A net-zero-energy conference center and an innovative green commercial building initiative have earned Bayer MaterialScience LLC a “Green Power: Turn It On” award from Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), a public-interest organization aimed at promoting the state’s renewable energy market.
The company’s EcoCommercial Building Conference Center was constructed by Penn State University students and entered in the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. Bayer MaterialScience donated raw materials and lent technical expertise to the team during the design and building phases of the project.
Following the competition, the company purchased the building and moved the structure to its U.S. headquarters in suburban Pittsburgh; see the D+D article Model ‘Green’ House Gets New Location, but Retains Mission.
“We are honored to receive this award from PennFuture,” said Paul Platte, head, EcoCommercial Building in North America, Bayer MaterialScience LLC. “Bayer’s EcoCommercial Building Conference Center and the broader ECB initiative demonstrate our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable built environments.”
The company said ongoing building research in the solar-powered conference center is aimed at achieving net-zero-energy and net-zero-emissions on a commercial scale. Simultaneously, the building serves as a showcase and education center for sustainable building solutions and a working center for evaluating R&D materials and technologies.
In addition, the company sponsors the ECB initiative, which includes a network of industry experts that provide solutions to significantly improve the energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness of new and renovated commercial buildings.
‘Green’ Renovation Program
In addition to its ECB Conference Center, Bayer recently embarked on a $17 million renovation of its headquarters. The planned improvements focus on two buildings, which house the largest number of employees at the Robinson Township campus, the company said.
Bayer is pursuing LEED-CI (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—Commercial Interior) gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the buildings.
Numerous products based on Bayer’s advanced polyurethane and polycarbonate materials will contribute to exterior and interior improvements of both buildings. Spray polyurethane foam insulation, polyurethane-insulated metal panels and fiberglass/polyurethane composite windows transform the building envelopes to energy-optimized systems, the company said.
Inside, the buildings will feature open, attractive workspaces designed to increase occupant comfort, health and productivity.
Optimal daylighting featuring clear polycarbonate sheet allows natural light to filter throughout the workplace, while energy-efficient LED fixtures with polycarbonate parts provide aesthetic workspace and task lighting, Bayer said. Indoor air quality is enhanced with the use of low-VOC, water-borne coatings, adhesives and sealants.
More information: EcoCommercial Building.