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02/21/2012 02:48 PM     print story email story         Page: 1  | 2  

Silicon Island Rising in NYC, Net-Zero Energy Campus

Page 1

New York City is embarking on a visionary, game-changing project that will demonstrate
how to dramatically grow the economy by investing in advanced education and clean energy.

It's building an entirely new applied science campus, dubbed NYCTech, to turn the city into a high tech center of innovation, and to turn its home on Roosevelt Island into "Silicon Island."

The campus, which will break ground in 2015, will be among the greenest in the world and will be an economic boom for the city, generating an estimated $23 billion over the next 30 years, $1.4 billion in tax revenue, 20,000 construction jobs and 8,000 full-time jobs, according to NYC's Economic Development Corporation.

Besides being an educational powerhouse, it's expected to spin-off about 600 companies, creating another 30,000 jobs. 

In addition to providing cutting edge research and teaching, NYCTech will offer support for the kinds of businesses that excel in NYC - urban planning, medicine, advertising, and finance. Services to get these businesses off the ground will include pre-seed financing, legal support, partnership building, and business competitions designed to spur innovation. An on-site tech transfer office will facilitate startup formation and technology licensing. A $150 million revolving financing fund will be solely devoted to NYC start-up

Net-Zero Energy Campus

The 11-acre, 2 million square foot campus will be built on Roosevelt Island, a narrow, two-mile long island between Manhattan and Queens.

Besides being designed for maximum energy efficiency, the entire campus will face the sun to make the most of passive solar gain.

Roosevelt Island Campus

The NY office of Skidmore Owings and Merrill architects is designing the 400,000 square foot first phase - a "net zero" campus that produces as much energy as it consumes. Roger Duffy, one of the partners,
is also working on a Staten Island public school that will be one of the largest "net zero" buildings in the US. NYCTech is expected to achieve LEED-Silver certification.

Distributed Sun won the contract to build 1.8 megawatts of solar arrays, as well as 400 geothermal wells. Fuel cells, which run on natural gas and are charged by geothermal, will also be used. Combined, the solar, geothermal and fuel cells will produce nine gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, powering 75%
of the campus's energy.

"The campus is pointed toward maximum solar output and minimum impact on the environment,"
says Jeff Weiss of Distributed Sun.  "In solar parlance, Cornell's architectural and energy teams have envisioned a truly optimal azimuth (the solar angle achieving maximum energy output) that boldly defines
their mission and aligns this landmark precisely toward our nation's shared science, energy, and economic futures."

Besides employing leading clean technologies, the campus will serve as a living lab where new technologies will be developed.

A temporary off-site campus will open this year and the first phase will be finished by 2017. The entire project will be completely built out by 2043.

Cornell/Technion Consortium Wins Competitive Bidding Process

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Cornell University will collaboratively build the campus after jointly winning the competitive proposal process.

The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, which is known for its leadership on clean technology, and Cornell University were selected because of their reputations in science, engineering, technology and
research, for their impressive track-record in generating applied science breakthroughs and spinning out new businesses, and for their financing and execution capacities.

"Thanks to this outstanding partnership and groundbreaking proposal from Cornell and the Technion, New York City's goal of becoming the global leader in technological innovation is now within sight," says Mayor Bloomberg. "By adding a new state-of-the-art institution to our landscape, we will educate tomorrow's entrepreneurs and create the jobs of the future. This partnership has so much promise because we share the same goal: to make New York City home to the world's most talented workforce.

When it's completed, the number of full-time, graduate engineering students enrolled in leading New York City Master's and Ph.D. programs will grow by 70%.

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Reader Comments (2)

Paul E. Normandie M.A.

Date Posted:
02/23/12 12:29 AM

Having been a Contractor Developer in the alternative energy movement since 1978, kudos for such a visionary addition to this burgeoning field. I am interested in completing my educational portfolio in a PHD program in just such an institution. Any information would be greatly appreciated and I will be available as soon as I finish my MABC. I am currently working on a model of a 500 unit Manufactured Home Park for retired seniors that will be a zero met energy community with a Solar Thermal Plant on site, and geothermal heating and air conditioning and will be a world class Resort Style Development for our neglected seniors. Paul


Date Posted:
03/28/12 12:21 AM

Great effort; some insights on cost effectiveness may be helpful to develop an informed perspective on this.

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