First LEED® certified project in Lycoming County
Apr 11, 2012
Construction Specialties (C/S), a leading manufacturer of high-performing architectural products, announced today the opening of their newly renovated office space at its manufacturing facility in Hughesville. Local leaders, including Representative Tom Marino, were present at a special ceremony to celebrate the new 8,748 square foot area, which is the first LEED® certified project in Lycoming County.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system that promotes sustainable building and development practices using a group of rating systems. Last June, C/S achieved its goal by receiving LEED Silver certification for the project, while still staying under budget.
"This facility is a living application of C/S' commitment not only to create products that will contribute to lowering the environmental impact of the buildings they become a part of but also conduct business in a way that strives to have no negative impact on our environment," said General Manager Howard Williams. "From embarking on a carbon sequestration program, which involves reforesting 17 acres at our Muncy facility, to creating a 3/4 mile-walking trail for employees and visitors to enjoy, we're always looking for ways that the company can raise the bar and make a positive impact on our community."
A taskforce, including 20 of C/S' nearly 60 LEED-credentialed employees, was created to oversee the certification process. Employing the 2009 LEED for Commercial Interiors Rating System, C/S renovated an existing warehouse building and recycled 97 percent of construction demolition debris. Each of the categories, which include Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design, was researched to determine how they could contribute points toward certification. Key elements of the project include motion-sensitive lighting and a high-performance HVAC system, resulting in energy savings of 47% and 23%, respectively, as well as the installation of 58 windows for natural light optimization.
Construction Specialties is a company that is passionate about avoiding chemicals of concern to human health in its manufacturing and processes and because of this, careful material selection criteria was a very important part of the planning phase for this new office space. Alternatives to materials containing PBTs (persistent bioaccumulative toxins) were sourced and products with high-recycled content, high recyclability and regional origins were favored.
"I want to praise Construction Specialties for the company's success over the years in manufacturing innovative architectural products," Rep. Marino said. "Additionally, it is an honor to join in celebrating the opening of Lycoming County's first LEED certified project. C/S has long been recognized as a leader in efficiency and conservation. As we talk in Washington about the need for an all-of-the-above national energy strategy, projects like this serve as an important reminder that improving our energy efficiency cannot be overlooked."
The facility in Hughesville will now serve two separate functions: the existing production operation manufactures products for C/S' interior wall protection line, and the new expanded office space is home to that line's remaining personnel, transferred from the Muncy facility. C/S worked with local contractors, as well as several design partners, to create a space that incorporates a communal atmosphere and preserves the open industrial feel of the original warehouse. Both Hiller Albert Design Group (architect) and Michael L. Norris & Associates (mechanical engineer) were instrumental in fulfilling this requirement C/S had for the area. Environmental Acoustics Inc. employed noise abatement techniques to aid in providing acoustic comfort for office staff in shared work areas.
This latest achievement is just one example of C/S' long and consistent record of environmental leadership. In 2003, the company was awarded the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and for each of the past three years was named a "Champion for Change" by Practice Greenhealth. In 2011, the EPA awarded C/S the Mid-Atlantic Region Environmental Achievement Award.
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