WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick says he's been promised the state government's first "zero net energy" building will be completed in Westborough by January 2014, an "important date" for him.
The $25 million, 45,000-square-foot building for the new field headquarters of the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will include geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels and other features that allow it to generate as much energy as it consumes.
"The state should be leading the way in energy efficiency. We are No. 1 in the nation, but we need to lead," said Patrick, who has said he does not plan to run for reelection in 2014.
"We need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. The fact that this will be our first 'zero net energy' office building in the Commonwealth speaks volumes."
Patrick joined Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin, Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., State Rep. Matt Beaton and others at the groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the 80 North Drive building.
Sullivan said he hopes the building is a sign of things to come and a landmark moment for the state along with the Fisheries and Wildlife Division.
Carole Cornelison, commissioner of the state Division of Capital Management, also spoke Wednesday morning, highlighting the state's emphasis on respect for the environment, evaluating opportunities for shared uses and including "appropriately sized work spaces." Those tactics will allow the building to be as small as possible and remain energy-efficient through strategic design, she said.
"It will demonstrate how we can plan, design, construct and more importantly maintain environmentally responsible facilities for the Commonwealth," she said, noting that the building will provide a venue to demonstrate techniques and practices to the public for sustainability and "respect for the environment."
The building is projected to need 60 percent less energy to run than typical office buildings of similar size.
"This is going to be a model for us to strive for for all of our projects as we continually build more sustainability for the future," she said.