Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Additional Resources

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology is located at 111 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623; visit their website and specifically the new GIS building. Watch the 4:06 RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability dedication and tour by RIT University News on YouTube. See the project profile from SWBR Architects and the Project Showcase from LeChase Construction Services and the Design Showcase from Education Design Showcase. Read the April 17, 2015 Top 10 Project Profile: The Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT by Christopher Gray from the USGBC; the March 8, 2013 Golisano Institute for Sustainability marks two significant building milestones by Rich Kiley in the RIT University News; October 29, 2012 Golisano Institute for Sustainability Home to Beltway Butterfly Garden by SWBR Architects; and the November 1, 2012 New building for GIS makes room for Mother Nature by Kathy Lindsley in RIT University News. Contact info for Leo J Roth Corp:

Learn about Carlisle SynTec in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) is a multidisciplinary academic unit at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) whose mission is to undertake world-class education and research programs in sustainability with major foci on sustainable production, sustainable energy, sustainable mobility and ecologically friendly information technology systems. These programs are led by a multidisciplinary team of faculty and researchers who collaborate with organizations locally, nationally, and internationally to create implementable solutions to complex sustainability programs.

GIS began construction of its headquarters on the RIT campus in May 2011, and the new building was completed in January 2013. Sustainability Institute Hall, the new world-class building for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability will be dedicated on April 12, 2013.

RIT’s GIS and the Seneca Park Zoo partnered to provide a Monarch butterfly habitat on the rooftop garden of the new facilty.
Design Team members SWBR Architects, M/E Engineering and Stantec co-sponsored the Zoo?s involvement, which included both planting and education sessions.

Completed on October 26, 2012, the 3,300 sf open-air terrace on the third floor features large areas of sedum and plantings that are part of Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo Butterfly Beltway project. The green roof also provides some insulation value, and, most important, absorbs runoff from rain and snow. Solar panels in this area can be easily accessed for research purposes.

The project?s landscape architect, Richard Waite, ASLA of SWBR Architects, worked with Seneca Park Zoo Conservation Education Coordinator, Tina Crandall-Gommel, to coordinate all plant selections and create the butterfly habitat featuring both extensive and intensive vegetation.

This Carlisle SynTec roof is being warranted for 20 years. Membrane type & thickness– CCW Vapor Lock system (215 mils) with 135 mil Carlisle AXF Fleecback TPO rolled in the hot rubber and acts as a cap sheet. TPO seems are then heat welded and overlaid with 6? pressure sensitive coverstrips (350mils total thickness). Carlisle SynTec calls their ?hybrid? system because it combines both hot rubber systems with a single ply membrane.

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability facility was designed and constructed to exceed LEED Platinum standards. Additional sustainable features include:

Greenwall: A massive greenwall by Green Living Technologies (GLTi) spans 8 feet wide and 40 feet tall near the building’s west entrance, containing 1,776 green plants that contribute to air quality as well as aesthetics (see the Golisano Institute for Sustainability Green Wall profile in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database).

Water conservation: The building is designed to be 66 percent more efficient than a typical building. For instance, rainwater is collected and filtered and used to flush the toilets.

Geothermal system: It uses liquid that circulates from eight 150-foot deep wells through pipes in the galleria floor, helping to keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer.

Fuel-cell power source: Partial funding made possible by a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority incentive, it produces 400 kilowatts of continuous electric power. In addition, heat generated as a by-product of electrical generation will help warm Sustainability Institute Hall and other buildings on the RIT campus. Any excess electricity goes into the campus grid.

The Institute was founded in 2007 with a $10M grant from B. Thomas Golisano. The GIS Ph.D. program started in 2008 – offering the world’s first doctorate in sustainable production. A M.S. Program in Sustainable Systems was approved and begun in 2010. The first GIS graduates received their diplomas in 2011.


Our Sponsors