Campus Sustainability

Green Buildings

Science Center

On September 5, 2005, Hamilton College opened the doors to a brand new Science Center on campus with many green features. The construction of this new facility took into account the needs of the faculty, and their input was instrumental in the designing process.

A "Green Team" was assembled, led by Professor of Psychology Douglas Weldon, who shepherded the project for his faculty colleagues and members of the architectural firm Einhorn Yaffee Prescott. This team played an active role in the planning and construction of the new science building which features 56 offices, 48 teaching laboratories, 53 research laboratories, 67 support rooms and 11 high-tech classrooms.

A few examples among the fifty-five greening features of the Science Center include:

  • wood certified as meeting forest stewardship standards for all casework and millwork
  • heat recovery from fume hood exhaust
  • occupancy sensors in labs
  • geothermal heating and cooling system
  • passive solar in the atrium which contributes to the energy efficiency of the building.

Skenandoa House

Skenandoa House
Skenandoa House received the first LEED designation in New York State for a historic building.

In 2006,  Hamilton College received LEED Silver Certification for its renovation of the Skenandoa House, the first such LEED designation in New York State for a historic building. Renovations to the House, which was built in 1922, included the use of recycled construction waste. Residents of this hall enjoy the benefit of the geothermal ground water heating and cooling system and energy efficient lighting. Hamilton College is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, and 100% of the power for this residence hall is purchased from renewable energy sources.

During the first winter after the renovations, temperature lows were down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Complaints of inadequate heating came in from all campus residence halls except from the residents of the Skenandoa House; a true testament to the functionality and efficiency of the construction and technology. In the first year alone, the renewed facility paid off the differential between the costs for installing a geothermal system versus a traditional heating system - excluding air conditioning which was an additional benefit of installing the geothermal system.