A local company has adapted energy efficiency and other environmental enhancements to do its part to shrink the Earth's carbon footprint and to help cut costs, too.
In moving operation of its interior wall protection material division from Muncy to Hughesville, Construction Specialties has introduced a workplace that is more conservation friendly and enhances workplace productivity.
Everything from more efficient lighting to recycled materials have been included in the company building.
Construction Specialties celebrated the opening of their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design office space in Hughesville. Amy DeVore, a CS employee, offers tours to visitors at the event.
"It's a commitment to quality," said Bob Price, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The 8,620-square-foot building, a converted warehouse at 347 S. Broad St., has been designated by the government agency as Lycoming County's first LEED-certified office space.
Company officials were on hand Thursday, along with local dignitaries, to officially open the new facility.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, signifies that the company seeks to be an environmental steward, noted U.S. Rep. Thomas A. Marino, R-Cogan Station.
Marino said the nation needs a strategy that makes use of different energy sources, while also embracing conservation and efficiency standards.
"Construction Specialties is committed to lowering the environmental impact," he said.
Construction Specialties General Manager Howard Williams said the building has been constructed to provide a environmentally friendly workplace that promotes employee productivity.
Some 60 employees involved in sales, customer service, drafting and other services, work out of the building.
Fifty-eight windows were installed in the building to bring more natural light with photo sensors helping to control the lighting.
Improvements were made with the building's heating, air conditioning and ventilation system to promote overall better efficiency.
"This system uses more outside air," said Marketing Manager Curt Fessler. "There is 33 percent more fresh air than in a comparable building."
PVC-free plumbing was introduced into the building's construction. Evidence has shown that production of PVCs, or polyvinyl chloride, results in the release of dioxins or other toxins, posing health risks including cancer.
Construction of much of the workplace, including flooring and fixtures, are of recycled or environmentally friendly materials. Only 4 percent of materials used in construction was sent to a landfill.
A taskforce, including 20 of the company's nearly 60 LEED-credentialed employees, was created to oversee the certification process.
Categories, including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design, were used to determine how they could contribute points toward LEED certification.