eCenter@LindenPointe Awarded LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council

Hermitage, Mercer County, PA – The City of Hermitage, along with HHSDR Architects / Engineers & the Green Building Alliance announced today that the eCenter@LindenPointe has been awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

USGBC is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System TM is an internationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED was created for building owners and operators to identify and implement practical and measurable green building solutions that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

The initial design of the eCenter building plan was driven by private industry representatives to meet the needs of emerging Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) industries. The technology industry representatives participated in a multi- year effort to analyze, plan and design the eCenter layout and facilities. In 2009 an innovative component of the project was the redesign of the facility to meet the LEED certification.

The eCenter was designed by HHSDR Architects / Engineers with input from the Green Building Alliance (GBA) of Pittsburgh, PA to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The eCenter is Mercer County’s first LEED rated office building.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of LEED certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.

LEED certification of the eCenter@LindenPointe was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

  • Training and education component on sustainable methods for designers, construction contractors, tradesmen and high school students.
  • Efficient site design to maximize open space.
  • Raingarden and water-efficient landscaping to control stormwater runoff.
  • Geothermal heating/ventilating/air conditioning system.
  • Reflective roof system with reduced heat island effect.
  • Maximum daylighting of the interior.
  • Optimum energy cost savings of 22%.
  • 33% of materials are sourced from the region.
  • 38% percent of construction materials are recycled content.
  • 91% percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

An innovative concept of the project known as the “Green Skills Learning Laboratory” was developed through a collaboration of the SkillUp® Building and Construction Industry Partnership, West Central PA Workforce Investment Board & Green Building Alliance whereby the construction workforce was trained on-site in green building construction skills.

The contractors involved in the facility construction included Rien Construction Company, Brookfield, OH (General Contractor), RABE Environmental Systems, Inc., Erie, PA (HVAC Contractor), Renick Brothers, Slippery Rock, PA (Plumbing Contractor), R.E. Yates Electric, Inc., New Castle, PA (Electrical Contractor), Pitchford Diversified, Inc., Butler, PA (Commissioning Agent) and CJL Engineering, Johnstown, PA.

The eCenter is a 16,500 square foot technology-based incubator located in the LindenPointe Innovative Business Campus, which is located on PA Route 18 just north of the junction of Interstates 80 and 376. The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) provided a $4.2 Million grant to the City to assist in financing the construction of the LEED certified eCenter@LindenPointe. The $5.5 Million project included a $1.25 Million Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.

Gary Gulla, assistant city manager and project coordinator stressed, “A project of this significance becomes possible with the unified regional support from many partner agencies and individuals. The timing of the hands-on assistance and support from the U.S. Philadelphia Regional Office Directors Willie Taylor, EDA and Lenita Jacobs- Simmons, U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Division made Mercer County’s first green office building a reality”. And, in recognition of the effort to complete the project he said “being the first, in anything is important, and this first needed a concerted effort by the contractors, construction trade workers, the HHSDR staff and many other contributors, who worked diligently to make the LEED certification attainable”.

“Green Building Alliance is honored to have been part of the LindenPointe project with the City of Hermitage and commends the entire project team for their hard work and dedication in bringing this LEED Silver facility to the community in a manner that incorporated extensive on-site green job training for trade professionals,” said Executive Director Mike Schiller. “GBA staff enjoyed working with the City of Hermitage and the eCenter project team on these trainings, as well as, project specifications and LEED documentation review. This high performing facility will serve as a model for future new and existing buildings in Hermitage and the rest of Western Pennsylvania.”

The eCenter building and the LindenPointe technology based economic development initiatives were planned and designed by representatives from regional economic development, workforce development and private industry partners as tools to sustain and strengthen existing technology based companies and to foster innovation, economic growth and job creation in the region.

Gary Hinkson, manager, City of Hermitage commented, “An accomplishment of this nature will not only strengthen the foundation of our community and the LindenPointe Innovative Business Campus, but is an example of what a community can accomplish by partnering on a regional basis.”