U.S. Forest Service Going Green

by Brad Hlozek

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A groundbreaking ceremony took place this afternoon at 2221 North Raguet Street in Lufkin as members of the U.S. Forest Service had a joyous occasion.

"We're going green," said Fred Salinas, a Forest Supervisor of the National Forest and Grasslands in Texas.

"What we're talking about is a new office, a building that will be state of the art in terms of it being environmentally energy efficient.

"In the Forest Service, we want to be leaders in the area of conserving energy and having buildings that take less to heat and to cool in terms of energy and we want to set an example for the community."

One of the simplest ways to save energy is to minimize the usage of your lights at home while maximizing the light coming into your house or company from outdoors.

Currently, the U.S. Forest Service is leasing out a facility.  Once this new structure gets built, they will be able to save money as energy costs will be reduced considerably.

"We are going to see at least 50% reduction in energy from our old office to this office," said David Culp, a Regional Architect for the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service.

"The lights are on automatic control based on if someone's in the room and how much daylight is coming in."

"This building has been in the planning stages for 4 years and it's just lining up with the energy crisis we've all been through, including higher fuel prices," says Salinas.

"So this building is going to speak a lot about what we can do to save on energy costs."

The new facility is tentatively set for completion in January of 2010.  It will be over 18,000 square feet on a 10 acre land area.

It will be home to approximately 60-70 employees.