NYSERDA Announces Energy Efficiency Projects at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Support of Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY Initiative

Energy Efficiency Projects Projected to Save $167,000 in Energy Costs

January 28, 2013

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced energy efficiency projects at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University that will save the university $167,000 in energy costs every year and will result in the avoidance of over 1,250 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

These projects support Governor Cuomo’s ambitious Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance, which will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“SUNY Upstate Medical University is committed to becoming a leader within SUNY and the region on matters related to sustainability, including enhancing our conservation efforts and reducing energy costs and our carbon footprint,” said SUNY Upstate Medical University President David R. Smith, MD. “Working together with New York State, we are making good on this commitment. Being good stewards of our environment most certainly reflects our overall mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $335,000 to the medical university. The energy efficiency measures are projected to reduce electricity use by more than 1 million kilowatt hours annually, the equivalent of powering 104 homes. In addition, they are projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,250 tons annually, the equivalent of taking 250 cars off the roads.

“Governor Cuomo has called for state buildings to invest in energy efficiency in order to reduce energy use and costs while providing environmental benefits,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “With the savings achieved through the installation of the energy efficiency measures, SUNY Upstate Medical University will have more dollars to put toward its crucial work in healthcare research and in providing healthcare services.”

SUNY Upstate Medical University projects receiving NYSERDA awards include energy efficiency measures in coordination with:

  • Renovations and new construction of the Regional Clinical Cancer Center;
  • Expansion of the Institute of Human Performance building, where interdisciplinary teams study disorders of the nervous system;
  • Construction of the Central New York Biotech Accelerator, a joint project between Upstate Medical University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry that supports discovery, development and deployment of innovative biological and medical products; and
  • Substantial renovations at the University Hospital.

NYSERDA-funded energy efficiency projects for new construction at SUNY Upstate Medical University are projected to be 10 to 39 percent more energy efficient than New York State energy code requires, depending on the building.

Energy efficiency measures in the various buildings include: insulation; high-efficiency air conditioners, boilers, motors, pumps, air handling units and chillers; demand ventilation, which regulates the amount of outdoor air supplied, depending on the number of people in occupied spaces; a heat exchanger to heat water by circulating existing campus steam by hot water pumps; fans with variable-speed drives to modulate airflow in response to static pressure in ducts; and high-efficiency lighting and lighting controls, including occupancy sensors to turn lights off when no one is in the space and daylight dimming to reduce the use of artificial light.

At the Regional Clinical Cancer Center, “curtain-walls” will be built to allow natural light into the building’s main atrium, examination rooms and corridors. Controls will be used in these spaces to dim artificial light in response to available natural light. Upstate plans to seek U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Rating for this building.

Funding for these projects is through NYSERDA’s New Construction Program, which provides technical support to design teams and financial incentives to building owners involved in the construction of new or substantially renovated structures in New York State. It is a first-come, first-served program available to commercial, institutional and industrial sector customers of certain utilities. New Construction Program incentives are paid out upon project completion. The intent of the program is not only to improve energy efficiency and green building practices, but to effect a permanent transformation in the way buildings are designed and constructed throughout the state.

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. The Upstate University Health System serves 1.8 million people, often the most seriously ill and injured, and includes Upstate University HospitalLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.; Upstate University Hospital at Community CampusLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.; Upstate Golisano Children's HospitalLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., and numerous satellite sites.

Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY Initiative will support his call for 20 percent energy efficiency in seven years by using state building energy data to priority projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent.  The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements. Build Smart NY will accelerate projects that produce the greatest savings and coordinate all spending. The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all the state’s capital project planning.

In addition to its energy savings goals, Build Smart NY supports Governor Cuomo’s larger NY Works program and economic development agenda which coordinates state funding to accelerate projects that will create jobs and improve the state’s infrastructure. NY Works is designed to expedite select projects with maximum economic impact, allowing them to begin as soon as possible and reduce project costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.

A Build Smart NY web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. For more information on this initiative, visit www.buildsmart.ny.govLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..


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.