Sustainability LEEDS to Certification at CAET

Newly LEED certified for its commitment to sustainable building practices, the CAET building was specifically designed with green amenities in mind, such as these parking spaces provided for low-emission vehicles.

May 1, 2020

Already on the leading-edge of complex and evolving transmission work, FirstEnergy’s Center for Advanced Energy Technology (CAET) is also earning industry recognition for its sustainability.

The 88,000-square foot facility, which incorporates a high level of green building features and sustainability practices, was recently rated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council – a prestigious designation pursued by less than 0.1% of buildings constructed in the U.S.

“CAET’s design features, from parking lot surfaces to landscape vegetation and décor materials, were carefully selected to benefit employees, neighboring communities and the environment,” said Josh Levin, manager, Facilities Planning & Projects. “The end result is a building that has the best of both worlds: state of the art technology and superior sustainability.”

Operational since 2019, the multi-use space located near the West Akron Campus (WAC) includes training classrooms, a cyber asset depot and areas to support evaluation, management and storage of cyber assets related to FirstEnergy’s Transmission business. Across the company, an incredible amount of collaboration and work went into making the structure a key facility from day one.

“From a construction approach to a technology standpoint, CAET is in a class of its own, including all of the environmental considerations that were made,” Josh added. “It’s truly an investment in our brighter future as a company and LEED certification helps affirm that.”

CAET was awarded LEED certification based on its merits in the following areas:

  • Location & Transportation: Providing easy access to restaurants, daycares, medical offices and residential housing within walking distance, CAET’s location helps reduce the use of motorized vehicles. The facility also offers preferred parking for employees who carpool or drive energy-efficient vehicles and provides onsite electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Sustainable Sites: CAET’s modern design promotes openness, supports natural vegetation in a pleasing atmosphere and incorporates many sustainable building elements, including reflective roofing, heat-reflective pedestrian sidewalks and paving, flowering and evergreen shrubs, retention ponds and bio-cells with fountain grasses and rain garden vegetation.
  • Water Conservation: Besides efficient plumbing fixtures, native plants are incorporated where necessary to prevent landscape erosion, promote native and adaptive vegetation designed to avoid landscape irrigation and reduce water usage.
  • Energy & Atmosphere: Energy-efficient lighting and heating, ventilation and cooling systems for the facility were designed to provide tangible energy cost savings.
  • Materials & Resources: Sustainably sourced building materials and products were selected to keep the environmental impact of construction as low as possible.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Low-emitting materials and individual comfort controls make CAET an environmentally conscious, pleasant place to work.
  • Innovation in Design: Ergonomically friendly furnishings provide ultimate comfort and safety for employees.

CAET is the company’s fourth facility to earn LEED certification. The WAC, Akron Control Center and our Mon Power headquarters building in Fairmont also received the designation in recent years.

Energy-efficient lighting, low-emitting materials and ergonomically friendly furnishings are just a few of the sustainable design features earning CAET industry recognition.