Ithaca College Has Its Mettle Tested And Comes Up Platinum:New School Of Business Building An International First For Highest "Green" Standard

ITHACA, NY — Just as platinum is among the most precious of metals, platinum certification is the most valued of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) benchmarks set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The recently opened home of the Ithaca College School of Business has just become the first facility for a college or university business school in the world to attain that standard.

The Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise joins a select group of fewer than 100 buildings in the world to be certified platinum by the USGBC, with fewer than a dozen of those located on a U.S. college or university campus.

“We are delighted to earn platinum-level status and to help advance Ithaca College’s goal of becoming one of the nation’s leading proponents of sustainability,” said Susan West Engelkemeyer, dean of the School of Business. “This project allows the school to clearly demonstrate the triple bottom line of people, planet, and prosperity. While the building’s design reduces energy and water consumption — and consequently utility costs — it also maximizes views and natural light and facilitates community-building through its soaring atrium and smaller meeting spaces.”

The 38,800-square-foot facility, which opened with the start of the spring 2008 semester, was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Atelier 10 served as the environmental design consultant, with construction managed by Gilbane Building Company.

Numerous innovative features of the Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise help reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint. They include:

  • A vegetated roof to help control wastewater runoff and provide a thermal cushion against significant temperature fluctuation.
  • Heat and light from a multistory, south-facing wall of glass to dramatically reduce energy consumption.
  • Extensive use of natural lighting throughout the building, minimizing energy needs.
  • A white roof to reduce heat load in the building.
  • Purchase of 50 percent of the electricity used for the building from renewable sources.
  • A storm water reclamation system for use with the building’s plumbing.
  • A physical environment intentionally created to encourage a sense of community, shared purpose and collaboration.

The LEED system awards points according to a strict set of criteria that fall within a half-dozen categories, such as indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, and water efficiency. Projects can be designated at one of four levels (in ascending order) — certified, silver, gold or platinum — based on the number of points earned. A minimum score of 52 is required to be deemed platinum, with the Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise credited by the USGBC for all 56 points submitted for certification.

“The faculty, staff and students as well as a dedicated cadre of alumni and other friends of the School of Business provided the inspiration and the commitment to make this achievement possible,” said Ithaca College President Thomas R. Rochon. “That we could soon have two platinum LEED buildings on campus makes it all the more exciting.”

Currently under construction adjacent to the school is a new administrative building, which will house offices for enrollment planning (including admission, financial aid, and the bursar), human resources and graduate studies as well as senior administration. That facility, which was designed by HOLT Architects to meet platinum LEED standards, is expected to be completed later this fall.

Dorothy D. Park contributed the lead gift toward the $19 million School of Business building project, which was part of Ithaca College’s “Making a World of Difference” fund-raising campaign. She is president of the Park Foundation, which has supported a number of programs that foster education and the environment at the college and in the local community. Her late husband, Roy H. Park, was the founder of Park Communications Inc. and a longtime chairman of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees.

The Ithaca College School of Business is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and is included in the “Best 290 Business Schools,” published by “Princeton Review.” Some 700 students are enrolled in its bachelor of science degree programs in business administration or accounting; another 30 are studying for an MBA.

For more information:

Ithaca College School of Business
Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise
Contact: Susan West Engelkemeyer, Dean, 607-274-3341,

Sustainability at Ithaca College
Contact: Marian Brown, Special Assistant to the Provost, 607-274-3787,

U.S. Green Building Council

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College Has Its Mettle Tested And Comes Up Platinum.