Alumni Commons - Cobleskill, NY

In coordination with the Alumni Association, the State University of New York of Agriculture & Technology at Cobleskill (SUNY Cobleskill) chose to move forward on a new student housing project back in 2013.

Located on the agricultural side of the campus, the SUNY Cobleskill Alumni Commons student housing complex totals 65,000 sq. ft. and provides two-story townhouse building with 8 suites with 6 bed/3 bath units; a two-story suite building with 30 suites with 4-bed/2 bath units and 3 bed/1 bath units; and a pavilion.  Surrounded by buildings such as livestock housing, unique components included a green space and mudrooms.

During the design charrette process the design-build team determined using modular structures with façade customization was the best path, limiting the impact to the campus.  With that, construction began in July 2013 while modules were being constructed in a tempered environment, evaluated for quality control and prepped for shipping 145 miles away.  To meet the configurations of apartment-style suites and townhouses, 103 Modules were needed, and began arriving for installation in November 2013 through February 2014 – during severe winter months.

Once modules arrived, our team managed subcontractors to ensure connecting floors were level, utilities were appropriately connected, and all was tested before use.  While modules came with appliances in place, our team oversaw all fit-out work for completion.  In addition, our team coordinated with campus facilities so the FF&E could be put in place prior to completion.

Throughout bidding and construction, our team realized the owner’s budget concerns and managed it effectively.  In the end the project came on budget and met its original project completion date.


Bethune Lofts - Buffalo, NY

Built in 1915 by distinguished industrial architects Lockwood, Greene, and Co. was a “daylight factory,” a rectangular, exposed concrete structure almost entirely filled in by glass.  The building was named after Louise Blanchard Bethune, who became the country’s first female architect.

This $15.6 million renovation to the six-story, 87-apartment building includes the two-story lofts and a penthouse.  The lofts have one or two bedrooms and many different configurations, based on the unique components of the building.  The apartments feature hardwood flooring in the living areas, carpet in the bedrooms and tile in the bathrooms. The fourteen foot ceilings and exposed ceilings showcase the original character of the building. The exterior of the building consists of 70 percent glass allowing natural light to pour into the units.

The lofts also feature a lounge, bike storage room, fitness facility and 148-car parking lot. The on-site laundry facility includes smart technology that allows the tenant to check on machine availability from their cell phone as well as receive an alert when their wash or drying is complete.

Energy efficient windows, water use reduction through low flow water fixtures and a green roof ensure that this LEED-certified facility will operate with the most advanced technologies available.

The building has been added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places as an excellent, intact example of a daylight factory in the City of Buffalo.   


Campus Walk One - Buffalo, NY

This project included the construction oversight of two new $9 million, five-story mixed use student housing units with first level retail.  Work began in June 2016 and was scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017.


In an effort to provide additional housing for students, Buffalo State and Greenleaf Development partnered to create a transformational residential and retail community aimed at students, on an off campus city block.  By filling the student housing project with retail and office space, Greenleaf Development was committed to effectively help build the density and create a true walkable neighborhood. Designs include wider sidewalks with benches and bike racks, a walking path, and onsite parking for residents.

Campus Walk features 84 units of two, three and four bedroom suites each with private bathrooms. The new complex also includes a fitness center, retail shops, a management office, a lounge and collaborative study space.

The original budget was $19 million and in the end the project was completed for $18.5 million.  The original project completion date was met just in time for the start of the Fall 2017 semester.    


Dragon Hall – Cortland, NY

As enrollment began to increase, the need for on-campus housing was also on the rise.  As a result, the State University of New York at Cortland decided to move forward with a new five-story, 61,000 sq. ft. residence hall with an enclosed mechanical penthouse.  The residence hall houses approximately 231 students in both double-occupancy rooms and four-person “junior suites,” each with a private bathroom.

The design of the residence hall was carefully coordinated with the existing, developed campus environment.  Features include an outdoor amphitheater, a common patio area, site landscaping, new paved pedestrian walkways to connect to the existing campus network and utility work.

With an emphasis on green features, some highlights include several rooftop solar panels, environmentally sensitive lighting and a new type of foam insulation, which was sprayed onto the entire building’s frame to help boost the building’s overall energy performance earning the college a NYSERDA rebate.

During the demolition of the existing building, additional asbestos was discovered on the foundations.  This delayed the start of the new construction by two weeks.  With input from contractors, our team was able to overcome this issue, and even shorten the schedule to get the project back on track.

Our team’s adherence to quality and efficiency allowed the project to meet and exceed its construction goals by completing one month ahead of schedule.  Coming in under budget also allowed the owner to add $185,000 in landscaping to the surrounding areas as well as $75,000 in other small improvements.  Even with these additional expenses the project came under budget by over $455,000.

The project officially achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum in April 2014.


