Rochester Institute of Technology Global Village Earns LEED Gold

The $54 million Global Village designed by ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge for the Rochester Institute of Technology has captured LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Rochester, N.Y.—The $54 million Global Village designed by ARC/ Architectural Resources Cambridge for the Rochester Institute of Technology has captured LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Rochester Institute of Technology Global Village, in suburban Rochester, N.Y., is a pioneering concept in student-focused undergraduate housing, enabling a collaborative living and learning community experience outside the classroom. The mixed-use development features a total of 190,000 square feet of space. Within the complex is 20,000 square feet of retail space, 12,000 square feet of academic space and apartment-style housing providing 414 student beds.

A central plaza within the multiple-building complex serves as a year-round student gathering spot and a focal point for social interaction. The concept has been so successful that Global Village has become the number one choice for housing among Rochester Institute of Technology students.

Bringing together Facilities Management, Student Housing, Dining Services, Student Affairs and the Study Abroad Program while vetting possible retail options for the Village Center was among the biggest challenges ARC faced.
“Global Village is a truly unique mixed-use development for a college campus, and there were really no precedents to guide us during its design development,” Robert H. Quigley, AIA, ARC’s principal-in-charge, tells MHN.

Another challenge was providing Global Village with its own distinctive identity while attempting to fit it within the context of the existing RIT campus, he adds.

“To give a special identity to this complex, the mixed-use buildings were designed around a town square reminiscent of town squares in many older world cultures,” Quigley says. “Bold colors, graphics, street furniture and a ’toen square fountain’ all provide this complex with an identity unique to the RIT campus. RIT red brick is used sparingly on the ground floor base of the buildings to recall the masonry material used throughout the existing campus.”

Of a total possible 69 LEED points, Global Village received 42 points, which put the complex within the 39 to 51 point-range needed for Gold status. Ten points were earned in the “Sustainable Sites” category, and were awarded based on Global Village’s incorporation of bicycle storage and changing room space, as well as 21 preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Another 7 points were captured in the Energy and Atmosphere department. The complex achieved a projected 25.1 percent energy cost savings via an array of initiatives, such as improved thermal envelope, high-efficiency glazing, reduced interior lighting power density, day-lighting controls, occupancy sensors, reduced exterior lighting power, demand control ventilation and energy recovery.

Six points were netted by RIT Global Village in the Materials and Resources category. Those were the result of the diversion of 75 percent (719 tons) of on-site construction waste from landfills, among other measures. Five points were gained in the Innovation and Design Process area. That included credit for maximizing open space on the building site.

Another 12 points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category and two points in the Water Efficiency department complete the total points earned by RIT Global Village in the effort that led to LEED Gold distinction.

“It’s quite fitting that a student housing project dedicated to fostering international educational opportunities also would be one that considers one of the most pressing global issues, sustainability,” Quigley comments.

“With its new Global Village, the Rochester Institute of Technology clearly is thinking about a better, brighter future for the next generation.”