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May 19, 2009

Congressman Israel Secures $357,000 To Create Green Building Institute At Farmingdale State

College Will Train Public in Green Building Design and Construction

Congressman Steve Israel announced today that he has secured a $357,000 in federal funds for Farmingdale State College to establish a Green Building Institute. This interdisciplinary initiative will draw upon the traditional strengths of the College, and its legacy in environmental sustainability, in sharing its expertise with the public in the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings. The mission of the GBI is to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of structures on the environment and on the occupants of the buildings, so as to meet the needs of both current and future generations.

"I'm on a mission to make New York the green jobs capital of America. The new Green Building Institute at Farmingdale State will be a critical part of that mission and a valuable new resource for Long Island. In the United States, buildings account for 39 percent of all energy use. That's too high, and with the new institute educating our up and coming green workforce – we can do better." said Rep. Steve Israel. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with President Keen once again and look forward to the great contributions to come from the Green Building Institute."

The federal funds cover 100 per cent of the project's creation.

"This initiative will give us additional and valuable opportunities to share our expertise with municipalities, government agencies, and the public to integrate green building design and construction," said President Keen. "I want to thank Congressman Israel for his ideas in helping Farmingdale State connect with important constituencies, his support of this effort, and his overall leadership on issues of energy and environmental conservation."

The GBI effort will include participation from faculty in the Architectural Design and Management, Construction Technology, Landscape Design, Electrical Engineering, and the Solar Energy Center. Working with municipalities, agencies, and the public in training, workshops, and seminars, the institute will address such needs as alternative energies, alternative construction materials, storm water management, "green" roofs and walls, developing sampling techniques for monitoring indoor air quality, and water efficient landscaping.

In addition, the GBI will provide economic analysis and consultation in alternative land usage, cost-benefit analysis of alternative construction materials and energy systems, and the economic impact of green building construction.

Development of the GBI will begin this fall, with its introduction expected to take place in 2010. Farmingdale will partner with local organizations in implementing the program, including Eastern Suffolk BOCES.

Farmingdale State College has a rich legacy in addressing environmental issues. The College has conducted pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles, established the first accredited Solar Energy Center in the Northeast, and is planning to expand the existing solar panel array on campus to further help reduce its energy costs. In addition, Farmingdale has the largest fleet of electric/flex fuel campus vehicles of any college on Long Island.

The College also created GreenJobsLI.com earlier this month with the cooperation of Congressman Israel. The free website is available to employers seeking to fill jobs in green industries and to those looking for employment opportunities in green industries.