Renovate Former Albany High School Building (Bldg 523) – Phase 4

May 2024

Background \ Overview:

The former Albany High School Building, located on the University at Albany’s downtown campus, is the planned home of the College of Nanotechnology, Science and Engineering (CNSE). The building was originally constructed in 1912 as the City of Albany’s High School and was purchased by the University in 2013. It is four stories plus a below-grade sub-ground floor. The net area is approximately 129,000 gross square feet and is currently unoccupied. The Phase 4 scope will make 45,600 square feet of usable space available for the “First Occupiable Phase.”

The Phase 4 scope of work represents renovations to the interior south wing to address program needs, correct code, life safety, and ADA deficiencies, and replace outdated building systems with modern energy-efficient systems and equipment. Phase 4 also includes site work, as well as limited exterior renovations not completed during previous “breakout” building stabilization projects.

The University has recently replaced the roof system, and completed exterior masonry repairs. A window replacement project, which also includes the replacement of selected doors and envelope masonry restoration.


Full gut renovation of the building, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, telecommunications systems, windows, roofing, and the adjacent site that includes, parking, sidewalks and landscaping.

Upon completion of phase 4 the following spaces will be available for occupancy (45,600 usable square feet).

Ground Floor:

  • 2 story Lobby
  • Computer Lab
  • 2 Research spaces
First Floor:
  • Lounge
  • Computer Lab
  • 3 Lab spaces
Second Floor:
  • Research space
  • Department suite
  • Dean’s suite
  • Conference room


Selected areas within the building have been identified to be character defining spaces and have significant worth in terms of historic preservation. In these areas the design provides a “pristine” level of preservation, meaning that no space alteration is proposed, existing finishes are preserved, and visible effects of necessary mechanical and life-safety will be minimized to the greatest extent possible. To the extent possible and practicable, any new equipment, light-fixtures, wayfinding, etc. required to facilitate the modern use of these spaces will be done with respect and complementary to the original, character-defining building fabric.

In areas outside of these zones, historic elements will still be preserved, however, there will be some alteration needed to adapt to the new building uses. In these areas the historic finishes and aesthetic of the existing corridors will be maintained to a substantial degree, however, occupiable spaces outside of the corridor will have significant modifications to accommodate space use.


The project goals will seek certified LEED Gold using LEED for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C). A primary focus of the building systems design will be to optimize energy efficiency. Strategies to maximize energy performance and LEED points include:

  • LED lighting
  • Roof Insulation in new and replacement areas
  • A high Efficiency HVAC system
  • High-Efficiency Chiller
  • Variable Frequency Drives
  • Economizer controls
  • Energy recovery
  • LED Lighting
  • Lighting Controls
  • Assumed to be 25% better than LEED Baseline ASHRAE 90.1 2010
Other “green” building strategies that are currently being targeted:
  • Explore high delta-T chilled water system design to reduce distribution energy costs and optimize chiller efficiencies.
  • Utilize sensible cooling terminal units to increase chilled water delta-T.
  • High efficiency condensing boilers with low-temperature heating terminals to maintain maximum boiler efficiencies.
  • Significantly reduce the interior lighting power density with the use of high efficiency and high efficacy (lumens per watt) LED lighting throughout the building.
  • Maximize daylight and views and harvest the daylight to further reduce the interior lighting load through automatic dimming of the lighting based on daylight contribution.
  • Utilize advanced automatic lighting control schemes throughout the building to further reduce interior lighting electric load.
  • Install occupancy sensors at workstations, for nonessential loads such as computer monitors, printers and task lighting, to automatically reduce electric usage when workstations are not occupied.
  • All plumbing fixtures will be low-flow for water use reduction.
  • Sub-metering all water, gas and electric usage.

Project Schedule/Timelines

Occupancy February 2024.

Questions and Comments Regarding Project:

For general questions regarding project schedule and scope, please contact Brad Bunzey, in Facilities at 442-4104.

Project Photos \ Renderings:
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