Alice H. Cook House

LEED Certified, achieving 26 out of 69 possible points...

Alice H. Cook House Library
Alice H. Cook House Library

The Alice H. Cook House is the first residence hall in New York State to receive LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, and the first achieved by a university. All future residential construction to take place on Cornell campus will utilize the same green standards and principles that went into the construction of the Alice H. Cook House. Read the final USGBC review report(pdf).

The exterior of Alice H. Cook House on west campus (Lindsay France/University Photography)
The exterior of Alice H. Cook House on west campus (Lindsay France/University Photography)

Project Highlights

  • Waste Management: 50% of all waste generated by demolishing the old dormitory was diverted from the landfill.
  • Materials Used: Recycled steel; locally manufactured carpet, tile, and doors; and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council were used in the construction of the Cook House.
    The 2010 Olympic Dinner at Alice Cook House (Robert Barker/University Photography
    2010 Olympic Dinner at Alice Cook House (Robert Barker/University Photography
  • Green Housekeeping: Campus Life's unique Green Housekeeping program promotes effective use of less toxic chemicals by the building care professionals
  • Energy: Natural light reduces energy needs and connects people to the outdoors. Chilled water from Lake Source Cooling reduces cooling energy almost 90% over conventional systems and requires no ozone-depleting refrigerants.
  • Landscaping: Native plants were used in landscaping, eliminating the need for routine irrigation and restoring native habitats.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Building materials, components, sealants, adhesives, paints, and carpets were chosen which had very low levels of volatile compounds, formaldehyde, and similar air contaminants, sparing factory workers, wholesalers, construction crews, and future tenants from the effects of these potentially-harmful materials.
  • Green Roofs: Plants and grasses are grown on the roof to maximize space, provide insulation, reduce water run-off, and reduce renovation costs by protecting the building from the effects of weather. While the size of the green roof was not enough to earn LEED points, the installation of a green roof provides an important demonstration of this specialized green roof design for the campus.
  • Alternative Transportation: Indoor bike storage was provided to encourage alternatives to road-jamming automobile transport and the Cook House is located within ¼ mile of two bus stops, each servicing two bus lines.
  • Stormwater Management: Stormwater runoff was controlled during the work to prevent sediment loss to the storm sewer. In addition, total stormwater runoff from the finished site will be reduced from prior conditions 9-15% - a significant level, but not enough to earn a LEED point in this category. To receive LEED points, a 25% reduction is required.

LEED®, and its related logo, is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and is used with permission.

On Campus

50% of all waste generated by demolishing the old dormitory was diverted from the landfill