Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) Green Wall
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The Golisano Institute for Sustainability Greenwall; Source: RITProject Name: Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) Green Wall
Year: 2013
Owner: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Location: Rochester, NY, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 320 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Private
Submitted by: Green Living Technologies International

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Architect: FXFOWLE in collaboration with SWBR
Design-Build Team Leader: LeChase Construction Company
Green Wall Specialist: George Irwin, Green Living Technologies International
Green Wall Specialist: Plant Designs (Rochester New York)
Green Wall System: Green Living Technologies International (GLTi)
Civil Engineering Consultant: Stantec
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: M/E Engineering
Brackets being installed; Photo Courtesy: GLTiIrrigiation lines being installed; Photo Courtesy: GLTiPlanted GLTi modules being installed; Photo Courtesy: GLTi
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. RIT ? GIS was designed by FXFOWLE in collaboration with SWBR; LeChase Construction Company served as the Design-Build team leader. Sustainability Institute Hall, the new world-class building for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability will be dedicated on April 12, 2013. Likened to "a living lab," on March 7 it attained two important milestones: the connection of the fuel-cell power unit and the installation of the 8'x40' green wall from Green Living Technologies International.

"While the fuel cell plays a vital role as the 84,000-square-foot Sustainability Institute Hall's primary energy source, it was the arrival of the massive sections of green plants that drew crowds and even spontaneous tours on Thursday, according to Nabil Nasr, assistant provost for academic affairs and director of GIS.

"People were very excited to see the green wall go up ... it's extremely impressive," Nasr says. "There has been a lot of anticipation for its arrival, and now that it is here, you can really see and understand why."
Finished Catch Basin; Photo Courtesy: GLTiPhoto Courtesy: GLTi
The massive green wall spans 8 feet wide and 38 feet tall near the building's west entrance, containing 1,776 green plants that contribute to air quality as well as aesthetics," (RIT University News, 2013).

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

Greenroof (2012): A 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 - see the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) Greenroof project profile in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and read Golisano Institute for Sustainability Home to Beltway Butterfly Garden by SWBR Architects.

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.

Additional thumbnail photos:

The RIT Green Wall looking from the bottom up 40'; Photo Courtesy: GLTiPrior to delivery; Photo Courtesy: GLTiThe Golisano Institute for Sustainability Greenwall; Source: RITInstalling the GIS at RIT Green Wall; Photo Courtesy: GLTiThe RIT Green Wall looking from the top down 40'; Photo Courtesy: GLTi
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. Read the March 8, 2013 Golisano Institute for Sustainability marks two significant building milestones by Rich Kiley in the RIT University News. Learn about Green Living Technologies International (GLTi) in The Greenroof Directory.
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