Thursday, November 11, 2010

IBEW #234 Achieves Gold Rating for LEED EBOM

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 234 building has been Certified Gold LEED EBOM (Existing Building Operations & Maintenance) The building serves as the Union Hall for the local members and the Tri-County Joint Apprentice and Training Committee (JATC) training center for electrical workers. The building was originally designed and built by Ausonio in 1996, and Ausonio has now served as the LEED Consulting firm helping the IBEW get the building certified.

This is the first IBEW building to achieve LEED Certification in the nation, although there are two buildings that are anticipating certification for new construction in Indiana and Hawaii. This is also the first building in the tri-county area to receive a Gold rating for the Existing Building Operations & Maintenance Program (EBOM Version 2.0).

According to Andy Hartman, President of IBEW Local 234, " The idea of certification was also popular with our membership. They thought it was a good idea. With the Green Movement that is happening and that electricians are involved with a lot of that work, the membership thought it was fitting for us to be certified. They wanted to show that we care about the environment."

IBEW Local 234 is a very efficient building, rated at 37% above the national average for similar buildings. In December of 2009 they installed a new photovoltaic array. The 6.6kW DC system is producing power and uploading information to http:// There is also a link on the IBEW Local 234 website to view the historical production of the photovoltaic system.

IBEW Local 234 has a unique approach to Alternative Commuting Transportation. They changed the requirement that out-of-work union members come to the Hall to sign the Out-of-Work Registry each month and to receive job referrals. Now they can phone or fax for this purpose. As a result, in 2009 they reduced trips to the building by 80%, saving 186,745 miles and 85,903,066 pounds of CO2.

The grounds are cared for by an organic landscape service that uses sustainable practices, such as using only organic-based fertilizers and soil amendments. The planting areas surrounding the building are landscaped with native drought tolerant plants, which are watered by an automated rain-sensing drip-irrigation system. The beds are mulched, and weeding is done by hand.

IBEW Local 234 regularly hosts meetings for the Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Alliance. They have recently applied for a permit to install a car charger for plug-in hybrid vehicles.