green building

Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

SUNY Buffalo State College officially opened its state-of-the-art Technology Building on Thursday. The facility cost $36.5 million and was paid for through the SUNY Construction Fund.

The new building is 35% more energy efficient than another facility of the same size and build. It is equipped with PV solar panels that produce 50 kilowatts of electricity, as well as a lower roof with vegetation that helps reduce storm water runoff, and aids heating and cooling.

The building is expected to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Gold certified by the United States Green Building Council.

Natale Builders

A bill passed in the State Senate  aims to increase the number of green homes built in New York state. 

The legislation would give municipalities the power to grant tax exemptions for green home construction  in their district.

The green homes initiative will give people planning to build a home a 35 percent tax exemption for 20 years, but their architectural plan would have to meet the National Association of Home Builders and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards first.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The city of Rochester just completed work on its first ever "green roof."

The roof of City Hall's Building B is now home to 8,700 square feet of succulent plants.

"It's basically for storm water management," says Anne Spaulding, the city's sustainability manager, during a rooftop tour. "All of the rainwater - instead of running into the storm system - is consumed by the plants on the roof."

Spaulding says the thick carpet of sedum can reduce storm water runoff by up to 90 percent, depending on the amount of rainfall.

The goal is to reduce the amount of pollutants that flow into the region's streams, rivers and lakes.

Daniel Robison / WNED

This story should sound familiar by now: an 1860s home in Buffalo, now vacant for a decade or so, draws the attention of a wrecking ball. The house goes, and the neighborhood is left with an empty lot.

But a 25-foot wide lot would essentially be useless, says Laura Kelly, of the Old First Ward Association, a collection of neighborhood boosters. That's because modern building codes call for more space for new residential construction.

The solution: rehab the house instead of tearing it down.  And now that effort is getting a million dollar boost.

Ryan Morden / WRVO

The deconstruction movement promotes the practice of deconstructing properties, rather then demolishing them. That way, the materials can be reused rather than ending up in landfills.

The problem is the people interested in reclaiming old building materials have a hard time finding people who have them.