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Kimball Hall’s green floors paved in LEED Gold

After completing interior renovations last summer, students and researchers moved back to engineering assistant professor Ankur Singh’s laboratory space in Kimball Hall. Four floors of the building, dedicated in 1953, are now certified LEED Gold.

With a flexible interior design that promotes engineering and scientific partnerships, golden days lie ahead for the renovated Kimball Hall. That’s appropriate because in February the U.S. Green Building Council certified Kimball Hall’s floors 2 through 5 as LEED Gold.

This marks Cornell’s 18th LEED certified project, but the first on the changing face of the Engineering Quad.

Opened in 1953 and named for Dexter S. Kimball, Cornell’s first dean of engineering, the building sports a solar energy wall whose dark metal panels contain ventilation ductwork. On cold days, ventilated air is pre-heated by the sun and this reduces energy use.

Taking advantage of natural lighting, 90 percent of the workspace has window views, reducing the need for electricity by one-fifth. The state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems reduce the building’s energy use by nearly one-third.

Project designers strove to incorporate recycled content, too. About 55 percent of the building’s material and furnishings are regionally manufactured. Of the wood products in Kimball Hall, most have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being sustainably managed and harvested.

- Blaine Friedlander