NTA Newsletter Q1 2013

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NTA Installs 10kW Solar System as Part of Ongoing Sustainability Plan

In August, NTA had a 10kW solar system installed on its file storage building. The energy the solar system harnesses will be sold back to the utility company and is expected to provide a 17% kWh offset year over year.

NTA applied for and received the USDA-sponsored Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to help pay for the solar system. In addition, NTA was approved for the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) feed-in tariff program, in which NTA will receive a monthly check from NIPSCO for the amount of energy it generates from its solar system.

NTA went with a locally owned and operated energy company based in Nappanee, Ind., for the solar system build and installation — Solar Energy Systems, LLC. “Our solar panels come with a 30-year warranty on output efficiencies,” says Eric Homan, general manager. “This may seem like an extraordinary warranty, but the typical solar system has a remarkable life span of 50 years.”

“This solar system is yet another step in our ongoing sustainability program. Not only are we doing our part to protect the environment, but the solar system will also benefit our bottom line,” says David A. Tompos, LEED AP BD+C, president and CEO at NTA. “We hope to accomplish three things with our sustainability program: Improve the efficiency of all our business operations, reduce our impact on the environment and be a positive contributor to our community.”

Just part of a much bigger sustainability picture

NTA Inc. has long demonstrated a commitment to sustainability. The company offers a number of green building certifications for its clients and its corporate office building has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that NTA’s building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 35% less energy and release 35% less carbon dioxide than a typical building of the same type.

In 2011, NTA formed its own sustainability committee and adopted the LEED© Reference Guide for Green Building Operation and Maintenance to implement green building practices. By managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings, NTA has accomplished:

  • A 38% reduction in indoor water use through the installation of low-flow toilets and faucets.
  • A more than 20% reduction in energy use through the installation of more energy-efficient lighting, buying ENERGY STAR-recommended computers and copiers, upgrading its thermal envelope and more.

In addition, NTA participated in a yearlong collaborative learning process in which it applied the globally recognized The Natural Step to help it create strategic, long-term sustainability plans. These plans are even now guiding innovative projects within NTA, such as the new solar system:

  • Installed heat recovery ventilators that improve indoor air quality and comply with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standard 62.1-2010.
  • Recycles more than 80% of all waste.
  • Collects rainwater to irrigate its company garden. A portion of the harvest goes to the local food bank.
  • Is developing an iPad application for its nationwide network of inspectors to eliminate the use of paper. NTA is hoping to roll out the app at the end of this year.

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