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Cornell gets NYSERDA's energy efficiency award

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded Cornell with a High Performance Building Plaque for making investments that will reduce energy costs by some $117,000 annually.

Cornell's Riley Robb Hall Biofuels Research Lab and Building System Upgrades project was supported by $111,865 in NYSERDA incentives, which helped fund the implementation of energy improvements such as HVAC and lighting controls and heat recovery. These improvements to the building and its systems will reduce energy consumption, decrease demands on the utility's distribution system and increase occupant comfort.

The project involved the adaptive reuse and renovation of Riley Robb Hall's east wing 1950s-vintage large-equipment lab into a suite of modern wet labs, approximately 11,500 gross square feet (GSF) for state-of-the-art cellulosic biomass biofuels research and development. The project included renovations of a 7,700 GSF adjacent space in the south wing for the Soil and Water Group displaced by the Biofuels Research Lab. Building-system infrastructure renewals, including a 2,400 GSF Penthouse Mechanical Equipment Room addition over the east wing with spare capacity for future renovations and upgrades, were also incorporated in the project.

The energy savings -- more than 536,973 kilowatt hours -- is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 78 single-family homes annually and will be realized by the institution every year for years to come.

NYSERDA High Performance Building Plaques are presented to institutions that have constructed or substantially renovated buildings to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code. Cornell's Riley Robb South Wing is rated to perform 55.8 percent above code.


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