Construction LEED® projects

In 2005, AFC First Financial Corporation received a $30,000 grant to fund the marketing of its Keystone HELP Program. AFC First Financial Corporation based in Allentown, PA was founded in 1947 and is a national leader in residential energy-efficiency and renewable lending programs. In January 2005, AFC First began a pilot program with the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (Allegheny Power) to provide lower rates for ENERGY STAR® and other high efficiency improvements. This program was implemented to assist Pennsylvania citizens in buying ENERGY STAR® rated products for their homes, and at first was a private program for Allegheny Power region citizens.

The Keystone HELP® program is supported by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Treasury Department and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and helps make affordable energy efficiency available to all eligible Pennsylvanians.

In 2010, Albright College received a $25,000 grant to pay for the LEED® certification of its new Science Center. Albright College was founded in 1856 and is located in northeast Reading. Albright is an independent, nationally ranked, residential college that offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, as well as accelerated degree programs designed for working adults that lead to the Bachelor of Science degree.

Albright College began construction of its new Science Center in 2008 as a keystone project in the school’s science program and as an economic boost for the Greater Reading area. The project included the construction of a four-story addition to the existing Merner-Pfeiffer Hall of Science and the renovation of the existing historic building.

The Science Center project added 41,635 square feet of state-of-the-art lab space to the 37,019 square feet of previously renovated space, for a total of 78,654 square feet.

As of July 2011, the Science Center had not yet applied for or received its LEED® certification, but planned on applying upon the completion of construction for Silver level certification. The Silver level is the second level of certification awarded under the LEED® certification requirements, and requires 50-59 specific green building criteria points.

In 2001, the Hanover Public School District received a $25,000 grant to purchase software to design its new green elementary ce nter. The Hanover Public School District is committed to excellence in education through nurturing, challenging and inspiring all students to achieve their full potential and become productive citizens in a global community. It is located in York County.

In designing Clearview Elementary School, the project team’s goal was to create an educational facility that would protect the children’s health while teaching them how to protect their environment. Hanover Public School District wanted its new school to be sustainable and efficient to save money on energy and water.

The elementary school conserves the environment and promotes good student and teacher health, and the eco-friendly design opened up a new world of teaching opportunities. Clearview Elementary Center earned a gold level LEED® certification. The building has 30% reduced water use, $18,000 yearly energy savings, and 40% of the construction materials were manufactured within 500 miles of the site. The $6.35 million building cost less than 2.5% more to build than an average elementary school in Pennsylvania. There is a complete payback in nine years as a result of the yearly energy savings.

Pittsburgh Gateways received a $550,000 guaranteed line-of-credit loan from the Pennsylvania Electric Company Sustainable Energy Fund in June 2013 for the initial construction of the Energy Innovation Center. The 300,000-square-foot workforce development center was planned to be housed in an LEED® certified platinum building serving as a live working model for the surrounding community.

Although the Energy Innovation Center is located outside of the Pennsylvania Electric Company territory, in Allegheny County, the center’s mission to service all of Pennsylvania granted its eligibility for a loan from the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund. In 2016, the project also received loans of $150,000 from the Met Ed Sustainable Energy Fund and $350,000 from the Pennsylvania Electric Company Sustainable Energy Fund.

The Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh is a nonprofit whose mission “is to contribute to socially responsible workforce development, foster energy and sustainable technology advancement, and assist in job creation through a commitment to diversity, innovation and comprehensive education.” The Energy Innovation Center is to be a tool in urban economic revitalization and a base for energy-sector research and innovation.

The Greater Johnstown YMCA received a $25,000 grant in December 2013 from the Pennsylvania Electric Company Sustainable Energy Fund. The grant is for energy efficiency upgrades that are part of the YMCA’s first major multimillion dollar capital expansion project in 30 years. The funding is restricted to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) or electrical energy efficiency improvements for the new facility.

According to Greater Johnstown YMCA, this new renovation project will serve more people and deepen the impact on the lives of the people that the organization already serves. The renovation project is the result of the YMCA’s desire to continue its work in its five fundamental priorities that include:

  • Helping children and youth succeed;
  • Strengthening and supporting families;
  • Promoting self-sufficiency;
  • Supporting vulnerable and aging populations;
  • And promoting health and awareness.

The YMCA offers programs in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility in the community that it serves. The programs provide an opportunity to all people who are willing to learn, grow, and thrive in the area.

In 2004, Crispus Attucks Association, Inc of York, PA received a $50,000 grant to pay for the commissioning of the site for the Greenway Technology Center. The Crispus Attucks Association is a multipurpose center offering a variety of services for people of all ages and from all backgrounds in York.

Crispus Attucks renovated a former cigar factory, transforming it into the Greenway Technology Centre, for which the association sought a Silver LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. To achieve this goal, the Association requested and was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund. At the time of this project green buildings were relatively new.

This project provided a lot of publicity for green technology and got the word out about the benefits of building green before many people knew what it meant. The $50,000 grant for the commissioning allowed Crispus Attucks to renovate its new headquarters using environmentally sound practices. It helped the association attract additional funding to complete the $10 million project.

