Shippensburg Area Emergency Services Building’s certification as an energy efficient, environmentally friendly facility was celebrated Monday by officials, company volunteers and others from the community.
Vigilant Hose Company and Shippensburg Area EMS were presented with Silver LEED certification for building an environmentally efficient building. Pictured are Gregg Thompson of Brechbill and Helman Construction Co. and Kevin Nehf, vice president of Vigilant Hose Company.(Public Opinion, Markell DeLoatch)
Standing just outside Shippensburg borough in Southampton Township, Cumberland County, the building shared by Vigilant Hose Company No. 1 and Shippensburg Area Emergency Medical Services is the first public safety building in Pennsylvania to be certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, said Gregg Thompson, director of marketing and business development for Brechbill and Helman Construction Co., the project’s construction company.
Achieving that distinction was enough motivation to make it happen, said Shawn Hartsock, director of operations for Shippensburg Area EMS. Stone House Group, Bethlehem, worked with the design team — Brechbill and Helman, SGS Architects Engineers of Carlisle, and Carl Bert and Associates of Shippensburg — on developing sustainable elements to make it possible.
The building achieved Silver certification, getting 52 points out of 100 across the major categories of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.
Elements include a 10,000-gallon tank that collects rainwater to fill tanker trucks and wash equipment, low-flow plumbing, occupancy sensors for lighting, local materials and recycled content, and low volatile-organic-compound products that improve indoor air quality.
Incorporating these things saves officials thousands of dollars in operating costs, said Robert Price, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council, the organization behind LEED. Cost effectiveness was the basis for inclusion in the facility, said Matt Dice, project superintendent.
“(The project) demonstrates a commitment to the leadership here, of environmental stewardship and the role in enhancing this community and all it stands for,” Price said.
Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-Chambersburg, said he is proud to have the facility in his legislative district and that the people behind it saw their vision through to the end.
The facility has come a long way since it was a design for a plot of land where the former University Lodge motel stood prior to demolition in summer 2010, a number of speakers remarked.
The building would not be what it is today without the partnership of Vigilant Hose Company and Shippensburg Area EMS, said Dan Byers, president of Vigilant.
He said the project really started 25 years ago with the fire company looking for a new home. With the neighboring facilities both failing to meet industry standards, Vigilant and EMS eventually teamed up on the project as a way to complete daily operations more efficiently and save costs.
Amber South can be reached at email@example.com and 262-4771.