East / Regional Reports

NYPA Facility Earns LEED Gold for Existing Buildings

February 12, 2007
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced that its 17-story administrative office building has received LEED® Gold-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Existing Building) ranking from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), attesting to its environmental sustainability and status as a green building.

It is the first existing building in the state of New York to achieve LEED Gold and is among only 19 such facilities in the country.

The Gold designation signifies that that the Clarence D. Rappleyea Building meets LEED performance standards for five key areas: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

“Going for the Gold is what we did and achieving it places the Rappleyea building among the ranks of the most energy efficient and environmentally-sound buildings in the country,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “LEED-certified buildings enhance occupants’ health and productivity, help conserve the earth’s resources and reduce carbon emissions that are melting the Arctic ice cap and warming the planet. The measures we undertook to achieve the LEED recognition are centered on the belief that government should lead by example in matters of overriding importance such as the environment and energy security.

The Power Authority undertook wide-ranging sustainability measures in 2006 at the Rappleyea building. The improvements included:

• Installation of new air filters to enhance indoor environmental quality.

• Use of non-hazardous paints with low-volatile organic compounds, green cleaning products, and recycled carpeting.

• Cutting anticipated annual water use by 130,000 gallons through such measures as installation of a landscaping control system, low-flush toilets, and reduced-flow bathroom faucets.

• Purchasing renewable energy credits for 30 percent of the building’s energy use.

The various measures built on the Power Authority’s completion of a $3.4 million energy efficiency upgrade in 2002 that cut the Rappleyea building’s annual electricity use by more than 50 percent, or some 5 million kilowatt hours, compared to 1990 levels. This surpassed a 35 percent reduction that state-owned buildings are required to achieve by 2010 under an Executive Order issued by former Governor George E. Pataki in 2001 and renewed by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

The upgrade included the installation of two new 460-ton chillers that are about twice as efficient as their predecessors, efficient T8 lamps and electronic ballasts, automated occupancy sensors, variable frequency drives, premium efficient motors, reflective window film to help regulate building temperature, and light-emitting-diode exit signs. The Power Authority also installed two on-site power sources - a 30-kilowatt microturbine and a 5.5-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system, which further reduce the building’s demand for electricity from the power grid.

“Together, these enhancements established the foundation for last year’s sustainability measures for LEED EB-Gold certification,” said Carey. “Now we’re looking to do more - at this building, at other Power Authority facilities, and in helping our customers attain LEED certification for their buildings. We’re also working to bring sustainable practices to all of our operations - not just buildings, but power plants, transmission rights-of-ways, the entire Power Authority system.”

Publication date: 02/12/2007

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