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Volume 77, Number 14 | September 5 - 11, 2007

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Silda Wall Spitzer used the backdrop of The Cooper Union’s new green academic building to tout a state energy-efficiency initiative.

State’s first lady is charged up about energy plan

By Jefferson Siegel

New York State’s first lady, Silda Wall Spitzer, joined George Campbell Jr., president of The Cooper Union, and other officials on Aug. 28 to announce a statewide initiative to reduce energy consumption and fight climate change.

Standing in front of the entrance to Cooper Union’s Foundation Building, across Cooper Square from the site where the school’s new academic building is rising, Spitzer spoke of legislation she hopes will offer an economic incentive to achieve reduced energy consumption and help achieve higher standards for environmental sustainability.

The Spitzer “15-x-15” plan calls for a 15 percent reduction in the state’s overall energy use from forecasted levels by the year 2015 through new energy-efficiency programs intended to reduce energy bills, greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution. Silda Spitzer plans to make energy efficiency her personal campaign, similar to what Hillary Clinton did with healthcare when she was first lady.

The new Cooper Union building will house the Albert Nerken School of Engineering and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with additional facilities for the School of Art and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

Designed by architect Thom Mayne, winner of the Pritzker Prize, the nine-story, 175,000-square-foot building will replace more than 40 percent of the academic space at the college.

Built to “gold” LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system standards, it will be the city’s first LEED-certified academic building.

Construction started in November 2006 and is scheduled to be completed on Feb. 12, 2009, Peter Cooper’s 218th birthday.

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