UB celebrated the opening of The Solar Strand, its newest sustainability initiative, on Monday, April 23, 2012. Funded by the New York Power Authority and designed by renowned landscape architect Walter Hood, The Solar Strand comprises 3,200 panels stretching for a quarter mile along Flint Road on the North Campus.
The strand’s significance lies in the fact that it merges sustainability with technology, beauty and public engagement. In coming years, the array and surrounding landscape will serve as a classroom and research site for undergraduates and a field trip destination for K-12 pupils.
The installation, a work of landscape art and a gateway to the university, has a maximum rated capacity of 750 kilowatts—enough to power hundreds of student apartments, or even William R. Greiner Hall, SUNY’s first LEED gold-designed student residence hall. The building is packed with such green features as high-efficiency lighting, low-flow faucets and laundry-room counters made from recycled Tide bottles.
UB is in the midst of completing construction or renovation of six structures designed to earn LEED certification, the standard for green building. New and revamped facilities include Greiner Hall, a sophomore residence hall; Barbara and Jack Davis Hall, the engineering building; UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center; Crossroads Culinary Center, the residential dining facility in the Ellicott Complex; John and Editha Kapoor Hall, the pharmacy building; and the Educational Opportunity Center.
With Greiner Hall unveiled in August 2011, openings for UB’s other new LEED-designed buildings are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.
New green offerings at UB also include a BS in environmental geosciences and a Discovery Seminar on sustainability led by engineering faculty member Alan Rabideau.
On April 16, UB unveiled its new sustainability website, http://www.buffalo.edu/sustainability.html. It’s a one-stop-shop where members of the UB community and the public can learn about the university’s latest sustainability initiatives—and how we all can pitch in to make UB greener.