Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise, Ithaca College

with Robert A.M. Stern Architects

The Park Center is the first green building on Ithaca’s campus. Its modest budget and fast-track schedule pushed the design towards innovative, highly integrated solutions that led to achievement of its LEED Platinum goal.

The environmental performance of this high ambition building was largely due to its daylighting scheme, which alone accounts for a substantial part of overall energy savings. Spaces have access to balanced, visually comfortable daylight so that lights can be turned off during daytime hours, even in Ithaca’s traditionally overcast climate.

To further energy conservation, Atelier Ten optimized the façade to reduce heat losses in this cold climate and to control gains for summertime comfort. Measures include a super-insulated façade, correct glazing ratio, strategic shading devices, and glazing selection. Atelier Ten also worked with the engineers to design a mechanical system that uses displacement ventilation and exposed thermal mass throughout the entire building, reducing ventilation and cooling energy. The building now serves as a teaching tool for students and has inspired an extraordinary program of sustainable business and green building education.