Municipal Building Expansion and Energy Retrofit

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Background on the Project & What Makes it Green

Construction began November 23, 2009 on the Municipal Building Energy Retrofit, Renovation and Expansion Project. Eight bids were received on October 20, 2009 for construction, and at their November meeting, City Council awarded the contract to David A. Nice Builders, Inc. They submitted the lowest bid at $4,750,000, which is 18% below the architect’s estimate of $5,801,114. They are a local contractor who successfully completed the city’s EOC facility and Kiwanis Park reconstruction in 2009. Construction was substantially completed by September 2011.

Why is the City expanding the current Municipal Building?
The Municipal Building was constructed in 1988. It is 22,938 sq. feet, and when it was built it housed 33 employees. In 2009, 55 employees work in the building.

The expansion will add an additional 16,547 sq. feet and will make it possible to combine more City services under one roof by adding: Facilities Maintenance office, the City Attorney’s office, The Williamsburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority, and (temporarily) the Voter Registrar.

Having most of the departments in one place – and close to public transportation -- will mean one-stop shopping for good customer service, in addition to more effective communication and coordination between departments.

What is meant by an Energy Retrofit?
The current building was built more than twenty years ago -- “all electric” -- and is not as energy efficient as a building can and should be. Council required that the architects, Guernsey and Tingle, design a building that will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified (Learn more about LEED certification here). Features incorporated in the new building include:

• Reduction of energy use in the existing space of over 40%
• Reduction in carbon emissions in the existing space of over 1 million lbs. annually
• Water use reduction of 40%
• Geothermal heat pumps for HVAC
• Construction waste -- 75% reduction or more
• Use of recycled and regionally sourced materials
• Indoor air quality improvement
• Daylighting & lighting controls
• Interpreting “green” features – using displays to educate residents about the green features that were incorporated in the planning and construction and how that affects the building’s carbon footprint.

How much will it cost?
The total projected cost based on the accepted bid is $6,633,645. Money had been already set aside for the project.

With a recession, should the City do this now?
The bidding environment is very favorable now, so this is actually a good time to take on a building project. It also provides business for local contractors and saves jobs. The architect’s estimate for construction was $5,801,114. The accepted bid from David A. Nice Builders, a local contractor, was $4,750,000 – 18% below the original estimate.

Are trees going to have to be cut down?
Some trees will have to be removed to expand the building and the parking lot. The new geothermal heating system needs to be installed under the parking area.

Some trees will be relocated, and new trees will be planted:

• Total number of trees to be permanently removed: 20
• Number of trees dug up and replanted off site: 15
• Number of new trees to be planted on site: 35
• Total number of trees on the site before construction: 47
• Total number of trees on site once project is complete: 47
• Net gain in number of trees on and off site due to project: 15

Council approved the architectural/engineering contract in September 2008 for $600K.
Architectural Review Board & Site Plan Approvals – June/July 2009
Site Plan Presented to Planning Commission – July 15, 2009
Project out for Bid – August 2009
Bids Received – September 2009
To Council for Contract Approval – October 2009
Construction Begins – November 2009
Construction Complete – August 2011