In 2007, Leg Up Farm, Inc. received a $35,000 grant to pay for LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Leg Up Farm opened in April 2010 and is a non-profit therapy center in York County, Pennsylvania, for children with disabilities and developmental delays. Leg Up Farm provides traditional physical, occupational, and speech therapies, along with non-traditional therapies such as horticultural, recreational, hippo, dance, art, music and horse therapies. Leg Up Farm serves over four hundred families by providing these different therapies, and helps thousands of children each day. Prior to the construction of the Leg Up Farm facility these children did not have the therapy services they needed in their community.

Lou Castriota Jr., president and chief executive officer of Leg Up Farm, said that without the grant provided by the Met-Ed Sustainable Energy Fund, the facility would not have been able to receive its silver LEED® certification.

The most significant “green” feature of the new facility is the efficient heating and cooling system that was installed to save 43% in electricity costs. The money savings each year from achieving the LEED® certification and employing alternative energies ultimately benefits the children. The organization uses these savings to improve any therapies or services that the children require.

In 2009, the Opportunity House in Reading received at $25,000 grant to pay for site commissioning for the expansion of the Second Street Learning Center, and a $500,000 loan toward the construction.

Since 1984, Opportunity House, located in Reading, Pennsylvania, has provided services to homeless, formerly homeless and low-income families and individuals with the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.

The Second Street Learning Center is the Opportunity House childcare center. It is the only 24-hour per day, seven-day per week licensed child care center in Berks County. The Second Street Learning Center, originally established to meet the needs of homeless clients, has been inundated with requests for childcare from families in the community. Within the first three months of operation, they accumulated a waiting list of 150 children who needed flexible childcare services. In order to meet the needs of these children, the Second Street Learning Center started an expansion project that was completed in July 2011.

Included in the expansion was a new Technology Center that Opportunity House hopes will eliminate the “digital divide” that currently exists between low income and middle/upper income students. The Technology Center will provide both access to technology and a curriculum to teach the required skills to properly use and understand it.

An important aspect of the new facility is that it is a “green” building. With the addition Opportunity House was able to expand the Second Street Learning Center’s capacity and allow for more children to be taken in. The program now serves over 300 children in the community and has the potential to continue to grow.

In 2003, the Southern York County Library received a $10,250 grant to purchase software for building design and LEED® certification.

The mission of the Southern York County Library is to enrich individual lives by nurturing a love of reading in children, supplying information, pro viding recreation, promoting literacy, and encouraging life-long learning to the residents of Shrewsbury, New Freedom, and Railroad Boroughs, Shrewsbury Township and the rapidly expanding surrounding areas. The library is a member of the York County Library System.

The Southern York County Library sought to construct the first energy efficient, green-design public library in Central Pennsylvania. Opened August 1, 2003, the new library was the result of a merger between the existing Shrewsbury and New Freedom Public Libraries that had each outgrown their current space.

The construction of the high-performance, green-design library provides the library’s users with a unique building that minimizes energy consumption, maximizes the use of sustainable materials, provides premium interior air quality, and models environmentally sound practices to the communities, municipal officials and libraries across the Commonwealth. The new library received LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The use of green and energy efficient features within the library produced approximately $4,000 in energy savings a year.

In 2003, the Twin Valley School District received a $10,000 grant to finance the LEED® certification of their new Elementary Center. As stated on their website, the Twin Valley School District, in collaboration with students, parents, and community, is committed to excellence. Twin Valley School District is located in Berks County, and serves students in portions of both Berks and Chester Counties.

The Twin Valley School District built a new elementary center in 2005. The district sought a Silver LEED® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the facility

Dr. Robert Pleis, superintendent of Twin Valley School district, believes that the building of this LEED® certified elementary center has made a substantial impact on the community, and has also inspired others to invest in green building. The Twin Valley School District uses the building to incorporate new curriculum which was written to teach students about the efficiency and sustainability of the building they learn in.

In 2003, the York County Commissioners received a $20,000 grant to cover the cost of computerized energy modeling. York County, Pennsylvania has had great changes and growth within the city, boroughs and townships, and is now one of the most progressive and fastest growing areas in the nation according to the York County website.

The York County Commissioners sought to renovate the existing County Courthouse in downtown York into a green office building. A computerized energy model is a simulation created with computer software to determine a building’s energy use given specific variables.The software allowed the mechanical engineer to simulate the energy performance for the building in the computer. This performance report allowed the commissioners to make affordable design decisions for the renovated building that would save energy. They then used this model to compare the newly renovated green building against a similar office building with the minimum code compliance features. The comparison deteremined the number of points given by the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED® certification.

The newly renovated green courthouse received its silver LEED® certification in 2008. The York County Commissioners used the green building to educate the community. They had a public presentation of the LEED plaque to make the community aware of the project, and also provided tours of the renovated building. The projected energy savings for this project were approximately nineteen percent of its comparable energy costs.

Marcus Sheffer, energy program consultant at the York County Community Foundation, participated in this project. He believes the most unique aspect of the project was that it was a renovation of a very historic building. The building was over one hundred years old and they were still able to implement green features within the renovation. The project proved that historic renovations and green building can in fact be compatible.

What We Do

The Met Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund promotes:

  • the development and use of renewable energy and clean energy technologies
  • energy conservation and efficiency
  • sustainable energy businesses
  • projects that improve the environment in the companies’ service territories



Berks County Community Foundation
Community Foundation for the Alleghenies