[GRRN] EPA Leases Green - Press Release

Thu, 11 Feb 1999 19:02:12 EST

(from the Mid-Atlantic Consortium
of Recycling and Economic Development Officials - MACREDO)


EPA Region III, serving Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West
Virginia and the District of Columbia, recently moved its headquarters of
10 years to newly leased space in the refurbished old CIGNA Insurance
building in downtown Philadelphia. Efforts to reuse interior doors and
lighting systems, plus the refurbishment of the HVAC system and the
ceiling structure in the 15 floors occupied by the agency, resulted in
project savings of over $500,000.

As would be expected, EPA planners envisioned a host of environmentally
responsible, "green" design parameters for their new offices, including
recycled carpet, furniture, workspace partitions and building materials.
But when all was said and done, planners were forced to confront budget
limitations just like any other business. Additionally, they were
confronted with the reality of trying to establish environmental
solutions in leased space. EPA's 1,200 employees only occupy 50% of the
600,000 square foot property. So, rather than give up on their
environmental ethic, officials forged ahead with practical and creative
design solutions to ensure that their home for the next decade would be
as green as they could make it.

EPA's shopping list of practical environmental solutions includes:

-Locating offices over a major public transportation hub
-Utilizing standardized modular workspace components for flexible
interior design (reduced renovation waste);
-Using premium carpet tile to ensure simple repairs for high traffic
-Reusing interior doors - approximately 260 in all;
-Reusing ceiling structure and acoustic tiling (over 170,000 sq. ft.);
-Reusing existing HVAC when air quality is not compromised;
-Reusing lighting fixtures - over 3,000 in all;
-Reusing bathroom tiles, fixtures and stalls;
-Using steel studs for wall construction (recycled content);
-Retrofitting lamps and ballasts (EPA Greenlights compliant);
-Installing a state-of-the-art energy management system complete with
monitoring capacity from their own desktop computers;
-Maximizing recycling of C&D waste by the general contractor;
-Specifying "Recycling Rooms" on every floor to encourage employee
-Ensuring maximum air quality control (minimal off-gassing from carpet,
furniture, paint, drywall, other adhesives);
-Supporting bicycle infrastructure and security with special interior
parking facilities and showers.

Most impressively, the decision to locate close to a major regional rail
hub makes it possible for 95% of the agency's employees and consultants
to regularly use public transportation. Transportation planners indicate
that the reduced need for personal automobiles means a reduction of as
much as $5,000 a year in automobile costs per employee.

For more information on green building initiatives in the Mid-Atlantic,
go to: http://www.libertynet.org/macredo

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Editorial Contact:
David Biddle, MACREDO Associate