First LEED-Rated Building In New York: Department Of Environmental Conservation HQ

New York State will have its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Rated building with the assistance of a New York Energy $mart program.

LEED Rated Building in New YorkThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers several New York Energy $mart programs. These programs will improve energy efficiency in New York. The programs range from residential to industrial, with the goal of reducing energy consumption, protecting the environment, and promoting the use of renewable energy sources.

Fittingly, the New York Energy $mart program is also helping the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) build its new Headquarters Building.

New construction program case study

The DEC is building its new headquarters in Albany. The DEC is, of course, a leader in energy efficiency. The Department consulted with the New York State Office of General Services and obtained NYSERDA’s technical assistance in constructing the most energy-efficient building possible.

The new DEC building will be 15 stories tall. It’s one of the largest state facilities build in Albany since the Empire State Plaza complex was constructed. But could it be cost-effective and energy-efficient?

The proposed LEED qualification says yes. The new building will save energy and will save money.

NYSERDA analyzed the products and materials used in construction, paying particular attention to their environmental impact.

NSYERDA technical assistance was provided through Steven Winter Associates. The project’s architects are Woodward, Connor, Gillies & Seleman. The engineers are Quantum Engineering, and the building is owned by the Picotte Companies.

Energy-efficient design

The building’s design incorporated many of NYSERDA’s recommendations. Energy was saved by installing high-performance windows, high-efficiency chillers, and fans and pumps with variable speeds. Energy-efficient lighting was also installed, which uses less electricity while providing clean bright lights.

The building was constructed with high-recycled-content materials, another important consideration for LEED certification. LEED certificates are hard to get. The U.S. Green Building Council which awards the LEED certificates has very rigorous standards.

As the DEC Commissioner Erin Crotty says, the new DEC headquarters is a landmark building which “will serve as a model for future construction.”

Energy efficiency means energy savings

The new DEC headquarters will save the state money. The operating costs of this building will be about 40% less than a typical building of similar size. The new building has a 35% peak electric load reduction.

This will save about $179,000 per year in energy costs. And carbon dioxide—greenhouse gas—emissions are drastically reduced, too. The new building will reduce 640 tons of harmful emissions. It deserves its LEED.

Resources used in researching this article include NYSERDA: New Construction Program Case Study

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