Project Information and Owner's Project Requirements
Electro-Plastics (aka StepWarmfloor) is an ISO certified company that manufactures and distributes a proprietary low voltage radiant heat mat made from a conductive polyethylene compound. Their new two-story 34,750 square foot building houses their manufacturing line in the lower level of the building with packaging and shipping on the upper level as well as an office space and showroom. The building highlights the superior performance and efficiency of the radiant heat mats by using separate meters to quantify the reduction in energy use from installing the StepWarm Floor product to heat the entire building. The facility will showcase energy efficiency, employee productivity and “green” practices. The owner’s goals for this project were to gain LEED certification without additional cost to their project.
During the planning phases of this project, we wanted to maximize the building footprint while minimizing the damage to the eco-system. A two story building minimized the overall footprint and allowed us to take advantage of a steep drop off in the rear of the property by building a walk-out basement for the lower manufacturing area. Sedimentation control was implemented at the beginning of the project. The site was zoned commercial and situated next to a defunct landfill. A large underground storage tank was installed to hold the storm water and release it slowly to provide stream channel protections. The parking lot and roof were painted white to mitigate the heat island effect. Downcast exterior lighting was provided by wall packs to prevent light pollution.
Water Efficiency was an important part of our LEED points. Dual Flush toilets and low flow faucets with motion sensors were used in all of the restrooms. The shower has a low flow head. Using native plants for landscaping resulted in the biggest reduction in water use because there was no need for irrigation.
Energy and Atmosphere
Commissioning was a very important part of this project. The owners put together their project requirements and the commissioning process was used to insure that the design and installation of the building systems reflected the wants and needs of the owner. The radiant heat mats are a huge part of the energy efficiency of this building and needed to be installed and metered to maximize and document their efficiency. Although renewable energy options were reviewed, at this time none were installed because of the payback ratio. The entire building is heated with the radiant heat mats and the office area is cooled in the summertime with a roof top unit that utilizes 410A for a refrigerant. Since the windows in the office are operable, the owner’s expect to use less air conditioning.
Materials and Resources
Materials and Resources is an area that is a natural fit with the Butler building system. The high recycled content of the building system helped to achieve an exemplary performance point for MR Credit4.2. Construction waste was recycled. Sustainable and recycled products were used for the interior finish. The break room cabinets, carpet and bathroom tiles contain recycled content. The bamboo and marmoleum flooring are rapidly renewable materials. Re-used wood was laid in one of the offices. FSC doors were used in the bathrooms and office area.
Indoor Environment Quality
During construction all ductwork and grilles were sealed to prevent contamination. At the start up of the HVAC system, filters with a MERV 13 were installed. The windows on the upper floor in the office and warehouse are operable. Renewaire units provide air change and humidity control. Low emitting materials were used throughout the entire project.