The University at Buffalo won two awards from BUILDINGS magazine’s eighth-annual America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY), a contest for commercial and institutional facilities.
William R. Greiner Hall, a residential hall for sophomores on the university’s North Campus, won the grand prize for new construction, while the UB-Kaleida Health building on the Downtown Campus won a merit award in the same category. The latter edifice houses Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute and UB’s Clinical Translational Research Center (CTRC).
ABBY award-winners “exemplify innovative performance standards for renovation and new construction projects including: energy efficiency; streamlined facility operations; sustainability measures; forward-looking designs; purposeful renovation; and community engagement,” according to the magazine.
Greiner Hall creates a new standard for student living in Buffalo and beyond. Many structural components, including flooring, wall paneling and counters, were developed from rapidly renewable resources. Ninety percent of the interior, which hosts student housing, offices and classrooms, is bathed in natural light.
With guidance from the IDeA Center, the design team integrated features that make the building accessible for students with a much wider range of physical and cognitive abilities than traditional residence halls can typically accommodate. Amenities include roll-in showers that wheelchair users can access easily, and ground level entrances that allow residents to enter without the use of stairs or ramps.
The UB-Kaleida Health building received the merit award for its “cutting edge, 10-story ‘vertical campus.'” The structure is divided into two sections – clinical and research centers – separated by a common space that encourages cooperation between the disciplines.
The building, which includes colorful LED lighting, warm woods and artistic wall fixtures, also features a floor plan that allows for more efficient and economical installations of medical equipment and basic utilities.
The facility was designed by Cannon Design with significant input from UB researchers to maximize collaborations that could lead to medical breakthroughs and inventive treatments.