BPU questions additional costs to build ‘green’ facility in Bellard Park


Bowling Green’s Board of Public Utilities has questions about spending $200,000 just to have a building
certified "green."
Representatives of Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green spent about 45 minutes Monday night outlining
what it would take to gain certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design program. PDG focused on the highest or "platinum" designation.
For several years the board has been planning a complex in the north end of Bellard Business Park along
Bishop Road to house all electric, water and sewer operations. The structure would replace facilities on
East Wooster Street and North Maple Street that are both more than 50 years old.
Utility offices in the City Administrative Services Building on Church Street would not move to the new
Board Chairman John Mekus said the study was sought by the city "to help it decide if the
(certification) was worth the extra money."
PDG’s Bart Recker said the goal is to design a building that would reduce energy consumption by 24
percent to 50 percent, when compared to a building that would be built to meet minimum code
requirements. "We’re shooting for 50 percent," Recker said.
He said there are just two other buildings with "platinum" certification in Ohio, about 20 with
"gold" certification and many with "silver" certification.
Recker said the biggest material upgrade costs would be using white concrete instead of asphalt
($250,000) and a rain water/gray water collection system ($200,000). He said the concrete would
eliminate a "heat island" and have added benefits of lower maintenance costs and also be
expected to last twice as long as asphalt.
The rain water/gray water would be used to reduce the amount of potable water needed to operate the
building (toilets) and water the yard and landscaping.
To reach "platinum" could add $700,000 to the projected $7.5 million cost of the structure, not
including the $200,000 for what amounts to administrative fees to gain the certification.
Recker said the extra costs would be recovered through energy efficiencies in about 10 years and after 20
years would avoid another $1 million in costs.
BPU members want PDG to provide more information. Utilities Director Kevin Maynard said this morning he
also wants PDG to present additional information at a future meeting.
The board also:
¥ Approved an $89,000 contract for work at both the Carter Park and Mitchell Road water towers. The bid
was $24,000 above the estimate, but about $100,000 under the other bids. Maynard said given the other
bids he sees no reason to expect a better result if the project is rebid.
¥ Agreed to a contract to build and lease fiber optic cable for the high school/junior high campus on
West Poe Road. The schools will pay a lump sum of $20,644 as their share of the costs.
¥ Learned the Electric Division has been looking at a hybrid line truck that operates on diesel and
batteries. Superintendent John Rehm said the truck could operate on batteries when on location, instead
of having the engine running all of the time. It would be plugged in and recharged at night. He said the
city is considering replacing an old line truck in 2010.
¥ Learned bids for the North Main Street water line project came in $50,000 under the $660,000 estimate;
and bids for the Wallace Avenue and Fort Drive sewer projects came in $4,000 under the $184,000

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