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New York utility's office renews its LEED credentials as among the most environmentally sustainable buildings in state

From the April 24, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published April 24, 2013

In recognition of Earth Week, the New York Power Authority announced April 22 that its 17-story administrative office building in White Plains, N.Y., has been recertified as a LEED® Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council, reaffirming its environmental sustainability and status as a "green" building under the council’s Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance rating system.  It is the first LEED project in Westchester County to be recertified for this environmental honor; the fourth in New York state, and one of only 26 LEED projects in the country that have gone through the renewal process for maintaining LEED credentials, the power authority said.

The recertification confirms that the Clarence D. Rappleyea Building, at 123 Main St. in White Plains, continues to meet the rigorous LEED performance standards for five key areas: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water savings, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. While the building underwent modifications to meet the USGBC’s sustainability standards for the original 2006 certification, the recent recertification "is a reflection of additional measures that NYPA has undertaken to meet even more arduous performance standards that the USGBC has put forth," the utility said.

The White Plains building’s recertification is in line with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s "Build Smart NY," initiative, which strives to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. The statewide initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, NYPA said.

"The enhanced sustainability measures at our White Plains office building reflect the priority that we’re giving to protecting the environment and limiting use of electricity and other resources, whether it’s our power plants, visitors centers or administrative offices," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. "The efforts in White Plains, first and foremost, make the building a better, healthier place to work for NYPA employees and our employer tenants. They are also in keeping with Governor Cuomo’s focus on improving energy efficiency at state buildings to conserve the Earth’s resources and reduce harmful carbon emissions."

When it was initially certified in late 2006, the NYPA White Plains office building was the first existing building in the state to achieve LEED Gold and among only 18 new or existing buildings in the country with this rating. Today, there are 5,914 LEED Gold buildings nationwide and 321 such buildings in New York state, NYPA said.

To achieve the LEED-GOLD EB:OM  Recertification, the power authority undertook  improvements that included: 
  • Installation of new air filters to enhance indoor environmental quality; and expanded use of non-hazardous paints with low-volatile organic compounds, green cleaning products and recycled carpeting.
  • Expanded recycling of paper, bottles and cans.
  • Reducing 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.
  • Providing designated parking in the garage for employees and tenants driving in car pools or using hybrid-electric vehicles.
  • Purchasing renewable energy credits for 30 percent of the building’s energy use.
NYPA has been designated by Gov. Cuomo to carry out his Build Smart NY plan. The power authority said it is committed to spearheading $450 million in energy-efficiency initiatives at state facilities over the next several years and another $350 million in improvements benefiting county and local governments.


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

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