Binghamton University recently opened its new Engineering and Science Building in a ceremony attended by elected officials, local leaders, and University representatives. The facility is located next to the Biotechnology Building, which is part of the University’s Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC).
The $66 million, two-story glass, metal and stone building will accommodate the expansion of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Adding about 125,000 square feet to the ITC, the new building features state-of-the-art, flexible student and research laboratory space as well as suites for new business startups and offices that support the University’s ongoing and expanding industry partnerships.
“The Engineering and Science Building marks another exciting moment in the development of our University’s research programs,” says Binghamton University President C. Peter Magrath. “As a hub for innovation and discovery in the coming decades, the new facility, with its flexible and adaptive interior design, will encourage interdisciplinary work and help faculty researchers answer significant scientific questions. With cutting-edge sustainability features and space to grow faculty-industry partnerships, the Engineering and Science Building and our first-class programs position us well for even greater public service in the years ahead.”
The new building is home to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Watson dean’s office. A large rotunda feature connects the two ITC buildings, offering access to laboratories and fostering closer interactions between departments and the research centers currently housed in the biotechnology facility.
The building is tracking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards, incorporating passive solar energy for heating, geothermal technology for heating and cooling, energy-efficient windows and skylights to allow for maximum use of daylight. It also includes the latest technology for heat recovery and humidity control. And these green features are already earning recognition. The Engineering News Record recently named the facility the top ‘Green Project of the Year in the New York Region’ in its annual competition.
“The cutting-edge research cores, data center, green features and flexible student spaces in the Engineering and Science Building will serve as a catalyst for collaboration and discovery,” said Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari, dean and distinguished professor of the Watson School. “The building provides our remarkable faculty, staff and students with the innovative and practical working environment that will further strengthen and enhance our research, partnership and scholarship opportunities throughout the region, state and beyond.”
Several unique features have been incorporated so that some building systems, such as the mechanical systems driving the building’s heating and cooling equipment, remain accessible to serve as a teaching tool for engineering students. The design has also taken into consideration the core research model, which will give faculty and students in developing research areas such as microelectronics or network security, the ability to share equipment and ideas, and thereby foster collaboration and limit the duplication of resources.
Additionally, the building’s mechanical equipment is located in a tower structurally separated from the building so vibrations do not adversely affect specialized laboratories and research. The building’s two-story photovoltaic wall will provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research in solar technology.