New building is expansion and green showcase for Merritt Environmental

Merritt Environmental’s business was outgrowing its old Hauppauge offices, so its principal Chuck Merritt decided it was time to expand. 

“Our lease was expiring, and I thought that rather than lease again it might be a good time to own a building,” Merritt said. 

A few months ago, Merritt purchased a 4,600-square-foot office building at 519 Route 111 in Hauppauge for $1.4 million and has invested another $500,000 in renovations since then. 

But those renovations aren’t just cosmetic. The project is aimed at transforming the property into a showcase of sustainable building practices, which seems perfectly appropriate for an environmental services company. 

Merritt is applying to secure a LEED Gold designation for the firm’s new digs, as the many improvements reduce energy costs and water use. 

“As an environmental company, we’re using our own building to showcase several initiatives that can help other commercial property owners to save money, while protecting the environment,” he said. 

The greening of Merritt’s new Hauppauge building, formerly occupied by an asthma and allergies clinic, has several facets. There is new LED lighting, an electric vehicle charger, an Aquasana two-stage water filtration system, carpeting made from recycled fishing nets and a koi pond with plants that remove volatile organic compounds from the air. 

One of the more advanced upgrades to the building is an HVAC system from Bloomington, Minn.-based 75F that is outfitted with AI controllers to monitor heating and cooling in the most energy-efficient manner.  

Merritt gives credit to Anthony Coppola, principal of Southold-based Enlightened Energy Consultants, for identifying the technology and guiding him through the process. 

“Tony was dealing with a 35-year-old building that had a series of different HVAC equipment on the roof,” Merritt says. “He helped us to remove a couple of the older units and redesign the ductwork, so that the existing equipment could be used in the most efficient way.” 

As a LEED accredited professional, Merritt is able to provide consulting services to the company’s vast client base in achieving LEED designations for their properties, and his new offices will serve as an example of sustainability. 

Founded in 2009, Merritt Environmental provides environmental assessments to lending institutions and real estate investors to identify any environmental concerns and issues prior to a property sale or new construction. Those issues could include buried oil tanks, impacted on-site sanitary systems and other potential concerns that may be costly to remediate and problematic in obtaining bank financing. 

The company conducts Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental assessments; coordinates any necessary remediation of properties; and coordinates with government agencies to achieve a “no-further-action” status. Merritt also inspects retail properties formerly occupied by dry cleaners or printing businesses that may have utilized hazardous chemicals and offers solutions. 

Among some of the many noteworthy Long Island projects Merritt Environmental has worked on recently, was an environmental assessment of the former Thatched Cottage in Centerport, prior to the Crest Group’s acquisition and redevelopment of the property that created the new Water’s Edge catering venue. Merritt also performed the environmental due-diligence on the 5-acre site in Bay Shore where Greenview Properties is planning a $50 million mixed-use project that will bring 156 apartments over about 14,000 square feet of medical office and retail space. 

And while the core of Merritt’s business remains dealing with potential environmental concerns in representing prospective purchasers of commercial properties, the company’s new headquarters, which it will officially occupy at the start of the new year, will be instrumental in expanding its consulting to property owners on energy efficiency and sustainable initiatives.

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