Office & Mixed-Use

Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission Headquarters, Cumberland, Md.

When the commission moved into its new headquarters facility recently, the agency joined a growing number of organizations that have ensured long-term operational efficiency through an innovative new building system.

The private, non-profit organization operates and assembles funding for a wide range of programs aimed at improving the lives of the young, poor, elderly and disabled. The agency will now be able to offer its clients and employees an enhanced working environment while simultaneously decreasing its occupancy costs, thanks to a highly energy efficient accel-E Steel Thermal Efficient Panel, or S.T.E.P., wall system from ACCELERATED Building Technologies LLC.

The commission’s board of directors made the decision to build a new headquarters after an in-depth study revealed a new building would be the most cost-effective long-range solution to its needs. In particular, the organization needed its new headquarters to decrease its occupancy costs.

The accel-E S.T.E.P. wall system was a major contributor to that effort, according to Architect Gary Moshier, a partner in Moshier Studio, which designed the 20,000-square foot (1,858-m2) multistory facility.

“We gave the contractor a few options, and the fact that they ended up choosing the accel-E panels just reinforced that it was both cost- and time-effective,” Moshier said.

The accel-E S.T.E.P. wall system achieves its outstanding energy efficiency by fusing UltraSTEEL steel framing components and expandable polystyrene insulating panels together into a single continuous system, which eliminates air gaps, sagging and irregularities that can greatly diminish the performance of conventional framing and insulation.

“In addition to helping reduce energy costs for heating and cooling, the S.T.E.P. system is also an especially ‘green’ building technology in terms of long-term reduction of waste and environmental impact,” said Al Alayon, president of ACCELERATED Building Technologies.

“The accel-E S.T.E.P. system has been shown to save as much as 66 percent in exterior wall construction time,” Alayon said. The accel-E wall panel system also enables contractors to reduce labor costs by as much as 50 percent.

The open cavity in the panels simplify the installation of electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems, and all window and door openings are pre-cut at the factory—two factors that appealed greatly to the building’s general contractor.

“A competing system offered a solid foam design, but we would have had to cut channels for the electrical and plumbing subcontractors later in the process,” explained Bud Curry, superintendent for Rycon Construction, the general contractor on the project. “The accel-E system allows us to do all the conduits for plumbing and electrical without cutting foam. That was a great help to us.”

General contractor: Rycon Construction, Pittsburgh
Architect: Moshier Studio, Pittsburgh
Wall system: ACCELERATED Building Technologies LLC, Moon Township, Pa.,