Oculus - Spring 2011 - (Page 22)

feature Testing Green Ideas The new Syracuse Center of Excellence not only tests innovative energy concepts, it connects research universities with the building and design community BY J A MES S . RU S S ELL, FAIA (above and right) The Syracuse CoE, considered a “living lab” for collaborative research and demonstration projects, is slated to receive LEED Platinum certification for its numerous sustainable design strategies. A “Science needs to become a more social activity, to be more collaborative. We’ve made more transparency so researchers see the highway and the city, and the public has a better idea of what’s going on.” quest for next-generation green architecture didn’t make me think of Syracuse, but as I drove into the chilly city between lake-effect snowstorms, it occurred to me that the volatile upstate climate is a perfect place to test climate-sensitive design. Toshiko Mori Architect’s angular Syracuse Center of Excellence (CoE) stands up like a billboard for innovation, located in the elbow of a freeway intersection that hacks through the center of the tough industrial town. Syracuse flowered thanks to the Erie Canal, but has suffered the stifling fate of too many older industrial centers. Former Governor George Pataki established the CoE to combine institutional and private building-industry research. Such research in America has been funded at almost trivial levels, so the potential is great (as is the competitive threat from outside the U.S.). The center is the hub of the New York Energy Regional Innovation Cluster. The idea of this mouthful is to connect research universities (Syracuse University and nearby Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) with building-product manufacturers, architects, engineers, and builders, who are innovating to keep pace with global competition – some 100 partners in all. The center hosts a translucent sun-tracking, façade-system solar array, for example, that generates Iwan Baan electricity and heats water. It was developed by Rensselaer and SHoP Architects. The building, which cants to the west and bends in the middle, is calibrated to a wide variety of interior and exterior conditions. According to Toshiko Mori, FAIA, the center’s executive director, Ed Bogucz, “wants scientists to think of what they do in connection to humanity, to the city around them.” Mori adds, “Science needs to become a more social activity, to be more collaborative. We’ve made more transparency so researchers see the highway and the city, and the public has a better idea of what’s going on.” Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy 22 Oculus Spring 2011 Magda Biernat Photography

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2011

Oculus - Spring 2011
Contents
First Words
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: A Critique of Pure Sustainability
Testing Green Ideas
New Life for a Boomer Building
School Back in Session After 30-Year Recess
It Takes More Than a Village
Shedding Light
What Every Architect Should Know About NYC’s New Energy Laws
Good Practices
44-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2011

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