December 18, 2014
Albany, NY

New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory Achieves LEED Silver Certification for Energy Efficiency

New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory Achieves LEED Silver Certification for Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency Measures Will Reduce Energy Costs and Decrease Electricity Consumption at this World-Class Laboratory

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory, located on the Harriman State Office Campus in Albany and operated by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, is the latest state-owned building to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The laboratory, which was designed and constructed by the State Office of General Services (OGS), achieved LEED Silver status.  It joins 15 other state-operated facilities the OGS team has been involved with that now have LEED certification.  An additional 12 OGS buildings are currently Energy Star rated, reducing energy costs for taxpayers while helping to lessen the state’s carbon footprint.

“Laboratories require a tremendous amount of energy to operate, which is why our design team was committed to designing and building a laboratory with energy efficiency in mind,” said Commissioner Ball.  “We are proud of this certification and even prouder of the work being done by the lab to protect the health of New Yorkers as well as consumers.”

“Sustainability and energy efficiency were top priorities when this vitally important laboratory was designed and constructed for the Department of Agriculture and Markets at the Harriman Campus,” said RoAnn M. Destito, Commissioner of the New York State Office of General Services. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to reducing electrical energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, New York remains a leader of sustainable building and design and transformation in the nation.”

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) provided support for installation of energy improvements throughout the facility that will reduce energy costs and decrease electricity consumption. 

The New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory is a 70,000 square foot lab that was built on a site that was previously a parking lot, meaning that minimal green space was lost in its construction.  The building is comprised of glass-clad offices with a metal shading screen along its southern edge, providing daylight into open offices as well as the labs beyond, which are clad in insulated metal panels.  The lighting and HVAC systems both utilize energy efficiency measures within the operation of the laboratory.  To maximize efficiency, an innovative mechanical system combines dual energy wheels that supply the facility with temperature neutral air, as well as chilled beams, which temper the air.

During construction of the laboratory, 75 percent of construction waste was recycled and a substantial amount of the building materials came from within 500 miles of Albany. Twenty-nine percent of building materials include recycled products.  The floors of the lab are made of recycled rubber, linoleum and cork.  Recycled materials are also used in various countertops and bathroom partitions.  Bathrooms and lab spaces also make use of low water flow faucets and toilets.

The lab protects New Yorkers from food-borne pathogens and illnesses by analyzing more than 20,000 food and beverage samples per year for biological and chemical hazards, standards of identity, and compliance with state and federal regulations.  The lab also safely stores and maintains the state’s primary standards of mass, length, temperature and volume, which in turn are used to test commercial weighing and measuring devices such as scales in grocery stores, pumps at gas stations, meters on fuel oil or propane delivery vehicles, and meters in taxicabs.  

"The energy efficiency measures undertaken by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to reduce energy use in its new lab aligns strongly with Governor Cuomo's goal of making the State's building stock more energy efficient while achieving significant energy savings," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "We commend the department for attaining LEED Silver status and for providing such a good example for other State building projects."

“Investments in energy efficiency are among the most cost-effective ways of reducing the carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. “The substantial reduction in energy use at this state-of-the-art building demonstrates Governor Cuomo’s continuing leadership in reducing New York’s emissions of global warming pollutants.”

LEED Silver Certification will help the New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory reduce energy costs by more than $124,000 annually while decreasing electricity consumption by 297,000 kilowatt hours.

This is the first building operated by the Department of Agriculture and Markets to gain LEED certification.  For more information about LEED, please visit: