ABVI Goodwill Receives LEED Gold Certification

Joseph E. Robach

October 13, 2010

On Wednesday, October 13th, 2010, Senator Robach attended, and provided remarks at, a ceremony where ABVI Goodwill announced it has received its LEED Gold certification. You can read the entire press release below:

Rochester, NY (October 13, 2010)The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester, Inc. announced today that its Call Center facility has been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council for the design, construction, and operation of a high performance green building as verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.


“We are very proud of the fact that our Call Center is the first ABVI-Goodwill building to earn LEED Gold certification. By utilizing a green building philosophy, our return on investment is both financial and environmental. Most importantly, the green design aligns with ABVI-Goodwill’s mission to improve the environment we all share,” said Gidget Hopf, ABVI-Goodwill president and CEO.


Opened in 2009, ABVI-Goodwill’s Call Center facility was born out of the former Rochester Housing Authority (“RHA”) Building and now accommodates an expanded call center operation, as well as warehouse/distribution, e-commerce and maintenance operations.


“ABVI-Goodwill has made another addition to the growing family of LEED® Certified projects. The U.S. Green Building Council provided the LEED® reference guide for the creation of this structure, but the people involved in the design, construction, and operations of the Call Center embrace and embody the philosophy and principles that make it truly sustainable. This LEED® Gold Certification is presented in recognition of their mission, vision and commitment to improving the quality of life for all who work in this facility,” said Tracie Hall, U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter executive director.


A two-story addition of 1,540 square feet including an entrance lobby, elevator and stairs was also added to the existing 21,220 square foot building. The expansion of the facility allowed ABVI-Goodwill to consolidate their call center operations and create 40 full-time jobs, including a number of positions for people with barriers to employment such as those who are blind or visually impaired.


“Our community is lucky to have an outstanding resource in ABVI-Goodwill. Having a green and energy efficient building is a great application to this organization who serves a vital need for the residents in our area,” said New York State Senator Joe Robach during the ceremony recognizing this achievement.


New York State Assemblyman David Koon also offered his congratulations on earning LEED Gold certification to ABVI-Goodwill.


“ABVI-Goodwill continues to be a progressive leader in our community when it comes to helping people overcome their challenges. It’s exciting to see this strong and solid organization emerge as an environmental leader as well,” said Koon.


ABVI-Goodwill partnered with several firms during the design and construction of the Call Center building, including Rochester-based engineering and architectural firm SWBR Architects and primary contractor J.C. Pilato.






“ABVI-Goodwill truly focuses all they do around their mission. This focus insures they make smart, long term, and high-value business decisions that support this mission. By incorporating the principles of sustainable design and construction into projects, ABVI-Goodwill proves that being a good steward of our available resources is also good business,” said Steve Rebholz, principal with SWBR Architects.


In addition to SWBR and J.C. Pilato, ABVI-Goodwill worked with BP to leverage solar power as an alternative electrical energy source–a key component to securing LEED Gold certification.


“BP is proud to have played a role in helping ABVI-Goodwill achieve LEED Gold certification for the Call Center. It is especially meaningful that a former gas station is now part of a work site powered by renewable energy. BP is a leader in solar power and we could not be more pleased to see this technology powering a facility that will do so much good for so many people,” said Eric Larson, Operations Project Manager for Atlantic Richfield Co., a BP Affiliated company.


LEED Gold certification of ABVI-Goodwill’s Call Center was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impacted the project and the broader community. These features include:


  • Use of solar power as an alternative source of electrical energy
  • Fundamental commissioning for energy efficiency
  • 35 percent of the building’s annual electric coming from wind power
  • Landscape design with no need for an irrigation system
  • Indoor environmental air quality controlled with CO2 sensors
  • VOC-free paint, glues, etc. used throughout
  • Water saver plumbing fixtures, including 1.0 gallons per flush toilets, 0.5 gallons per flush urinals, metering type, low flow lav faucets
  • Reduced heat island effect with white roof design
  • Materials recycled during tear out such as:  6.5 tons of wood, 6 tons of metal, 59 tons of concrete, and 15 tons of general waste
  • Clean construction site as required for LEED credit such as use of sweeping compound, filters on air ducts, vacuuming between studs during construction
  • Recycled cubicles and office furniture


About ABVI-Goodwill

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)-Goodwill Industries of Greater Rochester, Inc., founded in 1911, has a mission to prepare and empower people who are blind or visually impaired to be self-sufficient and contribute to their families and communities.  Through a variety of entrepreneurial business initiatives, including manufacturing, call center, food service and Goodwill retail operations, the agency is able to support this mission and provide programs, services, career training, and employment opportunities to people who are blind or visually impaired or have other barriers to employment or independence.


About U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.


With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.


Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent water consumption and 15 percent of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.




About LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.


By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.


USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation.

For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.


# # #