A modern-looking building of steel and glass in the soft purple light of sunset.

The Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise, the innovative home of the Ithaca College School of Business, is a top-to-bottom, real-world example of environmental stewardship that incorporates the highest principles of sustainable design and practice.

With its focus on principles of sustainability, collaboration, and innovation, the building is a teaching tool that brings to life the lessons of sustainable practices delivered by the school's forward-looking curriculum.

Before the first beam was laid, architects, contractors, and interior designers worked to ensure they had minimized waste, included building materials from the nearby region whenever possible, and utilized natural elements such as solar energy and natural heat exchange.

The building was among the first 100 in the world to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the highest level granted by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is also the first of two buildings on campus with platinum status, as the Peggy Ryan Williams Center earned the designation in late 2010.

A 21st-Century Business Learning Environment

One of the centerpieces of the business school is the Center for Trading and Analysis of Financial Instruments, which debuted in 1995. Informally known as the trading room, it has nearly doubled in size to 1,200 square feet and now features 44 workstations with double-screen monitors providing real-time access to security exchanges and other market data.

A Pioneer in Green Design

The building’s southward-facing orientation takes advantage of natural sunlight to maximize passive solar energy. The four-story atrium alone allows sunlight to permeate nearly 98 percent of the interior space, creating an inviting, well-lit interior even on cloudy days. The glass is embedded with electronic sensors that lower shades so the interior doesn’t overheat. The atrium also serves as an “air chimney,” helping circulate the fresh air brought in from the outside as doors on the first and second floor are opened.

Students sit and study in chairs in a spacious, well-lit atrium.

Windows in classrooms and conference rooms are embedded with photosensors that monitor the amount of available light in the room and adjust the overhead lighting accordingly. Innovative landscaping, including a vegetated garden roof with drought-resistant plants, captures rainwater for use in the building's circulation system. That water then gets used to flush toilets.

Rooms and offices are equipped with zone-level demand control that constantly monitors the temperature in a room or pair of offices and adjusts outside air dampers accordingly to maintain a range within the set temperature. Even interior offices have windows overlooking the atrium, and are therefore still able to take advantage of natural light.