University of Buffalo - School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
The University of Buffalo is committed to reducing the carbon footprint for the new 624,000 sf School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The building was designed by Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) to comply with a Gold certification level of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction Rating System, Version 2009. The building will house the Schoolâ€™s medical education spaces, grant research labs, human anatomy lab, clinical competency labs, surgical labs and the Schoolâ€™s administrative offices. The building massing and envelope of this 8 story building have been designed to maximize daylighting and views to improve indoor comfort while reducing energy use. Designed around a central atrium, which promotes interaction and allows for natural daylight to penetrate further into the building, the design seeks to increase energy savings through efficiency.
The site is an ideal location for sweeping views of the city and lake, but it is exposed to winter winds which the design seeks to mitigate at street level. The environmental impact is not limited to the project site alone, but extends into the larger context of the urban environment. The ways in which building occupants get to and from the site plays a role in the overall sustainability of the site. The transportation strategy for this project is based around reducing conventional, single-occupancy vehicle trips to foster multiple modes of sustainable transportation on the site. This includes pedestrian, bicycle, public transit, and alternative vehicle infrastructure. Ample bicycle parking and shower facilities will be available for cyclists. The multiple bus stops located close the entrances and the proximity of the NFTA station, helps to reduce single occupant vehicle use.
Water conservation and stormwater management strategies have been developed to maximize non-potable water for uses other than human consumption. While sanitary uses in the building require potable water, toilet flushing and building equipment cooling are designed to use water efficiently. All vegetation is to be low maintenance, requiring no permanent irrigation. Preliminary calculations show that water savings is on the order of 30% better than the baseline ASHRAE code standard. Water efficient fixtures and appliances are Energy Star rated. These water conservation strategies are intended to be highlighted throughout the building, thus acting as critical learning tools for building occupants, linking their own behavior and needs with the water cycle. The Building is scheduled to be completed in 2017.