SUNY Starts First Retrofit Project for Zero-Net Carbon-Ready Residence Hall at Oneonta Campus

February 7, 2019

Partnership with DASNY and NYSERDA Advances Statewide Energy Goal to Build a Clean Energy Future for New York State

Albany – The State University of New York announced today its partnership with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to start its first zero-net carbon-ready retrofit project on a campus for SUNY Oneonta’s Ford Hall. The project will advance Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s statewide clean energy goals of 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040.

"Governor Cuomo has set nation leading goals for sustainable, clean energy for our state and we will meet this challenge throughout our entire SUNY system," said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. "We will build upon this first zero-net carbon retrofit at Oneonta to other campuses to send a strong message of not just words but action that SUNY is using the latest technology available to eliminate our carbon footprint and provide a sustainable clean energy environment for all our students."

A Request for Qualifications was issued seeking design-build teams capable of completing the zero-net carbon-ready retrofit project. The residence hall, which can house 300 students, will be renovated as "zero-net carbon-ready," meaning in addition to exceeding existing energy codes, the building will make use of future off-site renewable energy sources as they become available to meet building operations energy consumption needs. The project will be the first of its kind for the SUNY Residence Hall Program and will serve as a proof-of-concept, demonstrating an affordable residence hall renovation can achieve zero-net carbon performance.

"We are thrilled to be on the ground floor providing innovative solutions with our SUNY partners for such a pivotal undertaking," said Gerrard P. Bushell, Ph.D., DASNY President & CEO. "Retrofit projects like this one are going to transform the way buildings are renovated throughout the state and help advance Governor Cuomo’s goals of a cleaner, greener New York."

The team selected to renovate the residence hall will utilize design-build, an alternative project delivery method where both design and construction services are provided through a single contract to further project delivery, provide savings, and integrate construction process knowledge into the design effort for a high level of quality.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "This retrofit pilot will offer energy efficiency solutions that can be adopted across the entire SUNY system to help create a cleaner, more comfortable environment for students and help reduce energy costs for SUNY while affirming New York’s commitment to lead by example in the fight against climate change. Working together to identify, develop, and support innovative solutions to some of our state’s most pressing environmental and energy challenges is essential to moving us ever closer to meeting Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals under the Green New Deal and we’re proud to be partnering on this project."

The project represents a collaborative effort between SUNY, DASNY, and NYSERDA to develop cost-effective retrofit solutions that will achieve zero-net carbon performance, and improve resident quality of life and building aesthetics. The project is expected to begin construction in the summer of 2020 and be completed by the start of the fall 2021 semester.

This project is part of a strategy to achieve Chancellor Johnson’s plan to retrofit and renovate SUNY’s 64-campus system to achieve Greenhouse Gas Emissions reductions. This plan includes SUNY purchasing 100 percent of its grid sourced electricity from zero-carbon sources, including renewables and energy storage, and requires all new SUNY buildings to be designed to be capable of zero-net carbon emissions. Making these improvements at SUNY’s 2,346 buildings – which represent 40 percent of the state-owner building infrastructure in New York – is expected to reduce the State’s carbon footprint by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year.

The residence hall project will be financed through a combination of DASNY’s SUNY Dormitory Facilities tax-exempt bonds supported by student residence hall fees and funding from NYSERDA.

SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris said, "It is wonderful to join DASNY and NYSERDA in bringing sustainability fully into the forefront of student housing. The Ford Hall retrofit represents a rethinking of residence halls. Even more exciting, the project signals that our campus, SUNY, and the State of New York are in sync with students’ values. It aligns perfectly with their long-term vision for our world."

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the nation’s leading clean energy and jobs agenda, will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality. This initiative will provide for a just transition to clean energy, spurring the growth of the green economy and mandating New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, one of the most aggressive goals in the U.S. The cornerstone of this newly proposed mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. As part of the unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy, New York has already invested $2.9 billion into 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state as it significantly increases its clean energy targets, such as: quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to a nation-leading 9,000 megawatts by 2035; doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025; and deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. To support this ambitious work, NY Green Bank intends to use its expertise in overcoming financing gaps to foster greater environmental impacts per public dollar by raising over $1 billion in third party funds to expand climate financing availability across New York and the rest of North America.

Reforming the Energy Vision

The Green New Deal builds on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's landmark Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. Already, REV has driven growth of nearly 1,500 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and has led to more than 150,000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors across New York State.

To learn more about the Green New Deal and REV, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About Zero-Net Carbon

Zero-Net Carbon (ZNC) means the project will result in a highly efficient building that eliminates use of all on-site fossil fuels and dramatically reduce the building’s energy consumption, then procurement of sufficient renewable energy to cover the reduced load may be satisfied by SUNY through separate, and potentially subsequent procurement process.

In a ZNC building, carbon-based energy consumption is reduced first through building design strategies and efficiency measures.


Founded in 1944, DASNY – the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York – is New York State’s capital project development authority. It finances and constructs sustainable and resilient science, health and education institutions that help New York thrive. It is one of the largest issuers of tax-exempt bonds in the nation with an outstanding bond portfolio of approximately $55.2 billion as of December 31, 2018. DASNY is also a major public builder with a construction pipeline of more than 1000 projects valued at more than $6.6 billion as of December 31, 2018.


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. These efforts are key to developing a less polluting and more reliable and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Collectively, NYSERDA’s efforts aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate economic growth, and reduce customer energy bills.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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