Recap: CDPA Tour of the State University at Albany’s Green Infrastructure practices at the Liberty Terrace Apartments

In case you missed it, here is a recap of a fine tour led by the University at Albany Facilities and Campus Planning Staff.

Earlier in the summer, CDPA toured the Albany County Sewer District’s North treatment plant – the end of the pipe, so to speak. On this occasion CDPA had the opportunity to look at the beginning of the pipe, in this case a new development project and its impact on stormwater. The State University at New York’s Liberty Terrace is a brand new dorm facility. The 500 bed facility was constructed on the campus in 2012 and incorporates a significant number of energy efficient design principals. The residential apartment complex was built with an environmentally friendly approach in mind and is LEED Gold certified. It features a geo thermal heating and air conditioning system and energy efficient windows and doors constructed from pre‐cast insulated concrete panels. The facility makes use of recycled and local‐source materials and is built to capitalize on daylight, using the sun to illuminate the building but also to offset energy needs.

The CDPA tour focused on three elements of Liberty Terrace that the University is using as a living laboratory to learn about the costs, design, construction, effectiveness, and maintenance of stormwater management technologies that include a green roof, rain garden and permeable pavement. University at Albany staff hosted the 1‐hour tour in which attendees learned about what these innovative GI look like, how they function, the benefits of these practices, and the challenges of installing and maintaining the practices. At the tour, participants also learned about a geothermal system that was installed during construction, thus reducing the heating and cooling demands of the dorms by as much as 50%.

The University at Albany Uptown Campus contains over 470 acres of land that is comprised of buildings, roads, parking lots, recreational and open space. Rainwater from storm events lands on ground surfaces, flows to catch basins, and then enters an underground pipe system where it is conveyed to locations such as Indian Pond, directly adjacent to Liberty Terrace, or to an off campus pipe systems located in the City of Albany and Town of Guilderland. GI practices encourage infiltration, and thus reduce the stormwater runoff that would otherwise be conveyed off site and eventually discharge to natural streams or a combined sewer system. The practices employed at Liberty Terrace have been successful to date and spurred further adoption of GI practices elsewhere on campus.

In the photos: Attendees check out a rain garden and a porous asphalt walkway

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Atop the Liberty Terrace Green Roof

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