Evergreen Lofts - Buffalo, NY

In the summer of 2013, Evergreen purchased a five-story vacant building with plans to convert it to affordable housing. Their ambitious reuse plan evolved from community-wide discussions on homelessness and poverty in local marginalized communities.  Construction kicked off in July 2015.

Construction began with abatement, masonry restoration and interior fit-out work.  This 65,000 sq. ft. building – originally constructed in 1901 for a trunk manufacturer – was transformed into 56 apartments with additional conference rooms and common areas, all while maintaining much of the buildings historic features.

Our team coordinated with multiple stakeholders and funding sources which required close oversight and management throughout construction. Our team of estimators also collaborated with the stakeholders to generate meaningful cost savings. When the project was originally bid, costs were $600k over budget, but the teams collaborative efforts allowed us to finish on budget.

The building meets NYSERDA & LEED for Homes standards.


Student Apartment Complex (STAC) - Buffalo, NY

As Buffalo State College faced a steadily increasing demand for on-campus housing, the college decided to move forward with a new 220,000 sq. ft., 507-bed student housing facility to help meet this demand. Our team managed and coordinated all construction activities for this 507-bed facility that now features 135 suite-style apartments and include four individual bedrooms, two full baths, a kitchen and a living room.

Several logistical problems were faced during the construction of this project.  The building was erected on a small site that was surrounded on three sides, two by roads and one by a pedestrian walkway, all of which were used daily. Our team’s main priority was the safety of pedestrians while also ensuring that traffic of the campus and the nearly 70 truckloads of construction deliveries remained operational.  This was successfully achieved by the use of a flagman to control the traffic flow. This ensured the trucks got in and out and no students, faculty or construction crew members were put in harm’s way.

Another priority for our team, was utilizing green building techniques and sustainable building materials to support the college in its goal of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the facility, which exceeded its original goal of obtaining LEED Silver.

By maintaining a hands-on role throughout the project, both the schedule and budget goals were also achieved.  With construction kicking off in January, our team faced winter weather in single-digit temperatures, high winds and snowy weather.  Despite these challenges, the foundations were set by March 1st and the project was wrapped up in June 2011, which was the original completion date.  The estimated cost during the design stage was $38.2 million; the actual construction cost was completed on-budget as well.


William R. Greiner Residence Hall - Amherst, NY

As the student population grew and plans for future expansion on campus developed, the State University of New York at Buffalo decided additional on-campus student housing was needed.


This new housing facility dedicated to sophomores on UB’s north campus expanded the existing Ellicott Complex by approximately 600 beds and 196,000 sq. ft.  These beds were arranged into 143 suite-style units, 26 Resident Advisor units and two Resident Director apartments.  All student suites include four beds in two bedrooms and one full bath and each wing of the facility houses a common lounge area for student gatherings.  Additionally, first floor features include an Au Bon Pain sandwich shop, offices, conference rooms, dividable classroom spaces and study alcoves.

A unique challenge was faced when installing the foundation throughout the harsh winter months.  In order for everything to be set properly, crewmembers had to bring in ground thawing heaters as well as tarps and blankets to trap the heat in while the foundation set.  Due to the extra measures, our team ensured the foundation passed all the safety tests.

The project was contracted for $50 million and with maintaining a hands-on role throughout the project, our team was able to come under budget by $2.6 million. This allowed the owner to use the savings for FFE (Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment) components as well as renovations at another student housing facility on campus.  The project was also completed on time wrapping up in August 2011, as originally targeted and received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.  In 2013, the project won an America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY) award, given by BUILDINGS magazine.


Tower 1 Renovation - Buffalo, NY

As Buffalo State College faced a steadily increasing demand for on-campus housing, the college decided to move forward and renovate the ten floors of Tower 1 in order to meet this demand and better serve the student population. This was the second of four towers to be renovated as suite style residences for upperclassmen.

This project included the reconfiguration of the first floor allowing for larger public spaces, resident director living quarters and office space.  This reconfiguration also brought more natural light into these public areas.  In addition, the building received a new entrance marked by a translucent canopy.  The plaza is now more visible, accessible and useful to Towers and Moore Hall residents.  All 34 suites received updated finishes, new furniture and bathrooms.  The building received new windows and all new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as well.

Located on a tight campus, logistics was a main concern throughout the duration of this project.  In addition, the adjacent towers 2, 3 and 4, as well as Moore Hall were all fully occupied spaces.  With this in mind, our team coordinated with the campus for several items.  Our team scheduled all heavy work and loud equipment around exam weeks.  The campus also had a special request for a visually impaired student who used the existing sidewalk at Moore Hall for a daily path. To accommodate the students’ needs, our team installed a temporary walk to ensure a safe route to classes.

Construction began in June 2014 and was completed in August 2015, in time for students to return in the fall.  Even with the owner adding scope including the reconstruction of the plaza outside of the dormitory, the project was completed in just 13 months while remaining on budget at $12.4 million.