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The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification to Poblocki Sign Company for its 120,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in West Allis, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee.
Poblocki is believed to be the first company in the U.S. dedicated solely to the design, fabrication and installation of signage to obtain a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.
"The initial goal of this project was to fully understand the LEED process to better serve its clients pursuing LEED certification and how signage fits into LEED. The side benefits were all the cost savings and environmental improvements in the operations of Poblocki's business that were able to be recognized," said Paul Poblocki, Poblocki Sign Company's vice president and general manager.
Through the company's LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification process, Poblocki discovered ways to lower utility and water consumption costs; improve the health, comfort and productivity of employees; reduce pollution and landfill waste; and identify additional recycling and other efforts that will reduce cost associated with building operations and reduce environmental impacts.
Developed and administered by the USGBC, the LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system helps building owners and operators identify and improve ongoing operations and maintenance of existing commercial and institutional buildings. Certification rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water and natural resources while improving the indoor environment, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance addresses whole-building cleaning and maintenance issues (including chemical use), recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs and systems upgrades.
"Throughout our company's history, we've strived to be a leader in the sign industry," said Poblocki, "Sustainability is far more than a fad in building; it's an inevitable trend in high-performance construction that is being rapidly embraced by all involved in design architecture and building and construction."
Numerous aspects of Poblocki Sign Company's business have always reflected green building philosophy, such as a robust in-house recyclable program and a Green Team, a committee of Poblocki employees that meet once a month to discuss eco-friendly options for the facility and customers.
To obtain the LEED certification, Poblocki Sign Company worked with Sustainable Building Solutions of Brookfield, Wis. Sustainable Building Solutions helped Poblocki navigate the LEED certification process and provided valuable consultation services.
"We're committed to helping organizations like Poblocki who have an interest in positively enhancing their facilities for the benefit of the environment, their community, and their employees." said Phil Vetterkind, director of Sustainable Building Solutions. "The pursuit of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance is a complex, but value driven process that will yield immediate and long term benefits for Poblocki Sign Company. The Poblocki team embraced this exciting challenge and we are very appreciative we could help them obtain this certification."
Certifying Poblocki's facility took about a year. The company began its effort in March 2009, and received notification of approval in late March.
Along with the LEED certification, Poblocki has also introduced a new line of sustainable products for sign customers. These include EcoTac Plus, a new line of sustainable interior signage; TechLine, a thin, energy efficient line of LED theater and display cases; a LEED Interactive Display line, which educates visitors on companies' sustainable environments; and an Insert-Based Sign System, that is easily adapted and maintained with convenient, recyclable inserts.
Since 1932, Poblocki Sign Company has been providing high-quality interior and exterior signage to clients nationwide. In its state-of-the-art facility, Poblocki's tenured craftspeople have solved every fabrication problem imaginable. Today, Poblocki provides design, project management, installation and service that overcome every challenge of effective signage for a wide variety of businesses.