Our Building

Our Building

SWCA, formerly New England Environmental, Inc., resides in a 15,800 square foot sustainable office building constructed in 2010. In July of 2011 NEE received a LEED Platinum Certification.

In addition to the current SWCA office space, there is a 2,800 square foot professional office space (plus full basement) and a 1,400 square foot residential apartment.

Architect: Kuhn Riddle Architects, Amherst
General Contractor: Bill Rock, Arrowwood Construction, Amherst.

Sustainable Features

LEED measures building design and performance in five categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.

Sustainable Sites

  • Site selected has no environmentally sensitive areas
  • Construction activity pollution plan implemented
  • On two bus routes (Old Belchertown Road)
  • Comprehensive transportation management plan provides incentives to carpool, bus, bike or walk
  • Bike rack and shower
  • Low impact development (LID) stormwater management system
  • Porous asphalt
  • Grass pavers for parking spaces
  • Rain garden, bio-retention basin; bio-swale, and wet detention basin
  • Zero increase in the volume of stormwater runoff
  • Stormwater quality renovation with wetland vegetation
  • Maximization of open space
  • Native Massachusetts landscape plants
  • Solar reflective roof shingles used to reduce heat-island effect
  • Outdoor lighting with timers, and no off property light pollution

Water Efficiency

  • Water saving devices include: waterless urinals; dual flush toilets; low volume faucets
  • No artificial irrigation

Energy & Atmosphere

  • South side roof of building is covered with photovoltaic system (PV). Pole mounted PV array in parking area. Total PV is 39,000kw,generating enough electricity to power most of our electric, heating and cooling needs
  • 62.8% more energy efficient than the base case building design
  • Walls are 12" thick (2x6 and 2x4 with a 2" gap) filled with 12" cellulose insulation (recycled material)
  • Ceilings have 24" of cellulose insulation
  • No CFC-based refrigerant management
  • All lighting has occupancy sensors and key locations are self dimming
  • High efficiency mini-split heating/cooling with individual office controls
  • Increased ventilation
  • High efficiency, double paned, operable windows, argon-filled glass
  • Electric car charger power by solar array (to be installed in 2012)
  • All of NEE's energy purchases are offset by REC's (renewable energy certificates)

Materials & Resources

  • Recyclables storage and collection
  • 82% of construction waste was diverted from landfill
  • 18% combined recycled content value of total materials, including steel, sheetrock, concrete and flooring
  • 44% locally manufactured or extracted materials (by value)
  • 5% rapidly renewable materials (by value)
  • Much of the wood in the building is FSC certified

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Smoke-free interior and exterior
  • Ventilated at a rate 30% over what is required
  • Indoor Air Quality Plan designed and implemented
  • Low-emitting materials (adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpets, composite wood products, etc)
  • 90% of office spaces have day-lighting and outside views
  • Individual offices have individual thermostats

Operations &Maintenance

  • Non-toxic cleaning products
  • Low maintenance landscaping
  • Reusable dishes, drinkware and flatware
  • Continuous feed cloth towels in rest rooms
  • Single stream recycling