Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WPPI to Expand Sun Prairie Headquarters (Press Release)

News Release
May 28, 2008
Contact: Patty Schenker, (608) 834-4598

WPPI Board of Directors approves building expansion plan
Utility will seek LEED “Gold” certification for headquarters

SUN PRAIRIE, WIS., May 28 – The Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) Board of Directors voted to expand and remodel its Sun Prairie headquarters to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction (NC) “Gold” standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.

At its May 2008 meeting, the WPPI Board of Directors unanimously approved the WPPI operations and office facility building plan. WPPI will break ground for the $6.9 million addition and remodel project in September 2008.

“WPPI has experienced significant growth in the past several years, and our current facility is not meeting our demand for additional space,” said Vice President of Customer Services and Administration Tom Paque.

WPPI’s existing operations and office facility was built in 1990, when the nonprofit power supplier served 30 member municipal utilities and had 17 employees. WPPI now has 83 employees serving 49 community-owned utilities. Space requirements for the expansion are based on a 20 year projection.

The improvements will provide significantly more space, and the facility will be built to LEED NC “Gold” standards, using less energy and allowing more light into the building.

“As part of WPPI’s efforts to lead by example in the areas of energy conservation, efficiency, and the use of renewables, our new office and operations facility will meet high standards for energy efficiency and sustainability,” said President and CEO Roy Thilly. “Through the use of sustainable design, we will create an environmentally friendly facility and an excellent work environment for our employees.”

LEED for NC offers several environmental, financial and occupant-oriented performance and health benefits, including lower operating costs and increased asset value, improved occupant health and well-being, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to “green” design features like natural lighting, reused or recycled content building materials, and a resource-efficient landscape, WPPI’s new building will feature additional conference rooms and cubicles, an attractive first floor lobby, more employee and guest parking, a fitness center and an employee breakroom.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification is an achievement that signifies that the building is designed and is operating exactly as it was intended.

“LEED certification is becoming a fast-growing trend, as people are realizing the strong market for its standards in business,” said Bill Rattunde, an AIA and LEED accredited professional from PLANNING Design Build, Inc. “High-performance buildings are a great strategy for reducing risk and solving problems in human environments, and this is what LEED is all about.”

WPPI’s building expansion and remodel will be completed in two construction phases. During the first phase of the construction process employees will continue operation in the existing building while the addition is completed. Employees will transition into the new addition during the second phase of the project, while the existing facility is being remodeled and upgraded.

The exterior of the 49,705 square-foot addition will incorporate design elements from the existing 26,000 square-foot building, providing continuity for the facility’s appearance as a whole. The project is scheduled for completion in September 2009.

WPPI is a regional power company serving 49 customer-owned electric utilities. Through WPPI, these public power utilities share resources and own generation facilities to provide reliable, affordable electricity to more than 190,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

Click here for coverage including rendering of the new building in Sun Prairie Today.

Click here for the article in the Sun Prairie Star.

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