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  Moshannon Department of Environmental Protection, Page 32LEED® SILVER
Moshannon Department of Environmental Protection

P. O. Box 472, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

2325 East Carson Street, #100, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Rush Township, Pennsylvania
Total Square Feet: 14,385
Construction Period: Mar 2003 to Dec 2003 

OWNER: MBC Development LP - P. O. Box 472, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
ENGINEER: WJP Engineers - 1406 Laurel Boulevard, Pottsville, PA 17901
ENGINEERING SERVICES: Tri-Way Metal Workers, Inc. - 301 E. Washington Street, Shenandoah, PA 17976
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Antz Energy Systems, Inc. - formerly Antz Distributing Co., Inc. - 325 East Washington Street, Shenandoah, PA 17976

The Moshannon Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) office was designed as the district mining office for the north central counties of Pennsylvania. They regulate all mining activities in the area. It also houses regional staff for water and air quality, waste management, and water supply.

The building was constructed in Rush Township, outside of State College, Pennsylvania on a former strip mine turned into a business park. The driving force behind the design was the MBC Development's contractual requirement to attain a Silver LEED® rating and the fact that part of the 8 acre site had an underground coal mine just 20 feet below the surface.

The underground mine made the traditional green feature of north-south orientation extremely challenging. However, the architecture firm of DGGP came up with a saw tooth roof and clearstory design to allow the maximum south daylight into the building. The daylighting achieved in the building allows most employees to work at their desks with no supplemental lighting needed. This also created remarkable exterior elevations not typical of any locale.

Because the building was constructed to meet LEED and DEP criteria, many green aspects were included in the building. One prominent feature is the raised access floor, Krantz diffuser, and AMP floor boxes used on 75% of the project. The bulk of the employees occupy three large cubicle areas throughout the building. Each of these areas, and all office areas sit on the raised access floor. Each cubicle has their own Krantz diffuser allowing the occupant to adjust the air flow, alleviating the number one building complaint -- temperature. Also, each cubicle has an AMP floor box which mounts the computer, telephone, and power hookups into the floor. Both the diffuser and floor box are easily moveable under the floor to allow DEP to rearrange employees with very little work, minimizing move costs.

LEED called for low VOC paint, adhesives, and sealants throughout the building, preventing lung disease, smog, and the new paint smell of new construction. Construction Waste Recycling was also required, and the contractor, Miller Bros. Construction, managed to recycle 59% of the waste debris. For example, Miller Bros. Construction took the drywall to a drywall recycler, who turned the paper into farm animal bedding and the gypsum into fertilizer. Surprisingly, the cost was the same as taking the material to the local dump.

Miller Bros. also paid close attention to the recycled content of material used. The exterior was finished with Flexospan metal siding installed horizontally instead of vertically. Their product has 85% postconsumer recycled content. Also, Lafarge Drywall was used because they get all of their gypsum from the scrubbers of a coal fired power plant, thus no new material is mined.

For further cost savings, the contractor found slight rust damaged raised access floor panels. This saved approximately $1.50 per square foot after removing the rust. The panels were going to be thrown away, so this concept contributed to the LEED Silver rating.

The end result is a high quality, modern, and affordable green office building for the Department of Environmental Protection that will be used as a model for future green construction. A similar building, Ebensburg DEP, built by the same owner and contractor has been toured by over 6,500 people in less than four years and various organizations including ASHRAE, AIA, and ASCE.

DIV 03: Insulated Concrete Forms: Reward Wall Systems.
DIV 05: Steel Deck, Structural Steel: Vulcraft.
DIV 07: Membrane: Carlisle Syntec; Manufactured Siding: Flexospan.
DIV 09: Linoleum: Forbo; Carpet: Interface; Gypsum: Lafarge.
DIV 10: Accordion Partitions: Curtition.

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