At SUNY Binghamton’s campus in Johnson City, NY, a 1916 building is getting a new lease on life. The university started renovations on the historic Endicott Johnson shoe company factory in 2019, making way for a state-of-the-art medical campus: the Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The college houses existing programs in nursing, physical therapy, and other disciplines; the new space allows for expanded professional training offerings, and an innovative simulation and practice center.
Designing a high-tech, 21st-century medical campus while preserving the character of the building—which is on state and national historic registers—was no easy task. The university’s design team needed to renovate 93,000 square feet, complete a 20,000-square-foot addition, and make it all comfortable and energy-efficient.
For most of the six-story building’s windows, the design team chose SageGlass’s electrochromic glass, which dynamically tints to reduce glare and heat, while preserving light and views. “We ended up with so much west-facing and east-facing glass,” says Bill Hall, the university’s assistant director of design and architect. “The heat gain was going to be substantial. But we didn’t want to take away from the historic façade with blinds. SageGlass really did what we needed it to do for this facility.”
The marriage of old and new includes gorgeous aesthetic features, like exposed concrete and brick, original factory glass and steel frames, plus modern porcelain-wood floors.
With the installation of SageGlass, the building has greatly reduced cooling needs, while the historic elements of the old factory are preserved. “The character of the building was there,” says Hall, “and bringing that back to life and then adding in so many high-tech elements was very rewarding.”