Cleveland-based Tremco Inc
. recently earned the sustainable-construction industry's equivalent of an Oscar: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) Gold certification. The coveted prize, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council
, recognizes Tremco's outstanding performance in the 2010 renovation of its 40-year-old, 46,000-square-foot headquarters on (appropriately enough) Green Road.
Cindy Cicigoi, Tremco’s vice president of sustainable initiatives and facilities, acknowledges that traditional construction methods -- or simply relocating -- would have been less expensive. But Tremco never viewed the project so narrowly. “We did this, number one, because it's the right thing to do,” Cicigoi says. Tremco specializes in the development of high-performance, low-impact buildings.
But it was also the smart thing to do. After “buttoning up the exterior” of the building, as Cicigoi puts it, Tremco used about 55 percent less natural gas over the past year compared to the average of the previous three years. Solar panels and a wind turbine helped cut the electric bill by about 24 percent.
And the rehab project itself met its zero-landfill goal. Nearly all of the two million pounds of demolition debris was reused; for example, gravel from the old roof became the base for the new sidewalks. Blinds, plumping fixtures and other reusable items were donated to Habitat for Humanity. What couldn't be reused or recycled was burned for energy. Tremco even recycled materials from the I-90 resurfacing project to resurface its own parking lot after installing an underground cistern to store rainwater runoff.
That water is then used in Cicigoi's favorite part of the building upgrade: the vegetated roof. In addition to being “gorgeous” in the summer, the roof is home to 40-plus species of native Ohio plants --16,000 in all -- including herbs that are used in the cafeteria.
The result of all this effort, Cicigoi notes, is a “showcase” for what Tremco, and other companies owned by parent RPM International
, can do.
According to the USGBC web site, “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.”
Source: Cindy Cicigoi
Writer: Frank W. Lewis