Poughkeepsie… The “Dutchess Goes Green” agenda launched by Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus in his January 2007 State of the County Address is taking another proactive step. The Executive has proposed a $667,000 bond amendment request for additional funding to pursue LEED Silver Certification for the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center by including additional items that benefit the environment and lessen the County’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources. The most notable “green” feature would be the addition of geo-thermal heating and cooling.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “This proactive initiative keeps Dutchess County Government in the “LEED” in green building construction. We can protect our environment and at the same time, we’ll save “green” taxpayer dollars with impressive energy savings. Incorporating a geo-thermal heat pump system into the reconstruction of the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center demonstrates our LEEDership commitment to being green. Geo-thermal heating and cooling helps us sustain our environment by reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy sources.”
LEED is the acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a green building rating system that is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. County Executive Steinhaus’ bond amendment request would provide funding for the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center to be constructed to achieve Silver LEED certification.
The centerpiece to the green reconstruction of the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center is the inclusion of a geo-thermal heat pump system. Geo-thermal is a method of heating and cooling a building that takes advantage of the natural stable temperature stored in the earth. Geo-thermal heating and cooling is one of the most efficient ways to condition a building. Energy savings for the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center are estimated at about $35,000 per year.
The bond amendment funding will also provide for additional “green” building features such as use of regional building materials and low-emitting products.
The County is anticipated to receive a NYSERDA rebate of $25,000 after all initial cash outlays and system installation. This will result in a final net cost of $642,000.
“Dutchess County is thinking green. Incorporating geo-thermal heating and other green building features into the Eastern Dutchess County Government Center shows how we are behaving green,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
The bond request will be considered by the Dutchess County Legislature in May.