Thanks to Michael Wise from NYS Parks who notified of this great story!! There is finally a State agency in New York that GETS it and is totally gone green. It is New York State Parks. They tool their Taconic Regional Headquarters and made it go green that it was awarded Platinum-level LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
This was an old school building and once again is the first public building in New York to win LEED Platinum for new construction or major renovation projects. For the record this is the highest level of certification for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
“The renovation of the school house was a good example of a public private partnership and now that State Parks are in such hard financial times I’m hoping other private individuals will help financially support their park friends groups and larger park infrastructure,” said Lucy R. Waletzky, Chair of the New York State Council of Parks.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The State Parks Taconic Regional Headquarters project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
“Investments in energy efficiency and sustainable building materials are the most cost-effective measures state agencies and local governments can make to control costs, reduce energy consumption, and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “I commend State Parks for the high priority it has placed on conserving energy, protecting our natural resources, and preserving our environment. The project is emblematic of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expand opportunities for energy efficiency, which will help reduce the cost of government and for doing business in New York.”
The transformation of the former Staatsburg School into a highly energy efficient and sustainable building was made possible by a $3 million gift from Dr. Waletzky toward the $7.9 million project. Reuse of an existing building, the 1930 Staatsburg School in Mills-Norrie State Park, was a significant factor in reaching the platinum level certification.
Here is what they did to make it at that:
- Significant energy use savings through a geothermal heat pump system to heat and cool the building; electricity-generating solar panel arrays, highly energy efficient windows, innovative insulation methods, and state of the art efficient lighting.
- Increased ventilation rates and use of low VOC-emitting products (such as glues, paints and carpets) to improve air quality.
- New materials such as carpet, demountable partitions, and ceilings made with a very high percentage of recycled content, and other finishes made with renewable materials such as cork.
- Low-flow sinks, dual-flow toilets, and waterless urinals to save water.
- Permeable pavement and parking as well as the removal of excessive site hardscape to reduce stormwater runoff.
- “Daylighting” a nearby stream that had been diverted into a drainage pipe and restoring the stream bank.
From this effort it doesn’t just become a green building and than you goodbye. The building uses 70 percent less energy than the average office building in the Mid-Atlantic region. The project was designed by State Parks architectural and engineering staff, with consulting from Barton and Loguidice, P.C.
Construction of the Taconic Region’s new headquarters was supported by more than $128,000 in incentives from NYSERDA. This funding helped offset the purchase and installation costs of the building’s energy efficient and green building measurers, which are anticipated to reduce its energy costs by nearly $40,000 annually.
State Parks also was awarded a NYSERDA High Performance Building Plaque in recognition of the energy-saving measures installed in the building. The plaques are presented to hospitals, libraries, schools, businesses and organizations that have constructed buildings designed to perform at least 30 percent above the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code. The new Taconic Region headquarters building is estimated to perform 53 percent above code and is New York’s 41st recipient of this award.