2011-08-24 / Business

University at Buffalo dedicates ‘green’ building in honor of past president

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

Sustainable, Plyboo walls, floor tiling made from recycled soda bottles and ponds designed to capture rainwater — these are just a few of the features that make the University at Buffalo’s newest residence hall, Greiner Hall, a model for campus living.

Dedicated on Aug. 19, the 198,500 square-foot building has capacity for 600 students.

The building also features suites with two double rooms that have an adjoining private bathroom and storage area.

Additional amenities include wireless Internet access, a 50-seat Au Bon Pain café, multi-use classrooms, study spaces and fireplace lounges.

“Greiner Hall provides students with a living environment that supports their intellectual pursuits and creates opportunities to socialize and exchange ideas in a vibrant university setting,” said Dennis Black, UB vice president for university life and services.

Greiner Hall is reserved for sophomores, who are often seeking greater privacy and more space as they enter their second year of college.

The building’s blend of residential, recreational and academic spaces creates a vibrant living and learning environment for these students, encouraging them to remain engaged in academics as they continue their education. The facility embodies the “learning landscape” concept in the university’s UB 2020 strategic plan, which encourages continual student learning by creating an environment that supports discovery outside the classroom.

Located on UB’s North Campus, Greiner Hall was designed to earn a gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

Greiner Hall is named for William R. Greiner, UB’s 13th president, who died in December 2009 due to complications from heart surgery.

Greiner, who joined the law faculty in 1967, rose through the faculty and administrative ranks, culminating with his appointment as UB’s 13th president in 1991.

He served until 2003, and was named UB president emeritusin2009bytheStateUniversity of New York Board of Trustees.

Greiner Hall stands in memory of Greiner’s 42 years of service to the university and his lifelong dedication to UB’s students.

The building’s many green features include:

 High-efficiency lighting and low-flow shower heads and faucets.

 A roof with a reflective, ultra white coating to help keep the building cool.

 Showers for staff and faculty who work in Greiner Hall and commute to UB by bicycle

 A landscaping irrigation system that draws water from a lake on campus

 Walls made in part from Plyboo, a bamboo plywood material harvested from sustainable forests.

 Counters and flooring made from post-consumer materials.

The building’s many features also include stoves, washers and dryers as well as adaptable or accessible in-suite bathrooms that feature oversized showers to accommodate wheelchair users and others who need more space.

The usability and effectiveness of Greiner Hall’s universally designed components will be tested as part of a research project that UB’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access is conducting with the goal of evaluating and improving new universal design standards for public buildings.

Results will help researchers develop an improved evidence base for universal design standards. Greiner Hall was constructed in partnership with the UB Foundation.

Cannon Design served as the architectural and engineering firm on the $57 million project. Construction was managed by LPCiminelli.

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