East Campus Athletic Village
On October 3, 2009, the Institute officially unveiled the new East Campus Athletic Village the most extensive athletic construction project in Rensselaer history, offering athletic and recreation facilities that will change the student experience dramatically.
ECAV, as the new $92 million complex is known, is the latest in a decade-long physical transformation of Rensselaer. The project involves two phases. The grand opening signified the end of Phase 1, which includes a multipurpose lighted stadium with field turf and seating for 5,200 and a 1,200 seat basketball arena.
Also, a fully equipped 4,800 square foot strength and conditioning center connects to a professional-caliber sports medicine suite, and within the arena are offices for athletics administrators and coaches, numerous meeting spaces, a new Athletics Hall of Fame, a pro shop and a café. Renovations to the Houston Field House were also made.
The ECAV facility has achieved LEED gold status certification. Energy-efficient features include skylights and other design components that maximize the use of natural light. The innovative design for the stadium employs a solar shading screen to control glare and heat from the western sun exposure. The inspiration for the screen design is a DNA genetic bar code.
Additional construction details to note include the arena roof, which is designed to support photovoltaic arrays totaling 14,000 square feet for future electric generation; and the stadium, which can support up to 20 micro wind turbines along its cornice.
Also, natural ventilation reduces reliance on heating and cooling systems. Because planting and other landscaping elements were chosen for their water conservation properties, the facility does not include an irrigation system a decision that is expected to reduce water consumption by 50 percent.
Of special note, the project was constructed using 1,767 tons of structural steel, and all wood used for the project was specified as coming from sustainable sources (Forest Steward Council certified). Within ECAV, visitors rise 30 feet to the Concourse level from Georgian Terrace on a pedestrian ramp and stairs without the use of elevators. The pedestrian ramp rises at a 5 percent grade for 333 feet and is suspended from the building on 27 2-inch solid steel rods.
Phase 2 will feature an indoor pool, outdoor tennis courts, and an indoor sports facility complete with a track and tennis courts. The time frame for Phase 2 is still being developed.