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University at Buffalo Facilities Earn BUILDINGS Magazine’s Annual ABBY Awards

The University at Buffalo won two awards from BUILDINGS magazine’s eighth-annual America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY), a contest for commercial and institutional facilities.

William R. Greiner Hall, a residential hall on UB's North Campus, includes design features that make it accessible for students with a much wider range of physical and cognitive abilities than traditional residence halls can typically accommodate. (credit: Douglas Levere)

William R. Greiner Hall, a residential hall for sophomores on the university’s North Campus, won the grand prize for new construction, while the UB-Kaleida Health building on the Downtown Campus won a merit award in the same category. The latter edifice houses Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute and UB’s Clinical Translational Research Center (CTRC).

ABBY award-winners “exemplify innovative performance standards for renovation and new construction projects including: energy efficiency; streamlined facility operations; sustainability measures; forward-looking designs; purposeful renovation; and community engagement,” according to the magazine.

Greiner Hall creates a new standard for student living in Buffalo and beyond, said Don Erb, director of residential facilities at UB. He said the building provides an eco-friendly and mentally stimulating environment where students can live, learn and thrive.

Many structural components, including flooring, wall paneling and counters, were developed from rapidly renewable resources. Ninety percent of the interior, which hosts student housing, offices and classrooms, is bathed in natural light.

Additionally, Erb said Greiner Hall is being recognized for the community collaboration and input that went into its innovative design.

UB units including Campus Living, University Facilities Planning and Design and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) worked with Grand Island’s Cannon Design to develop the building and open it for the fall semester of 2011 in memory of UB’s 13th president.

With guidance from the IDeA Center, the design team integrated features that make the building accessible for students with a much wider range of physical and cognitive abilities than traditional residence halls can typically accommodate. Amenities include roll-in showers that wheelchair users can access easily, and ground level entrances that allow residents to enter without the use of stairs or ramps.

Erb said Greiner Hall and the CTRC exemplify the goals of UB’s Physical Plan, part of the UB 2020 strategic plan, which calls for developing facilities to support the growth of research and improve the student experience in state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, libraries, dining halls, dormitories and recreational facilities.

The UB-Kaleida Health building received the merit award for its “cutting edge, 10-story ‘vertical campus,’” which “ties together advanced research with state-of-the-art medicine in neurovascular, cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, and electrophysiological disciplines, according to Buildings Magazine.

The structure is divided into two sections – clinical and research centers – separated by a common space that encourages cooperation between the disciplines.

The building, which includes colorful LED lighting, warm woods and artistic wall fixtures, also features a floor plan that allows for more efficient and economical installations of medical equipment and basic utilities.

The facility was designed by Cannon Design with significant input from UB researchers to maximize collaborations that could lead to medical breakthroughs and inventive treatments.

UB has received a variety of awards for innovative and eco-friendly facilities. The CTRC, along with Greiner Hall and Davis Hall on UB’s North Campus, are certified gold under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Kapoor Hall, on UB’s South Campus, is certified silver under LEED.


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