Sustainable Projects and Research

Following are examples of the types of sustainable projects and research undertaken by Stieglitz Snyder Architecture and its predecessor organizations over the past 30 years.

2012-present New York Power Authority Nature Center
The proposed new Nature Center is designed to serve as both an educational hub for students of all ages, to be taught the benefits of engaging with nature, as well as an inspiration for practicing the principles of environmental sustainability. As a leader in responsible uses of energy, the New York Power Authority has required that the new Nature Center at Robert Moses State Park attain a LEED Silver Certification. While the architectural style of the building is intended to compliment the original structures in the park, with the use of natural stone and exposed wood structure, the new facility also incorporates state of the art technologies and innovative sustainable design features. For example, the HVAC system uses geothermal wells to significantly reduce energy, and rain water is collected in a large cistern to be recycled for irrigation. The new building is placed at the rear of the property, nestled into the existing trees, immersed into the natural setting. The green space in the middle of the loop road is intended to serve as bio-filtration area for storm water runoff, conceived as a natural meadow for non-invasive native plant species.

1999-2010 Buffalo Schools Redevelopment Project
A billion dollar initiative designed to completely reconstruct 80 existing school buildings averaging 70 years old, and build 6 new schools incorporating the latest sustainable concepts and high performance building technologies. We recently completed development of the standards for accomplishing this objective over the next 10 years within the program's broader financial and pedagogic framework of goals. Presently, our firm is working on the reconstruction of three school buildings.

2003-2009 Avant Building - 200 Delaware Avenue
An 83 Million Dollar redevelopment of an asbestos ridden federal office tower of the 70's. Redesigned as a multi-use facility it now houses 8 stories of hotel, 4 stories of office lease space and 3 stories of luxury condominiums. The project is seeking LEED™ certification for Core & Shell and is currently going through the commissioning phase. 75% of the existing structure is being reused and all of the removed exterior concrete panels were recycled. The 90% glass envelope allows for maximum daylighting opportunities for interior built-outs and all core mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements run on high efficiency equipment, thus saving energy and water.

2000-2005 University at Buffalo Master Plan
A plan to construct 3,000 new units of on-campus student housing and supportive mixed use development in a tight urban configuration using high performance sustainable building design and construction concepts throughout - including both active and passive technologies. A major unwritten institutional objective is to establish a new standard for sustainable construction at institutions of higher education. Some of the opportunities investigated include solar power; wind power; waste water management; composting toilets and grey water usage; traffic reduction through promotion of bicycle usage; recycling programs; and incorporation of sustainable building products with recycled content, renewable materials and locally manufactured items.

1998-2004 Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company
Construction scheduled to be complete November 2004 on a new 24,000 square feet fire hall. It is registered as a LEED™ project and anticipated to receive a Silver rating when certified. It will be the first LEED™ certified municipal building in western New York. Through the use of computer modeling software, the design team determined the new fire hall will use an estimated 40% less energy than if designed to be merely code compliant. Also, because of the energy saving measures employed, the Owner will receive nearly $40,000 in NYSERDA rebates. Other sustainable design features include using natural light in lieu of artificial; views to the exterior; indirect lighting to reduce glare on computer screens; low VOC finish materials to improve indoor air quality; operable windows and individual climate controls in office areas; and rain water harvesting to reduce water usage.

1985-1986 Uniland Headquarters Complex
designed as a campus style development with buildings to be set around a traditional town square, our design was the winner in a design competition among several firms and incorporated many energy conscious features. These included an extensive heat recovery system and a major attempt to maximize "daylighting" as an energy conservation technique. Our various building designs have twice been awarded "Building of the Year" by BOMA and have been featured by ASHRAE in their materials on the benefits of "daylighting".

1980-1984 Science Magnet Elementary School
Designed as a state-of-the-art "energy conscious" building with extraordinary computerized monitoring capabilities of internal thermal dynamics on display as a learning tool. Attached to the existing Buffalo Museum of Science with one integrated/shared heating and cooling system with an array of planned supporting passive and active mechanical systems, e.g. swimming pool as thermal storage sink, ice making equipment at adjacent rink as heat source, very large passive solar greenhouse, etc. In 1987 the building was declared one of the top 3 school designs by the AIA and the National Association of School Administrators. It was a very serious attempt on our part to integrate high performance building design and construction techniques with emerging knowledge and about building based health concerns.

1978-1984 Local Waterfront Revitalization Project (LWRP)
for Dunkirk, New York - project was funded by NYSDOS as one of two prototypes environmental investigations designed to yield more appropriate waterfront development and a new generation of environmentally based zoning controls. Our research based Master Plan was very well received and led to a number of "green" innovations including development of a high volume/low pressure District Heating system for the Dunkirk Harborfront funded, in part, by NYSERDA. This novel approach uses ejected heat from the local power plant as its source and re-circulated some of the warmed harbor water through building heat exchangers along the shoreline at greatly reduced energy rates to their owners. We have replicated this project several times in other locations since the Dunkirk initiative.

