HARRISBURG, PA. — A project to make the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence more energy-efficient has earned the 42-year-old building Gold LEED-EB certification by the Green Building Certification Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council, the Department of General Services (DGS) announced recently.
"The greening of the Governor's Residence underscores our commitment to make state-owned buildings as energy-efficient as possible," said DGS Secretary James P. Creedon, who also serves as co-chairperson of the Governor's Green Government Council. "By using fewer resources, we are saving taxpayers' money while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a healthier environment."
Energy-efficient improvements to the governor's residence included the installation of an automated energy management system, a geothermal ground-source heat pump system, a humidification system and high-efficiency motors for ventilation fans and water pumps. In addition, insulation was adding to the attic and incandescent lights were replaced with fluorescent lighting.
Overall, Pennsylvania's Governor's Residence earned 51 credits, making it the most credits achieved over any of the LEED-EB-certified governor's residences in the nation.
Built in 1968, the three-story Georgian structure has 28,500-sq.ft. of space and 34 rooms. It is separated into three distinct areas including a public area, which is approximately 50% of the residence, office area and private living area. It has been home to every Pennsylvania governor since Governor Raymond P. Shafer.
The greening of the Residence is part of a state initiative that uses the utility savings to pay for the energy-efficiency upgrades, without any additional cost to taxpayers. This "budget-neutral" initiative is part of a Guaranteed Energy-Saving Act, or GESA. Under GESA, 44 state-owned buildings have been improved with energy-saving features, with another 24 projects either planned or underway.
The Governor's Residence, located on North Front Street in Harrisburg, and the Rachel Carson Building, located at 400 Market St. in Harrisburg, were combined as one GESA project. Both projects are guaranteed to save $10.4 million over the next 15 years in utility and operational savings, and will offset $8.1 million to improve both facilities.
The improvements to both facilities also will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2,900 tons, equivalent to removing over 500 vehicles from the highways.
Additionally, for the second consecutive year, the Rachel Carson Building has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's prestigious Energy Star rating, and is one of two state-owned buildings in Pennsylvania to receive the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. The other is the Scranton State Office Building. The energy conservation performance of both buildings rates in the top 25% of facilities nationwide.