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Saving Energy, One Window at a Time

August 17, 2009



Construction Manager Bob Morawski standing in front of new windows.

Construction manager Bob Morawski said the University is replacing single-paned windows with energy-efficient, double-paned ones. (Photo Mark Schmidt) 

When renowned modernist Edward Durell Stone designed the University at Albany main campus, sunlight was important in his work, as the many windows attest. The single-paned windows used in the construction, however, were installed in the days when Americans were not worried about melting glaciers and global warming.

There are more than 24,000 windows on the four residence quads at UAlbany alone -- a major undertaking when it's time to replace aging, deteriorating frames, panes, and hardware with modern double-paned, energy-saving glass systems.

The new windows at Tuscarora residence hall on Indian Quad are one piece of a multi-year project to replace windows on the uptown and downtown campuses.

For the last eight years, the University has undertaken the gutting and rehab of one residence hall each summer. The latest project is Whitman residence hall and dining hall on State Quad.

"Beginning with the first residence hall, we took every wall down, down to the supporting columns and floor slabs," said Bob Morawski, construction manager for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management office in the Division of Facilities Management. 

Morawski knows a lot about these buildings and starts his 19th year at UAlbany in November. According to him, it is pretty evident the new windows make a difference.  Every room in Tuscarora now has its own temperature sensor. Meters have also been added to track electricity and water usage.

Residence hall windows

Replacing 24,000 windows on UAlbany's four quads is a big job. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

"Oneida Hall was completed during the winter and even though there was no heat on in the building, once we put the insulation in and the new windows, you could tell it was much warmer," Morawski said.

The $14 million Indian Quad dining hall and residence hall renovation is slated to reopen in time for students returning this fall. Once the Indian Quad dining hall opens, Whitman dining hall on State Quad will be closed for repairs.

Windows will be replaced on the Academic Podium (Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, and possibly Earth Science) and on the downtown campus starting sometime in mid-2010. These are also phased projects, as there are more than 10,000 windows on the podium and over 700 in the academic complex.

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