Syracuse University’s Campus West: A Model of Sustainability for Higher Education
Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) was proud to assist Syracuse University in designing a state-of-the art graduate housing facility, fondly nicknamed Campus West. With temperature set points in every apartment, unless overridden, students are relieved of paying their utility bills. The university rolled heating and cooling into monthly rent payments for all costs resulting from maintaining standard set points. The leasing agreement states, however, that the tenant is responsible for all additional energy costs. This type of forward-thinking utility bill structure incentivizes energy saving behavior while educating students on how environmentally responsible choices can positively impact their wallets.
Now 100-percent occupied, LEED for Homes Gold-certified Campus West was modeled to achieve a 21-percent energy cost reduction from baseline. This energy reduction—alongside the installation of ENERGY STAR® lighting, appliances, and low flow water fixtures—contributed to Campus West earning the ENERGY STAR label through NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program (MPP).
Another energy conservation measure that contributed greatly was the installation of an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system, reducing demand by allowing heat transfer between exhaust air and fresh air supply. Each apartment unit comes with its own water source heat pump system, providing efficient heating and cooling in this cold climate.
The building’s unique stormwater management system captures rainwater and stores it in cisterns and dry wells, reducing the amount of water let out into the sewer system. The great success at Campus West was the ability to integrate sustainability and energy efficiency with the progressive goals of the university. It is truly a model for other institutions of higher education.