College Saves Energy With New Building

A new student housing facility could earn Paul Smith’s College a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award.

Saves Energy with New BuildingPaul Smith’s College—the College of the Adirondacks—is in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The College is close to New York’s Adirondack Park and the lovely community of Lake Placid. And in addition to this natural beauty, students attending the College will also enjoy the attractive new Residence Hall.

The new student housing facility isn’t only attractive. It’s also energy-efficient. The building was designed and constructed with the assistance of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

NYSERDA offers incentives for a wide variety of programs so that New York can meet its energy goals. NYSERDA is helping New York reduce energy consumption, use more renewable energy, and protect the environment.

NYSERDA incentives

NYSERDA retained Novus Engineering, PC, for the Paul Smith’s College project. Novus looked at electric energy efficiency and made recommendations for the new, 35,000 square foot student housing facility.

The $77,171 incentive from NYSERDA allowed the College to invest in the energy-efficient building techniques, materials, and technologies recommended by Novus.

The building

Paul Smith’s students can now stay in a state-of-the-art facility. The new facility includes 23 four-bedroom residences, additional multipurpose rooms, and laundry facilities. All rooms are lit with high efficiency lighting, keeping cost low but brightness high.

The students will shower under energy-efficient low flow fixtures. And they’ll be kept warm with the state-of-the-art heat recovery ventilation.


The new student housing facility is so energy-efficient that the College is hoping to be awarded a Silver LEED Certification. The certification covers the building materials and development as well as energy efficiency. These awards are highly sought after, as they mean the building is a certifiably healthy place to live in.

The College’s new heating system, which uses geothermal power and high efficiency heat pumps, should help the facility win its LEED.

LEED certification also depends on using renewable resources in construction. This project’s energy-efficient construction techniques included using high performance wall and roof insulation. Enhanced glazing also keeps the heat in, and the cold out.

The savings

The College’s investment could lead to a simple payback of only 1.7 years, after the incentive is taken into account.

The College will save about $15,034 every year from its energy bill. And it will produce far fewer greenhouse gases.

Paul Smith’s College students will be delighted with their new home.

Resources used in researching this article include NYSERDA: New Construction Program Case Study

Leave a Reply