Chancellor Johnson Leads Tour of Construction Site of New State-of-the Art Facility at University at Albany

September 3, 2019

Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex Uses New Energy Efficient Technologies that Protect the Environment

ETEC Aligns with SUNY’s Plans to Design all New Buildings to Achieve Net-Zero Carbon Emissions and Serves as a Model for Net-Zero Energy Buildings Across the 64 Campuses

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today led a tour of the new Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex (ETEC) currently under construction at the University at Albany. The building already showcases SUNY’s commitment to solving complex global climate issues, while providing the infrastructure needed to deliver the academic and technical training for the future workforce.

Chancellor Johnson was joined by UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez as they inspected the construction site on the Harriman State Office Campus. ETEC is funded in part by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY SUNY2020 Plan, an initiative to enhance educational programs and spur economic growth. The complex will feature classrooms, office space, and state-of-the-art research facilities, as well as resources for entrepreneurial activities, such as business collaborations. The building is on target for completion by the start of the fall semester in 2021.

"ETEC is a shining example of how SUNY is incorporating innovative, sustainable technologies into its construction projects while strengthening its academic offerings for our students," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "With the profound effects of climate change taking place all over the world, SUNY is committed to doing our part to reduce carbon emissions across all campuses and training the next generation of scientists to do the research that will lead to long-term solutions."

Chancellor Johnson added that ETEC aligns with SUNY’s plans to design all new buildings to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and serves as a model for net-zero energy building designs across SUNY, the nation’s largest system of public higher education. In New York, SUNY operates 40 percent of all state-owned buildings.

"This building not only represents UAlbany’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, but our determination to play a critical role in navigating the climate and environmental challenges that lie ahead," said President Rodríguez. "From atmospheric sciences, to emergency preparedness and disaster response, to risk and security, to environmental and sustainable engineering solutions, this facility will be home to leading-edge academic and research programs that will help inform our communities and society at large to better prepare and respond to day-to-day emergencies and crisis situations."

The $180 million project will feature several energy efficiency measures that, combined with new solar panels planned elsewhere on the Uptown Campus, will reduce ETEC’s energy costs by about 70 percent, for a savings of about $200,000 a year. ETEC will have a geothermal well field and heat pumps that help heat and cool the building while reducing reliance on fossil fuels; meanwhile, the new solar panels on the roof of the nearby Academic Podium will offset the electric use of the non-lab portions of the building. The project also includes a section of green roof for teaching and to help reduce storm water run-off, as well as infrastructure that will allow for the addition of more solar panels in the future.

Once completed, ETEC will be the second-largest academic building on UAlbany’s Uptown Campus, behind only the main library. ETEC will house the nation’s first College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity; the New York State Mesonet, the country’s most advanced weather-detection system; and UAlbany’s weather-climate enterprise, which includes the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center and the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. It will also house chemistry research labs, the Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering and various business development and technology transfer offices to promote entrepreneurship and the commercialization of research.

Also today, UAlbany announced its participation in The New York Higher Education Large-Scale Renewable Energy (NY HE LSRE) consortium. The idea for the consortium began at UAlbany four years ago, when Energy Officer Indu and Director of Sustainability Mary Ellen Mallia began investigating the possibility of joining with other SUNY institutions to increase buying power for renewable energy. The two sought buy-in from other institutions and approached SUNY with the idea.

NY HE LSRE includes 15 other SUNY campuses and four private institutions that have committed to purchasing power collectively from renewable energy sources. The consortium will be one of the state’s largest aggregated purchasers of renewable energy and will reduce SUNY’s carbon footprint by more than half, from 770,000 metric tons to about 350,000.

The consortium will use its collective purchasing power to develop new renewable projects by contracting for renewable energy at scale. The NY HE LSRE process will normalize the cost of electricity for the individual colleges and reduce volatility in each institution’s energy budget. This process will eventually expand to all 64 SUNY campuses, which will help advance Governor Cuomo’s statewide goal of having 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

SUNY has already reduced its carbon footprint from 1.02 million metric tons in 1990 to 770,000 metric tons in 2017, decreasing its greenhouse emissions by nearly 25 percent. The reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions come in spite of a 50 percent increase in the system’s total square footage.

About the University at Albany

A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information, visit


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York 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 2023, 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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