1972-1984 Project Capricorn; 2050 - A Sustainable City
A planning and design project sponsored by our firm in collaboration with the University of Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, Drexel University and the Franklin Institute. Designed to provide a homeostatic living/working environment for 250,000 people in the Australian desert, and predicated completely on "closed loop" sustainable infrastructure systems, this decade long initiative involving hundreds of students and businesses was intended to provoke discussion on the entire question of the relationships between man, technology and nature with a view toward discovering new ways to minimize adverse impacts while maintaining a reasonable range of human habitat settings and lifestyles that are sustainable. The project received numerous awards and was the subject of several articles and many exhibitions, including serving as the centerpiece exhibit at the "First Global Conference on the Future" held in Toronto in 1980 and subsequently at a two year long "Futures" exhibit at the Franklin Institute.

1978-1982 "Superhouse" Prototypes
Experimental designs sponsored by NSERDA for use exclusively in dense urban areas. 3 Units employing a variety of different minimal heat sources and recovery systems were of various materials constructed and monitored by our firm. The results were mixed because the extra tight building envelopes created a tendency for indoor air pollution to develop from the outgassing of various materials, even with "extra" air changes.

1978-1981 Hyperion Process
Development of a high volume, low unit cost, commercial production technology for growing and harvesting Spirulina; a blue green algea, superbly suited for human and animal consumption as pure vegetable protein. Executed under the auspices of the Saudia Arabia royal family in conjunction with the University of Texas Marine Research Laboratory - similar production facilities are now operating successfully in many locations in the Far East.

1977-1980 Buffalo Coal Beneficiation
A comprehensive research and development project sponsored directly by then New York State Governor, Hugh Carey, and aimed at developing cutting edge technology to reduce sulphur emissions from burning coal as well as to provide an array of new coal-based fuels, e.g. - cost effective "coil", etc. The pilot facility was to be located adjacent to the blast furnace structure at the former Bethlehem Steel Plant and provide a virtually free source of carbon monoxide to be injected directly into the furnaces - reducing their need for formcoke by an estimated 50%, reducing noxious emissions by a similar amount, and reducing cost/ton of finished steel by 25%. While the project was well received and supported by State and Federal energy departments, it languished because the Bethlehem Steel had already decided to decommission most of its Buffalo operations.

1974-1980 Siporex Manufacturing Plant
A sustained planning and financing effort in conjunction with Siporex A.G. of Sweden, their affiliated manufacturing plant in Mexico City, and Allstate Insurance Company, to launch the first cellular concrete panel manufacturing plant in the U.S.A. This generic product is one of the most widely used "energy conscious" construction materials available virtually anywhere except in North America. We obtained exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights under the name "Alda Cellular Concrete Construction Co." and built several local prototype buildings employing panels imported from Mexico. Unfortunately, the sustained construction industry slow-down in the late 70's made financing this new plant impossible.

1978-1979 Continental Can Site Housing Development
A 600 unit mixed high and low rise housing project predicated entirely on water source heat pumps (Niagara River) and "superinsulation" concepts. This was the first time the concept of water source heat pumps was proposed on such a scale and the project received considerable attention, although only a fraction of the low rise units were ever completed.

1977-1979 WKBW TV - 7 Windmill
Siting of the new broadcasting studio was determined in part by minimizing "wind shadow" from surrounding buildings and maximizing "wind augmentation" potential of the building itself. After much research, a custom designed "clustered array" WECS machine was commissioned by the station. However the machine was never installed at the site because of unresolved potential for signal interference.

1977-1978 KBW TV - 7 Broadcasting Studio
Design prototype for a new Buffalo facility for Capital Cities Communications, predicated entirely on an internal heat recovery and water based thermal storage, coupled with a variety of other passive "energy conscious" construction systems allows the building to operate with no furnace - a feature which retired the total construction cost over 20 years in saved fuel expenses. The building has been featured in many publications, including "Energy News", and received a DOE award as one of the 100 best examples of "energy conscious "design. It also established a new "standard" for tv broadcasting facilities design. Since then, we have done similar facilities in numerous locations including New Haven, Detroit, New Brunswick, Binghamton, etc. and our competitors have employed these same concepts in many other locations.

1976-1978 Naval Museum & Servicemen's Park
Designed as a model for the application of "energy conscious" technologies, this building on the Buffalo Waterfront incorporated a variety of passive solar and heat recovery concepts as well as a Savonius Rotor WECS machine. The latter was never installed because of potential "ice shedding" problems (long since resolved) - but spurred our firm to appear as a "friend of the count" in a successful lawsuit designed to force utility company's in New York State to buy power from individual generators and discount its value from the customers' utility bills.

1974-1975 Buffalo Energy Resources Project
a major research effort aimed at determining the major sources and uses of energy in all sectors of the City of Buffalo. Work included a year-long monitoring program of key users and suppliers and resulted in a detailed set of energy conservation, goals, strategies, and a broadly defined implementation program for both public and private sectors. This project was funded by NYSERDA and the City of Buffalo and ultimately resulted in establishment of both a City and County Energy Office.

1973-1975 Erie County 2000: Environment, Energy, Economy
A major research and planning study spanning several years, funded jointly by New York State and the County of Erie, to develop a comprehensive long range environmental plan for Erie County. Work included developing new language and qualitative measuring tools as well as broad standards and remediation programs. The plan became a statewide planning model and received numerous awards from conservation and environmental groups.