Governor Deval Patrick joined Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin, local elected officials and conservationists for a groundbreaking ceremony today at the site of the new field headquarters for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife).
"This project will set a benchmark for energy efficient office buildings, support many engineering and construction jobs and, once completed, be a great place to work and learn about the conservation of our natural resources," said Governor Patrick.
The $25 million facility will include 45,000 square feet of office, laboratory and meeting space and feature a geothermal heating and cooling system, solar panels, innovative mechanical systems and a building design that will make it the first zero net energy office building constructed by the Commonwealth.
"Under Governor Patrick's leadership, Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency," said Secretary Sullivan. "This project again marries energy and environment objectives, continuing our progress toward a clean energy future as we work to protect our state's natural beauty."
The new building will replace the 12,000 square foot Richard Cronin Building and three trailers that previously housed about 90 employees. The new facility will accommodate 120 employees, allowing MassWildlife to relocate its Hunter Education program staff from a small office in Ayer when the new building is completed in the spring of 2014. Employees from DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access will also be relocated into the new facility.
The building will produce all of its annual energy needs through a 294 kilowatt rooftop solar panel array. Energy needs have been driven down to levels approximately 60 percent below on other buildings of this type through the design of a high-performance exterior building envelope, and the use of energy efficient heating and cooling systems, including a closed-loop geothermal well system, radiant ceilings, and outside-air ventilation with heat recovery.
"We are grateful for the support of Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan, and Commissioner Cornelison and the staff of the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance," said DFG Commissioner Griffin. "This is a great milestone for the many MassWildlife employees and advocates from the sporting and conservation organizations who have been looking forward to this day."
"The new state-of-the-art zero net energy office building is a testament to the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to investing in a better Commonwealth," said Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Commissioner Carole Cornelison. "I am proud of our investment in this facility and the work of the DCAMM team in conjunction with Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to design and build a world-class facility that incorporates advanced design and energy efficiency measures that ensure best practices in facility maintenance and management."
The building project is being managed by DCAMM, with design by Architerra, Inc. and construction by Columbia Construction Company. The building will serve as a destination for visitors and have conference space for public hearings, education programs, and workshops. It will feature a sustainable site plan with native plant species and serve as an outdoor education center and gateway to the 900-acre Westborough Wildlife Management Area.
"The new building is designed not only for the needs of the agency, but also the many publics it serves. For example, the small and large meeting spaces will allow the Division to hold a variety of public meetings, hearings, consultations, and educational workshops. An open reception area will welcome visitors seeking information or to purchase licenses and publications," said Wayne MacCallum, MassWildlife Director.
"This energy efficient building will be able to offer more to the public and will enable the hardworking staff at Fisheries and Wildlife to better accomplish their mission of good stewardship of our natural resources and a leader in conservation and environmental management," said Representative Anne Gobi, House Chair Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
The project was selected by Governor Patrick's Zero Net Energy Buildings (ZNEB) Task Force in 2009 as a demonstration project for zero net energy in a Commonwealth building project. The Task Force, comprised of architects, energy, building and environmental experts from government, academia, and the private sector, reviewed 80 planned projects, including new construction and major renovations, at state agencies and higher education campuses that were at various stages of design.
The North Shore Community College (NSCC) completed the first state-owned zero net energy building in Danvers in 2011, also as a result of the ZNEB Task Force's recommendations. NSCC won a 2012 Leading By Example award, largely for this building. The Leading by Example Program was established by an April 2007 Executive Order in which Governor Patrick directed state government agencies to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology, and reduce their environmental impacts. The Executive Order calls on state government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities by 20 percent.
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.