Energy

New Paltz fire station touted as an example of energy efficiency – Daily Freeman

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The under-construction New Paltz Fire Department headquarters gave state, county, town and village officials the perfect launching pad on Thursday morning for planned comments at a state hearing later in the day on how to achieve energy goals that include moving off of fossil fuels.

Speaking at the same time construction was being done on the 16,000-square-foot station at the corner of North Putt Corner Road and Henry W. DuBois Drive, town Supervisor Neil Bettez noted that working to accomplish high-end efficiency meant having a low tolerance for naysayers.

“We got some money from the state after (Tropical storms) Irene and Lee,” he said. “Then we got the (initial) plans back and … it was for fiberglass insulation and big gas heaters. We’re lucky that we have a visionary mayor (Tim Rogers)…who was, like, ‘this is crazy.’”

The $5 million in funding was promised in 2011 but officials during several bid attempts and requests for proposal were unable to bring the cost into an affordable range until $6.67 million in bids were awarded in 2020.

Several people standing outside a fire station
Officials stand outside the New Paltz Fire Station on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Tania Barricklo/Daily Freeman)

Officials credited consultant Rick Alfandre for staying on-task with developing a project that moved away from fossil fuels for everything except the facility’s backup generator.

“There are actually five prime contractors that had to work together nicely in the sandbox, and that’s not so easy in public works,” he said.

“It’s built with insulated concrete … from footing to roofs,” Alfandre said. “What that means is … there’s almost no thermal bridging or conductivity of energy through the walls.”

Other energy engineering design work focused on having the heating and cooling system target specific areas of the building to accommodate a structure that needs to be tall enough for large fire apparatus.

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