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National Life Project Receives LEED-EB Silver Certification - The Largest Green Building Campus in Vermont

07-23-2009 04:46 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: National Life Group

/ PR Agency: Rachel Carter PR
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MONTPELIER, Vermont – July 22, 2009 – National Life Group announced today that it has received Silver Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Existing Building (LEED-EB) program, sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, the nation’s leading non-profit authority for green buildings.

National Life is the largest (543,992 s.f.) and oldest (1960) building in Vermont to receive LEED certification of any kind and the second existing commercial building in Vermont to receive a silver LEED-EB certification.

“This is the culmination of a five-year campaign that has involved every single employee at National Life,” said Mehran Assadi, president and CEO of National Life Group.

“This was a very ambitious goal,” he said. “Few people thought it was attainable. When we started we had no idea how we would do it. But we knew that we had to try – and that it was the right thing to do.”

Governor Jim Douglas joined Assadi at Wednesday’s announcement and said that National Life’s building stands as a showcase for other businesses that want to see what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

The three-building Montpelier, Vermont campus was certified LEED-EB Silver based upon a rigorous review of documented best practices that met and exceeded high-performance and environmental requirements. LEED-EB is a nationally accepted benchmark for environmentally friendly, energy-efficient operations and maintenance in existing buildings. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for the development of high-performance, sustainable buildings.

The application highlighted the significant efforts of National Life employees to lessen the buildings’ impact on the environment including:
• 2,500 lbs. of shredded paper are recycled each week and reused as animal bedding at a farm in East Montpelier;
• 2,500 lbs. of food waste is composted each week;
• 73% of the company’s solid waste is currently recycled;
• More than 20% of employees, an average of 218 employees each month, use alternate forms of transportation to get to work, saving over 80,000 miles on average per month.

Other initiatives cited in the application included:
• The installation of new water-saving fixtures in the Main Building restrooms;
• The replacement of aging chiller coils;
• The installation of energy-saving light ballasts and bulbs;
• The replacement of aging pumps and motors;
• The installation of a power meter for monitoring electrical consumption;
• The installation of a highly-insulated membrane roof on the Main Building;
• The installation of a new 73kW solar photovoltaic system to help power the campus;
• The installation of new, more efficient air conditioners in the data center.

“At National Life we take great pride in our environmental stewardship. We view it as an outgrowth of our deep Vermont roots,” said Tim Shea, second vice president for facilities management who, along with Fred Barnett, director of facility operations, and Donna Householder, contracts administration, coordinated the LEED application.

The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

National Life joined the U.S. Green Building Council in 2007 and is a member of its Vermont chapter, the Vermont Green Building Network.

The project was registered with USGBC in January of 2007. Work began in earnest in March 2008 on reviewing operations, modifying processes, implementing new green programs, and gathering the statistics and documentation necessary for the certification application. Partners in this effort included Hallam ICS, Capital Engineering and Dubois & King. The application was submitted to USGBC in December of 2008.

PRESS CONTACT: Chris Graff (802-229-3882)
cgraff@nationallife.com
One National Life Drive
Montpelier, VT 05604
www.nationallife.com

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