Cutting costs, not corners in Mason City

IMG_4884Each time the Iowa Department of Transportation begins planning a new maintenance facility, one key component in the process is making sure the new building provides the best environment for every dollar spent.

In January 2016, the Iowa DOT completed the consolidation of five different work units into a single location in Mason City. Employees from the Iowa DOT’s District 2 Office, annex, materials lab, highway maintenance garage, and Britt construction office moved to a shared location on the south edge of Mason City. The new building had been designed from top to bottom with energy efficiency in mind.

The Iowa DOT’s facilities design staff worked with Randy Taylor, district 2 maintenance manager, on the layout and functionality of the facility. Taylor said, “There are two main buildings in the complex. One houses the district office, construction office, and materials lab under one roof. The other facility is the maintenance garage, which includes truck, mechanic, and wash bays, as well as an office area.”

During the design phase of the project, the team worked with a consultant to determine the needs of employees who would be using the buildings and then determined the most energy efficient and cost-effective options for the facility. Alliant Energy is the energy provider for the Mason City area. They are one of three energy companies in the state that provide a rebate incentive program for incorporating energy-efficient elements into new construction.

IMG_4862The energy efficient option selected for the Mason City campus included geothermal heating and cooling in the district office/materials building and also in the offices in the garage. For the garage itself, in-floor radiant heat with high efficiency boilers were chosen. Taylor said, “We took into consideration the type of work the garage employees are asked to do, which includes working on or near the floor when repairing vehicles. Keeping that space warmer for the comfort and well-being of our employees was a priority.”

Other options chosen for the facilities included LED lighting, increased insulation, both inside and outside the buildings, and high efficiency glazing on the windows. When combined, these options are anticipated to result in an energy savings of $42,245 per year.

Alliant Rebate
Rebecca Gisel, Alliant Energy representative, presented the rebate check to Randy Taylor, Iowa DOT district 2 maintenance manager.

In addition to the ongoing cost savings, Alliant Energy’s consultant recently reviewed the facility and determined all requirements had been met for the Iowa DOT to receive a rebate of $84,145. With the cost saving and the rebate, the $141,000 price of the upgrades will be recouped in 3.3 years and significant savings realized for many years to come.

 To see more about the Mason City facility - Mason City employees settle into their new space

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