Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus’ standout structure: Its green dorm

Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus is on track for its grand opening next year, and the school’s green dorm, which is the largest passive house building in the world, is the standout structure.

The school’s officials and construction crews gave a tour of construction site Tuesday and showed off all the amenities at the 270 feet tall green building that will house faculty and graduate students starting August 2017.

Arianna Sacks Rosenberg, of Hudson Inc., the building’s co-developer, said the school wanted to set an example for the engineering and tech principles that it will teach.

“We were excited about this challenge because this university … is all about innovation,” she said.

The dorm’s structure allows it to reduce its carbon footprint through a variety of features. The exterior and windows are designed with special material that make the units, the majority of which are studios, air tight and prevent hot air from escaping.

The building’s state of the art temperature control system, called the variable refrigerant flow, uses a “cruise control” like system to keep the temperatures comfortable by using less energy and waste, according to Luke Falk, an assistant vice president for Related Companies, the passive house’s co-developer.

“When you do all of that together, you have optimized your heating and cooling systems,” he said.

In addition to the 352 units, the building will include a fitness center, a rooftop garden and other amenities that will be included in the rent, according to the school.

The passive house, Bloomberg Center academic building and the Bridge, which will serve students and start up companies, will be the first three locations that open next year.

Sacks Rosenberg said the other two buildings will have green features as well, including solar panels on the roofs.