EARTHRES has been awarded LEED® Silver certification by the US Green building Council for the new construction of its headquarters building in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The company recently relocated to a new and larger building just down the road from its former location. The new headquarters — which includes numerous design elements that increase energy and water use efficiency — is already winning praise from the firm’s employees and is filled with cutting-edge design and innovative features.
“We’ve gone green with our new office building,” said Jan Hutwelker, CEO of EARTHRES, “we’re honored to earn national recognition for our commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly design and construction.” Based on the practical and measurable use of green building design, construction, operational and maintenance solutions, EARTHRES has earned this certification by the US Green Building Council through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
“A lot of care and thought went into every aspect of the design and building of our new facility,” said Hutwelker “We’re especially proud of green features like our heating and ventilation systems which deliver significant, money-saving, energy efficiency and greatly improve employee comfort.”
The new EARTHRES building has a geothermal system that uses the constant temperature below the Earth’s surface as a source of heating and cooling, resulting in 35% less energy consumption than a conventional system. The system works like a reverse refrigerator. It removes heat from one location and deposits it in another, maximizing heating and cooling efficiency. Energy recovery ventilation units, multiple zoned heat pumps, and a building automation system further help to reduce energy use.
Smart water use is a key element of the new EARTHRES building’s design, which includes rainwater harvest and wastewater treatment systems. Collected rainwater is used for landscaping irrigation and toilet flushing. An on-site treatment plant produces a high-quality, treated wastewater that is returned to the watershed and to help maintain the water balance for the property. These capture, treatment and re-use systems reduce the consumption of fresh water and lessen the building’s environmental effect on the local watershed by limiting surface water run-off at the site.
Lighting is another area where the new EARTHRES building really shines. Throughout the building energy efficiency is enhanced through “bright” choices for lighting. Automatic lighting controls dim or turn off lights by using occupancy sensors, significantly reducing energy consumption and extending the life of the lamps. Additionally, glass interior architectural walls provide natural lighting throughout the facility that reduces energy use.
Equal care went into selecting building supplies. Construction materials were chosen based on the content of recycled materials, their ability to improve indoor air quality, and low-emitting paints, woods, carpeting, and sealants were used throughout the building. The company also was careful to minimize and recycle waste during construction, and building supplies were purchased locally to reduce the amount of fuel required for transport to the construction site.
The new headquarters promotes a green and healthier lifestyle for EARTHRES employees, too. The company provides a bicycle storage rack and on-site showers for employees who choose to ride a bike or moped to work. And preferred parking is offered to employees who drive low-polluting, energy efficient vehicles or commute to work by vanpool or carpool. Additionally, the new building includes a complete employee fitness center on-site which has cardio equipment, free weights and resistance machines to encourage employee health and fitness through regular exercise.