A former post office turned office building in downtown Birmingham got a complete green makeover, and tenants are expected to be moving in soon.
Jeff Surnow, of West Bloomfield-based The Surnow Company, says the former post office was completely gutted of its old and inefficient features. The 19,000-square-foot, 80-year-old building, on Martin Street in downtown Birmingham, has a new heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical, light fixtures, and more.
For example, some skylights were uncovered, and old light fixtures were replaced with high-efficiency, low-energy lights. "We're able to get the same amount of light with half the fixtures, and 20 percent of the energy costs," he says.
The new, forced-air heating system is better coordinated between zones, so one part of the building isn't receiving unnecessary heat, for example, and the roof has six inches of new insulation. "It's a substantial amount of energy efficiency this building is going to have compared to what it was," he says.
In addition to new features, Surnow also examined the building's floor plan -- he made one central kitchen space, and several shared conference rooms. This way, a business doesn't pay for rooms in a large suite that are rarely used. "We're changing the style of how the building is run and how people do their business," he says. "Being green is very important to us."
Source: Jeff Surnow, The Surnow Company
Writer: Kristin Lukowski
The city of Dearborn is soliciting proposals to explore the feasibility of a waste-to-energy plant.
The project is part of the city's efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Other recent initiatives are moving toward single-stream recycling and considering LED streetlights. Local officials see the waste-to-energy plant as another feather in the city's tree-hugging hat.
"Do we have enough waste to create enough energy to support the industrial facilities in the city?" says David Norwood, sustainability coordinator for the city of Dearborn.
The waste-to-energy plant isn't your normal dirty Detroit-style incinerator. Dearborn is looking at gasification plans that don't actually burn the refuse. The city is also looking at an anerobic digestor for its sludge waste.
The proposals are due by May 24 (more information here) and a decision on the feasibility of this idea is expected to be made before the end of the year.
Source: David Norwood, sustainability coordinator for the city of Dearborn
Writer: Jon Zemke