Cooper Wins Major Grant from NY State for Green Building Initiatives

POSTED ON: December 6, 2017

Prof. Baglione explaining the operation of our 41 Cooper Square Hot Water System to Cooper students
Prof. Baglione explaining the operation of our 41 Cooper Square Hot Water System to Cooper students

The Cooper Union received $321,671 in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for two energy efficiency projects. Through the initiative of Associate Professor and George Clark Chair of Mechanical Engineering Melody Baglione, the funding is connecting Cooper Union students, facilities staff, and an energy consultant in a multifaceted initiative to increase Cooper Union’s energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.

A Facilities Training and Curriculum Development project with $167,671 in NYSERDA funding engages Smith Engineering as an energy consultant, who will develop and deliver a combination of classroom and field training for our facilities staff and set up a new automated Preventative Maintenance system. The funding also supports the development of a new energy efficient building systems course collaboratively taught by Professor Baglione and energy consultant, Travis Smith.

CU traineesA REV Campus Challenge Technical Assistance for  Roadmaps grant of $154,000 supports student interns  working alongside Smith Engineering and Professor Baglione to develop a plan for The Cooper Union to achieve its 40% carbon footprint reduction target by 2030. The funding supports implementing a building data historian and energy analytics system for identifying energy saving opportunities; level 3 ASHRAE building energy audits; and developing an energy master plan and a carbon action plan.

41 Cooper Square is the first academic building in New York City to earn a LEED-platinum certification. Professor Baglione’s work leverages 41 Cooper Square as a learning laboratory, exposing students to practical applications of theory they learn and to research projects related to state-of-the-art building controls and energy efficient operations. Previously, Professor Baglione has received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop new learning materials and student projects related to our HVAC and building management systems.

“Mechanical engineering students learn about PID controllers in Systems, the refrigeration cycle in Thermodynamics, the Bernoulli equation in Fluids; my goal is to provide students with opportunities to see how these concepts are applied in real-world systems,” Professor Baglione says. “Having our students work alongside our facilities staff and building professionals not only helps Cooper Union reach its energy and carbon reduction goals but prepares our students for future careers and research in building systems and energy management.”

Above at left: Cooper Union student interns on a facilities site visit to Princeton with Smith Engineering and Prof. Baglione


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.