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Chancellor, President Tour ETEC Building Construction Site

University President  President Havidán Rodríguez and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, center, visited the ETEC construction site Tuesday. (Photos by Patrick Dodson)

Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2021 fall semester, the energy-efficient ETEC building will house the University's climate enterprises, the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, and other key science, technology and enterprise operations.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 5, 2019) — President Havidán Rodríguez and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson toured the new ETEC complex under construction at on the state’s Harriman Campus, adjacent to the Uptown Campus.

Construction began last year on the state-of-the-art facility, designed to house a constellation of academic units focused on the most critical challenges facing humankind — climate and environmental issues, emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and risk management. The building is being funded in part by Gov. Cuomo’s NY SUNY2020 Plan, an initiative to enhance educational programs and spur economic growth, and is on target for completion in August, 2021.

“ETEC is a shining example of how SUNY is incorporating innovative, sustainable technologies into its construction projects while strengthening its academic offerings for our students,” Johnson said. “With the profound effects of climate change taking place all over the world, SUNY is committed to doing our part to reduce carbon emissions across all campuses and training the next generation of scientists to do the research that will lead to long-term solutions.”

Once completed, ETEC will be the second-largest academic building on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus, behind only the main library. ETEC will house the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity; the New York State Mesonet; and both the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. It will also house chemistry research labs, the Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering and various business development and technology transfer offices to promote entrepreneurship and the commercialization of research.


Chancellor Johnson and President Rodríguez are interviewed by local media at the ETEC site.

“This building not only represents UAlbany’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, but our determination to play a critical role in navigating the climate and environmental challenges that lie ahead,” President Rodríguez said. “From atmospheric sciences, to emergency preparedness and disaster response, to risk and security, to environmental and sustainable engineering solutions, this facility will be home to leading-edge academic and research programs that will help inform our communities and society at large to better prepare and respond to day-to-day emergencies and crisis situations.”

The $180 million project will feature several energy efficiency measures that, combined with new solar panels planned elsewhere on the Uptown Campus, will reduce ETEC’s energy costs by about 70 percent, for a savings of about $200,000 a year. ETEC will have a geothermal well field and heat pumps to help heat and cool the building, a section of green roof to help reduce storm water run-off, as well as infrastructure that will allow for the addition of solar panels in the future.

Johnson added that ETEC aligns with SUNY’s plans to design all new buildings to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and serves as a model for net-zero energy building designs across SUNY, the nation’s largest system of public higher education.

Energy Buying Power

UAlbany also announced its participation in The New York Higher Education Large-Scale Renewable Energy (NY HE LSRE) consortium, which includes 15 other SUNY campuses and four private institutions that have committed to purchasing power collectively from renewable energy sources. The consortium will be one of the state’s largest aggregated purchasers of renewable energy and will reduce SUNY’s carbon footprint by more than half, from 770,000 metric tons to about 350,000.

The idea for the consortium began at UAlbany four years ago, when Energy Officer Indu and Director of Sustainability Mary Ellen Mallia began investigating the possibility of working with other SUNY institutions to increase buying power for renewable energy. The two sought buy-in from other institutions and approached SUNY with the idea.

The consortium will use its collective purchasing power to develop new renewable projects by contracting for renewable energy at scale, which will reduce volatility in each institution’s energy budget. This process eventually will expand to all 64 SUNY campuses, which will help advance Gov. Cuomo’s statewide goal of having 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

SUNY has already reduced its carbon footprint from 1.02 million metric tons in 1990 to 770,000 metric tons in 2017, decreasing its greenhouse emissions by nearly 25 percent. The reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions come in spite of a 50 percent increase in the system’s total square footage.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.