www.mybaycity.com December 16, 2008
Rotary Article 3367

DEQ Bay City Office 1st Platinum Certified LEED State Office Building

DEQ Saginaw Dist Office Incorporates Cutting Edge Technology Throughout

December 16, 2008
By: Stephen Kent

Last Weeks Meeting - December 2, 2008

We insulate with recycled blue jeans
The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) practices what it preaches. New office buildings built by the state agency are being certified by the US Green Building Council as conforming to the standards for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED).

Tim Diebolt is the Chief of the Office of Business Services for the Michigan DEQ. In that capacity he is responsible for all facilities and operations for the agency. He was involved with the first LEED State Office Building in Warren and is currently working on the development of the new Saginaw Bay Dist Office. The Warren facility is LEED Silver certified, the second of four levels. The Bay City facility will be Platinum Certified, the fourth and highest level.

On April 22, 2005, Earth Day, Governor Granholm launched the green government executive directive. That was two days after the Warren build was awarded the LEED Silver certificate. The Bay City project was started based on the successes demonstrated by the Warren building.

LEEDS certification can compare favorably with traditional construction if the project is well planned and experienced designers and contractors are employed. The Bay City project planning started a full 9 months before any soil was moved. The groundbreaking was held in June 2008, with construction beginning shortly after July 4, 2008. The DEQ should received the keys to the building around the first of the year 2009.

The new Bay City office incorporates a number of LEED certification features.

  • The floor is raised 18 inches on pylons allowing wiring and other services run under floor, including HVAC delivery. Rather than warm air being forced down by fans, the warmth radiates up naturally for more comfort and significant energy savings.

    Underfloor delivery of electrical power, voice, and data provides easy access without the disruption of ladders or the removal and potential damage to ceiling tiles.

  • Underfloor utilities removes the necessity for overhead duct work. The building is a completely open structure. 28 skylights provide natural lighting to the center of the building greatly reducing the need for artificial lighting. Although the roof as only a 6 inch pitch the skylights are guaranteed for 20 years.

  • Site water runoff is retained in evaporation and saturation ponds prior to entering the city's sewer system.

  • Although not air-pressure assisted, the Bay City building's toilets incorporate the latest technology and design and require only a half gallon of water per flush. Men's restrooms are equipped with waterless urinals resulting in another significant cost savings.

  • One conference room is configured to use light-emitting diode (LED) lighting while other rooms use conventional lighting. LED lighting remains very expensive to install but costs little to run. Special metering is installed to provide cost comparison and the building is designed for potential future retrofit.

  • The DEQ began accumulating excess and used state office furnishings some years ago. These were refurbished and reused in buildings such as the Bay City facility and saved the agency over half a million dollars. The practice is now being made state policy.

  • The DEQ will install a 120 foot tall (200 feet with blade swing path)wind turbine in the Spring. Excess energy will be fed back into the local power grid.

    The building will become a model for environmental buildings. It will be a functional office but also a demonstration project. Saginaw Valley State University is participating in a long term study of the building and its impact.

    The building, located at 401 Ketchum Street between Bay Metro and GM Powertrain, is built on an abandoned brownfield site and will return this land to productive use and to the tax rolls. It is one of only about 30 LEED buildings in the country.


  • Rotary Homecoming: Rob Clark announced the February 3, 2009 meeting as Rotary Homecoming day. Past members and prospects will be invited to this special meeting.

  • Membership: The next new member orientation will be held January 7, 2009 at the Stein House.

  • Vocational Days will be March 3 and 24. Please tell Griff or Ralph by January 13 if you plan to participate. Pinconning schools will be added this year so that will mean more students. You can download the form from the club web site.

  • Golf Outing: Tim Holsworth reported that the golf outing has been scheduled for June 1, 2009.
  • Anyone who would like a new name badge to reflect a classification change should contact Steve Kent.

  • Breezes Reporters Wanted: If you'd like to help write the weekly Breezes please see Steve Kent. It's an easy job. No experience necessary. High Pay (well at least a lot of thanks).

    Upcoming Programs

    (See the official schedule at RotaryBayCity.org )

  • Dec 23: Annual Holiday Program lead by our own Maestro Leo Najar.

  • Jan 13: City of Bay City Rehabilitation programs Bay Area Housing's Neighborhood Preservation Program and the City of Bay City Redevelopment Dept. team up to talk about rehab loans, preserving neighborhoods, and general rehab programs in our beautiful City.

    Visit RotaryBayCity.org

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