This fall, hundreds of lucky SUNY Albany students will have some fancy, new digs to look forward to. And as our Lori Chung reports, their new home is the first of its kind in the entire state university system using environmentally sustainable features to save big.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It marks a new era for students living on SUNY Albany's campus. A building that's as gorgeous as it is green.
"We have energy star appliances in all of the kitchens," said principal architect Steve Derochi of PS&S Architects. "It is one of the most thermally efficient buildings we've been able to design."
It's called Liberty Terrace, a 500-bed student housing complex open this fall that's aiming for LEED Gold Certification.
"The geothermal system that we have here, to reduce energy costs and the low flow water saving measures as well," said John Giarrusso, Associate VP of Facilities.
Gathering for a ribbon cutting to unveil the new complex, officials say Liberty Terrace is expected to use 50 percent less energy and 45 percent less water. There are also green elements throughout like permeable pavement, rain gardens, along with natural and sustainable building materials in the apartments themselves. State officials say it's their most innovative project yet.
"It costs money to build in sustainable elements, but where you save, you save on the back end with operating costs, and of course we save as a community in terms of environmental deficits," said Paul Williams, president of the New York State Dormitory Authority.
There's also an emphasis on how the students will experience the space. The apartment style dorm features all single bedrooms, with an exercise facility, high-tech conference and meeting rooms. A far cry from what incoming students experienced just a few years ago.
"[When] I moved here I was in Indian Quad, so I was in a triple," said Sheliza Samuels. "But, it was nothing like this, the students that come here they're very lucky."