NY.gov Portal State Agency Listing Search all of NY.gov

Cornell University Receives High Performance Energy Efficiency Award from NYSERDA

NYSERDA Funding for Campus Wing Upgrade Helps Reduce Energy Costs by a Combined $117,041 Annually

November 21, 2011

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recognized Cornell University with a High Performance Building Plaque for energy-saving investments that will reduce energy costs by a combined $117,041 annually.

Cornell University's Riley Robb Hall Biofuels Research Lab (BRL) & Building System Upgrades project was supported by $111,865 in NYSERDA incentives, which helped fund the implementation of energy improvements such as HVAC controls, heat recovery and lighting controls.  These improvements to the building and its systems will reduce energy consumption, decrease demands on the utility’s distribution system, and increase occupant comfort.

The project involved the adaptive reuse and renovation of  Riley Robb Hall's east wing 1950's vintage large equipment lab into a suite of modern wet labs, approximately 11,500 gross square feet (GSF) for state-of-the-art cellulosic biomass biofuels research and development. The project included renovations of a 7,700 GSF adjacent space in the south wing for the Soil and Water Group (SWG) displaced by the Biofuels Research Lab. Building system infrastructure renewals, including a 2,400 GSF Penthouse Mechanical Equipment Room addition over the east wing with spare capacity for future renovations and upgrades, were also incorporated in the project.

“The renovation of Cornell’s vintage lab into modern labs for cellulosic biomass biofuels research and development is not only a high-tech improvement, but it supports New York’s renewable energy goals,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “I commend the leadership of Cornell University for the high priority they have placed on conserving energy and protecting our environment.”

The energy savings—more than 536,973 kilowatt hours—is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by 78 single-family homes annually and will be realized by the institution every year for years to come.

NYSERDA High Performance Building Plaques are presented to hospitals, colleges and universities, schools, businesses and other organizations that have constructed or substantially renovated buildings to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code.  Cornell University’s Riley Robb South Wing is rated to perform 55.8 percent above code.

Since 2009, NYSERDA has provided more than $942,000 to help reduce electricity consumption by approximately 4.5 million kilowatt hours in 12 new construction projects throughout Tompkins County—the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of nearly 654 single-family homes.

NYSERDA’s New Construction Program provides assistance to incorporate energy efficiency measures and sustainable building practices into the design, construction and operation of new or substantially renovated buildings. Green building incentives also are available to customers pursuing LEED certification. These measures are designed to save energy through reduced electricity demand, and therefore reduce building operating costs.

For existing facilities, NYSERDA incentives can be used for lighting retrofits, upgrades to motors systems, energy management systems, heating and cooling systems and other operations. Assistance also is available for energy audits to help identify cost-effective opportunities to increase energy efficiency, develop greenhouse gas emission inventories and more.

For more information, visit NYSERDA.ny.gov.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 08/13/2014