Stony Brook University boasts a new eco research facility dedicated to renewable energy, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, and energy conservation. Designed by Flad Architects, the Advanced Energy Center works to revolutionize clean energy through research but also exemplifies the technology it promotes. Covered in photovoltaic louvers on the south and solar thermal systems on the roof, the center generates a portion of its own power needs and offers up space for testing of other renewable energy systems. Energy efficiency strategies are included throughout as well as water conservation methods. The Advanced Energy Center is currently awaiting its LEED Platinum certification, which will make it one of the most advanced research facilities in the nation.
The 2-story Advanced Energy Center plays host to dedicated lab space to a wide variety of energy related research and development. AEC’s goal is to forge partnerships between universities, industries, and national laboratories through the development of reliable, economical, and plentiful sources of energy. The 49,000 sq ft facility manages a broad research program to design the next generation advanced energy systems and also provides a full-scale demonstration and testing areas to evaluate emerging technologies. Additionally, the facility has active research programs to learn more about power distribution systems, biofuels, nanotechnology, photovoltaics, and energy policy.
Beyond researching the best of the best in renewable energy and energy conservation, the AEC was designed to the highest green building standards and is currently aiming for LEED Platinum certification. Photovoltaic louvers on the south side, along with a solar hot water system, generate energy for the building. Systems work to make ice overnight in tanks, which is then released back into the building during the day for cooling, and radiant floor heating is used during the colder months. Daylighting, solar tubes, skylights, and energy recovery units work to minimize energy use.
Additionally, a butterfly roof captures, collects and directs rainwater into an underground cistern, where the water is used for toilet flushing. Outside, landscaping is drought tolerant, promotes biodiversity and infiltrates stormwater from the roof and hardscapes. The AEC was awarded with New York Construction Magazine’s Green Building Project of the Year in 2010.
Images © Steve Hall of Hedrich Blessing and Flad Architects