Orange County, New York lacks the good weather, bad politics, and poisonous Bravo TV-driven profile of its California namesake. But OCNY hasn’t let the lack of, like, Anaheim and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hold it back from devising an admirable (if perhaps over-reliant on LEED) green building code — something the county did back in 2007 — and attracting both interesting buildings and new jobs to what was a moderately faded stretch of the mid-Hudson Valley. (If that sounds like a cheerleader-y lede, let it be known that I’m kind of a fan of the mid-Hudson Valley, which has been the setting for numerous cheap-n-goofy mini-vacations for my wife and me) The just-opened 500,000-square-foot LEED-hopeful facility slated to be opened in Middletown by medical supply giant Medline is the newest of Orange County’s green buildings, and worthy of a look. So let’s, you know, take a look.
The Medline facility in Middletown is slated to supply hospitals, nursing homes, and home care centers throughout New York state and western Connecticut, and will employ 60 people in two shifts. The ratio of employees to floor space — that’s over 8,000 square feet per employee — is kind of odd, but I have never pretended to any expertise in the medical supply business. I do, however, pretend to have expertise in things having to do with green building, and in that regard Medline’s Middletown facility sounds pretty impressive.
Motion sensors and daylight sensors — the latter made relevant by an astonishing 280 skylights — modulate the building’s high-output T5-fluorescent lighting system. “Super-sized fans” (I’m quoting Medline’s own press release, there) reduce the load on the HVAC system, a tankless water heater increases efficiency and Medline plans to recycle just about everything that can be recycled. While it’s twice the size of Medline’s prevous Middletown facility, the new distribution facility will be more efficient in a host of ways. It may not warrant a stop on our next rinky-dink vacation to Newburgh or whatever, but Medline’s facility does at the very least seem like some good green news for Orange County. It’s sure preferable to Anaheim or Dana Rohrabacher.