves, it puts the energy use into perspective for you."
The building is not only saving energy, but saving the school thousands of dollars in energy costs too.
Have you thought about "going green." Do you try to be energy efficient in your own home? Leave a comment below!