Green Building Certification
In March 2008, The Food Bank received its certification from the U.S. Green Building Council through the LEED® (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System™. LEED is the internationally recognized standard for environmentally sustainable, or “green,” building. With a Gold rating – the second highest level possible – The Food Bank’s Hatfield facility became one of a growing number of businesses and organizations around the world that are doing their part to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.
Solar panels on The Food Bank roof
Some highlights of The Food Bank’s environmentally designed facility include:
- A 30 kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel system on the roof of the building that supplies about 10% of the organization’s electricity
- Energy efficient lighting, heating/cooling, and refrigeration systems that have reduced energy use by 35% per square foot
- Green cleaning products, recycled paper products, and low-toxicity paints and sealants
- An employee carpooling program that saves about 8,000 commuter miles each year
- Outdoor landscaping that emphasizes native plants and minimizes runoff and erosion
- The 60-acre Food Bank Farm in Hadley that preserves natural riverside habitat and produces dozens of crops each year without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or herbicides
During its facility renovation that was completed in 2006, The Food Bank was committed to a building design and operations that were as sustainable as possible. The myriad environmental features of the building not only conserve energy and impact on the environment, but also save The Food Bank money on heating, cooling, and electricity. With support from The Kresge Foundation, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and other capital campaign donors, The Food Bank achieved LEED recognition in five key areas:
- Site design that minimizes runoff and erosion, and protects nearby wetlands.
- Employees are offered incentives to carpool, bike to work, use alternative vehicles, or otherwise reduce car commuting.
- The Food Bank Farm in Hadley preserves 60 acres of protected farmland.
- All exterior lighting is shielded to reduce light pollution.
- Landscaping emphasizes hardy native species, and there is no water used for irrigation.
- All plumbing features conserve water.
Energy and Atmosphere
- We have a 30 kw photovoltaic solar system on the roof of the facility that provides about 10% of our electrical needs.
- All lighting fixtures use low-mercury florescent bulbs with occupancy sensors.
- Water is heated by four tankless electric instantaneous heaters.
- Warehouse is heated with efficient gas radiant tube heaters.
- Freezers and coolers use two-stage compressors and condensing fans to maximize efficiency.
- All HVAC and refrigeration units use non-ozone depleting refrigerants.
Materials and Resources
- We encourage reuse of office paper and materials to limit use of new materials.
- Office paper and janitorial supplies contain 10-60% post-consumer material and are recycled after use.
- Carpeting is “Green Label Plus”.
- Our recycling program includes fluorescent lamps, batteries, steel, paper, cardboard, cans and bottles.
Indoor Environmental Quality
- All cleaning products are Green Seal Certified and non-toxic.
- All paints and sealants are no- or low-VOC.
- Interior insulation contains no formaldehyde.
- Cabinets and shelving are solid wood or steel to limit use of plywood or particleboard.
- We use Integrated Pest Management for pests inside or outside the building, and no pesticides or rodenticides are used.