The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) in partnership with National Grid, was recently awarded $1 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop the BNMC Green Commons. The Green Commons, located at 927 -937 Washington Street, will involve the adaptive reuse of three historic buildings located adjacent to the Allen/Medical Campus NFTA Metro Rail Station and the site of the soon to be constructed University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The buildings will showcase sustainable best practices in land use, energy, and transportation.
“The Green Commons is a manifestation of the programs and partnerships that BNMC has been developing over the past few years around alternative transportation and energy,” said Bill Smith, director of campus access for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. “Thanks to this generous award from NYSERDA, we will be able to create a unique, highly accessible, and sustainable complex of facilities that provide a number of important services for the campus and community.”
The design and construction of the Commons will follow low-impact development principles, including energy efficiencies, utilizing renewable energy sources, and featuring on-site storm water management.
A major component of the project involves the creation of an Integrated Mobility Hub (“the Hub”) where employees and residents can access and learn about an array of alternative transportation services in a centralized and highly accessible location. The Hub will be home to a large indoor bike parking facility and community bike workshop operated by GObike Buffalo; Buffalo CarShare vehicles and Buffalo BikeShare bicycles; as well as an outreach and education center for the GO Buffalo transportation initiative.
Another large component of the BNMC Green Commons will be Smart Home Buffalo, an initiative of energizeBNMC, a Medical Campus-wide partnership with National Grid, to create a model energy home that demonstrates how to make energy improvements to existing buildings practical and tangible. Visitors will learn about energy creation and delivery, consumption, conservation and what is in store for the future of energy.
“We’ve worked very hard to develop an integrated and innovative energy strategy for the BNMC, and this grant will help all the partners move that strategy along,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid. “National Grid and the BNMC want to take what is learned and implemented on the campus and make it available more broadly. The Green Commons will help the campus meet its long-term energy goals, and will also serve as an education tool and model for the larger community.”
The project will also involve additional commercial and gathering space that will serve both the Campus and surrounding communities.
In addition, the BNMC, Inc. recently wrwp-contented up a mutli-year project with NYSERDA to help promote the use of alternative transportation modes to employees on the Campus. Through cost-shared research agreements from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and two separate grants from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) Job Access-Reverse Commute (JARC) program over the past two years, the BNMC has been able to advance alternative transportation efforts on the l Campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Read the final report.