Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome Rainwater Harvesting Project Receives a Diamond Award from ACEC

Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome rainwater harvesting project received a 2016 Diamond Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies–New York Chapter. The award was presented during the 49th Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala at the Waldorf Astoria. Diamond Awards, which are the highest level awarded at the state level, were presented to the 28 most exceptional projects. Matthew Driscoll, Commissioner for the NYS Department of Transportation and former mayor of Syracuse, acted as the master of ceremonies for the Diamond Award presentations.

C&S was the engineer for this innovative and unique project that collects rainwater that falls on the large Carrier Dome roof, treats it, and uses it for public restroom facilities. It is estimated that 6.6 million gallons of rainwater fall on the large Carrier Dome roof annually. Reuse of this “greywater” is ideal for public restroom urinals and toilets. Using the rainwater in lieu of highly treated and processed municipal water saves energy and conserves water. The reduction of storm water entering the county’s combined sewer system helps to reduce pollution in Onondaga Lake.

Unlike most mechanical systems that serve public buildings, which are typically hidden away from view, this system is intentionally highly visible and features informational displays to help the public understand how the system works. Throughout the system, piping for rainwater is bright purple and clearly labelled. The mechanical room, which contains the majority of the rainwater treatment, storage, and pumping equipment, was designed with a glass viewing wall and interpretive signage to allow the public to see the components. Syracuse University graphic design students were engaged to design colorful wall murals within the restrooms with graphics and text discussing rainwater harvesting.

The highly visible displays of the rainwater system provide a rare opportunity to the highly diverse sector of the public to see what the engineering profession creates and how the profession benefits the general public.

ACEC is the voice of America’s engineering industry. The more than 5,500 firms comprising the council’s membership are engaged in a wide range of engineering works that propel the nation’s economy, and enhance and safeguard America’s quality of life.

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