Boldt Company: Corporate offices gains LEED certification

Mary Schmidt
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Appleton headquarters greens existing building

APPLETON, WI, April 21, 2015 — The Boldt Company’s corporate headquarters received a LEED “Silver” designation for existing buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary program that provides third-party verification of green buildings and is an international benchmark in construction sustainability.

The Boldt Company is a nationwide leader in sustainable construction and has provided leadership on 67 LEED-certified projects. Since the corporate building was constructed in 1989, both the construction industry and Boldt have made significant innovations in green building, including adopting a program for existing buildings.

“When we built our corporate office 26 years ago, there was no such thing as the LEED program and we were only just beginning to talk about environmental stewardship and sustainability in the construction industry,” said CEO Tom Boldt. “Now we have a wide range of mechanical systems and energy-saving products that decrease our building’s impact on the environment,” Boldt said.

Since that time, the company has established a sustainability team that has led projects to maintain a commitment to environmentally-responsible construction, waste management and the education of both subcontractors and owners in a wide range of sustainable practices. In 2009, the company was the first contractor to participate in the Wisconsin Green Tier program; the Boldt Stevens Point office was one of the first Boldt projects to achieve a LEED-certified designation in 2002.

To gain LEED certification for existing buildings, significant changes were made in the operating systems of the building to decrease energy usage and increase efficiency:

· The HVAC system was completely updated with new controls to provide better air circulation, including variable-frequency drives that use less energy when less air is needed. New boilers were installed to make heat usage more efficient and a hybrid electric water heater holds and heats a smaller amount of water at one time. Both improvements reduced electricity use.

· More than 1,900 light bulbs were exchanged for lighting fixtures containing reduced levels of mercury. Using energy-saving CFLs reduces demand for electricity, which in turn reduces the amount of coal burned by power plants, which reduces emissions of mercury when the coal is burned.

· Low-flow toilets and sinks installed in remodeled restrooms resulted in a 42 percent reduction in water usage prior to restroom remodeling.

· The exterior of the building was landscaped with native grasses and plants requiring less watering.

· The company has been recycling for many years and a waste stream audit confirmed employees are recycling more than 70 percent of office materials including paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, batteries, computers and solid waste. During a three-month test period, the company recycled more than 11 tons of materials.

· The office contracted with a green cleaning provider that uses green cleaning products and products with low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The firm also uses vacuums with heads that capture more dust/dirt and changes mop heads when cleaning different regions of the building to reduce the spread of germs.

· Employees have greater access to natural daylighting; 64 percent of all workspaces have an outside view.

· The company also purchases more materials with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. “There are very few supplies you cannot source with recycled materials,” said Alex Brewer, Boldt’s sustainability specialist.

150 employees work at Boldt’s corporate office located at 2525 N. Roemer Road in Appleton, Wisconsin.