Cornell celebrates green certification for garage

Cornell celebrates green certification for garage

The Cornell University bear mascot, posses in the front storage area of a Tesla electric car that can be charged in the university's garage, which has been certified as green. Photo courtesy Ithaca Journal

Cornell University celebrated a parking garage Friday, the first on any university campus to be certified as a green garage by the Green Parking Council and one of seven such structures in the United States.

The first group of certified garages were announced in July by the garage council, according to an article in the Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal.

KyuJung Whang, Cornell’s vice president for infrastructure properties and planning, thanked the group of more than 15 employees from almost 10 departments that worked together to achieve the certification.

"This is a dedication to teamwork and collaboration," he said.

The garage, built in 2011, sits below Cornell’s Human Ecology Building.

Key to the Green Parking Council certification was the operation of the environmental controls in the mostly enclosed parking garage. They are tightly integrated with the Human Ecology Building above it, said Jim Hatch, the facilities coordinator for the College of Human Ecology.

The exhaust air from the Human Ecology Building is directed through the parking garage. This moderates the temperature in the garage and flushes out carbon monoxide generated by cars from the garage. The garage air is monitored in real time by 30 sensors throughout the garage and multiple fans are adjusted to maintain the best possible conditions in the garage.

The lights are all low-energy usage LED bulbs. Both the lights and the air handling are adjusted based on activity in the garage. The system has a memory that remembers busy usage times and anticipates demand loads, Hatch told the Ithaca Journal.

More obvious features that brought the certification include charging stations for electric cars, parking for alternative fuel vehicles, an air pump for maintaining proper tire pressure and segregated waste, recycling and compost disposal units. The level two charging stations can fully recharge a Nissan Leaf in four hours

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