IBEW / NECA Announce the Grand Opening of The Zero Net Energy Center (ZNE Center)

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The Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of California, to share remarks at ribbon cutting ceremony today. Twitter #ZNE

"We are proud to push the envelope in the areas of energy conservation efforts, renewable energy promotion, job creation, work-force training and labor-management cooperation," said Victor Uno, Business Manager, IBEW Local 595.

IBEW / NECA today announced the grand opening of the Zero Net Energy Center (http://www.znecenter.org) Located at 14600 Catalina Street in San Leandro, the ZNE Center is the very first commercial building retrofit designed to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s requirements for a “zero net energy” building. The 46,000 sf structure is an educational facility for 2,000 electrical workers that will participate in a program run by IBEW Local 595 and the Northern California Chapter of NECA. A diverse crowd of approximately 500 is expected to gather to mark the historic event at a ribbon cutting ceremony including program participants and stakeholders as well as prominent business and community leaders. The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California, will deliver remarks to the attendees. Confirmed speakers also include: The Honorable Barbara Lee, US. Congresswoman; The Honorable Ellen Corbett, California State Senator Majority Leader and The Honorable Stephen Cassidy, Mayor of San Leandro.

The ZNE Center officially opens its doors as the educational facility for over 2,000 apprentice and journey-level electricians in Alameda County and to serve as an industry-wide resource. “The building is a true 'game changer' for our industry,” said Victor Uno, Business Manager for IBEW Local 595, “We are proud to push the envelope in the areas of energy conservation efforts, renewable energy promotion, job creation, work-force training and labor-management cooperation.”

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
In addition to being the very first retrofit of an existing commercial building that meets the U.S. Department of Energy standards for a “zero net energy” building, the ZNE Center also exceeds the State of California’s 2030 energy efficiency effort by meeting the zero net goal 17 years in advance. It also exceeds the energy conservation goals of the Obama administration’s Better Buildings Challenge.

“We look forward to sharing with the attendees how we utilized new technologies, advanced building designs and innovative construction methods to achieve a dramatic and unprecedented 75% reduction in energy use when compared to similar existing commercial buildings in the country,” said Don Campbell Executive Director of NECA’s Northern California Chapter. “This energy savings lowers the ZNE Center’s carbon footprint by 175 tons of CO2 per year, equal to the carbon emitted by 30 passenger vehicles annually as well as a savings of 500 barrels of oil each year.”

Education and Workforce Development
The ZNE Center’s main function is as an educational facility to support over 2,000 apprentice and journey-level electricians in Alameda County and to serve as an industry-wide resource. “This remarkable facility is a shining real-world model for education and training,” said Byron Benton, Training Director for Alameda County’s JATC. “On May 30th we will celebrate the realization of our collective vision for a more sustainable world where young men and women will be trained for good paying jobs and new economy careers.”

The ZNE Center embraces innovative building design features and state-of-the-art technologies that enhance its capacity to reach zero net energy. These same building features are also incorporated into the curriculum for the education and training that will take place within the ZNE Center. With access to the most cutting edge technologies in wind, solar, solar thermal, lighting and building automation systems, apprentice and journey-level electricians and the industry at large will be equipped with the knowledge and practical skills to install, operate, maintain and improve upon renewable and energy efficient systems.

The ZNE Center Design and Construction Team

The ZNE Center exemplifies the importance of deep and early collaboration of the entire design and construction team. Under the leadership of IBEW / NECA, the team included Environmental Building Strategies (EBS), NOVO Construction, FCGA Architects, Belden Consulting Engineers, Red Top Electric, ACCO Mechanical and Cubed Energy Solutions.

About IBEW
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 750,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. IBEW Local 595 is lead by Business Manager, Victor Uno and encompasses Alameda County as well as San Joaquin/Calaveras Counties. It is one of the largest IBEW Locals in Northern California with over 2000 members. For more information please visit: http://www.ibew595.org

About NECA
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is the voice of the $130 billion industry responsible for bringing electrical power, lighting, and communications to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA is dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities. It is the voice of the electrical contracting industry, working to promote higher standards, quality workmanship and training for a skilled workforce. NorCal NECA is lead by Executive Director, Don Campbell. For more information please visit http://www.norcalneca.org

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Erin Carew

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