News Column

More Businesses Using 'Green' Technology for Building

June 11, 2013

A local software company is using "green" technology to build the new home of its technology-based business.

The owners of Affinity Global Solutions, Trish and Brent Levinson, are building the 21,000-square-foot, two- story Levinson Technology and Business Center. The center is being erected using insulated concrete forms

Brent Levinson said the ICF walls are put together 5 or 6 feet at a time. The concrete forms resemble cinder blocks but are made of wood composite and cement. The wood-based forms are stacked together and hold the concrete in place during curing. They are left in place after the concrete sets to provide insulation. Sheetrock can be directly mounted to the forms on the inside. Rebar inside the forms also provides support.

Brent Levinson said he thinks the center is the only building in the area to use the ICF technology. Other "green" features in the building are LED lighting and geothermal heating and cooling.

Affinity chose to build "green" because of its cost effectiveness and it's better for environment, Trish Levinson said.

"The reason for investing in a green building is to ultimately save money," Brent Levinson said. "Although the upfront costs are more, after approximately seven years, those added costs will be paid for in lower energy bills."

There also are federal tax credits and advanced depreciation on energy efficient buildings.

Trish Levinson said they decided to move the company to Burlington Drive because the current location at 919 S. Seventh St. is at risk of flooding. She said because governments and police forces, among other public groups, rely on the company's services, it cannot afford to be temporarily shut down. A 24-hour generator in the new building also will provide more assurance.

Affinity Global Solutions, is a software development company that develops products for public sector entities to develop financial plans and budgets. The company has 15 employees and will take up a quarter of the new building, leaving the rest open for rent.

Brent Levinson said they built the center larger to have room to grow their company if necessary. Office space also is in high demand and the state's strong economy makes now the time to invest, he said.

Brent Levinson said he hopes to have Affinity moved in by September and open the building to renters by October. He said the materials do make the center technically challenging to build so it may take longer to finish.

Brent Levinson said ideally the building will house three tenants in the other three quadrants of the building but expects the space may have to be divided up further.

Because most people are comfortable at different temperatures, each office will have its own heat pump, Brent Levinson said. He said in the company's current building many employees use space heaters to compensate, which reduces energy effectiveness.

"Also, the technologies that we are using have a longer service life and typically fewer maintenance problems," Brent Levinson said. "We're trying to do something that lasts a long time."



Source: (c)2013 The Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N.D.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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