The Georgia Peanut Commission (GPC) board of directors concluded the commission’s 50th anniversary by holding the official ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the new headquarters in Tifton, Ga., on July 31.
The new headquarters is located off Interstate 75 in Tifton at exit 63B. “We are proud of the new energy efficient headquarters and the opportunities that exist to promote peanuts to millions of consumers traveling through Georgia,” said Donald Chase, GPC Building Committee chairman and peanut farmer from Oglethorpe, Ga.
“The principles of forward thinking in the design of the new headquarters is a testament to the forward thinking of farmers in the peanut industry here in Georgia.”
The new headquarters, designed by Cadmus Design-Build, will be the first net-zero energy building for state government in Georgia. Cadmus Design-Build provides Architectural Design and Construction Management in the Master Builder tradition towards net-zero energy, environmental sustainability and economic feasibility goals.
These high performance standards are met through a holistic approach to energy and water efficiency, conservation, environmental impacts and waste management as part of design, development, construction and ongoing building maintenance and operations.
The new headquarters was designed and built to meet criteria for LEED Certification at a Platinum Level with a combination of systems which provide synergies that result in enhanced performance overall.
The site selection, development, building placement, design, engineering and orientation all contribute to low-impact and high performance results.
Beyond building to LEED Certification standards, the new headquarters has fully integrated alternative/ renewable energy systems that enhance performance capabilities towards the Near and Net-Zero Energy goals.
The new building’s integrated systems include both passive and active Geo-Thermal Systems, Passive Solar Architectural Design and Engineering, Solar Photovoltaic Systems, Solar Thermal Systems, Natural / Daylight Harvesting Systems, Rain and Condensate Harvesting, and so many other materials and methodologies that all contribute to the Cadmus Design-Build mission of “Building a Better Environment.” During the ceremony Debbie Cannon with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office presented a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the GPC’s 50th anniversary.
Congressman Austin Scott commended the GPC on an excellent job and stated that he looks forward to continuing to represent them in Congress.
Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black also presented Georgia Grown products to the GPC and stated that the department is having a Georgia state flag flown over the Georgia State Capitol in honor of the GPC.
The GPC was presented with congressional records on their 50th anniversary from Sen. Chambliss, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Congressman Scott and Congressman Sanford Bishop.
“The commission is proud of the fact we have used local contractors and businesses in the construction of the new headquarters which has helped strengthen the economy in the south Georgia area,” said Armond Morris, GPC chairman and peanut farmer from Ocilla, Ga.
“The new headquarters will assist the commission in fulfilling its mission of educating consumers and telling the peanut farmers’ story.”
During the ceremony Don Koehler, GPC executive director, noted that the new facility lacks only one thing, “We’re absent of a mortgage because it’s paid for.”
He also said the cost of the building was $87 per square foot. “Not only does this building represent a huge commitment and achievement from Georgia’s peanut farmers, but it will serve as an achievement for the entire peanut and agricultural industry in Georgia,” Chase said.
“We have had numerous partners throughout the industry that have seen the value of the new headquarters and educating consumers about agriculture.”
The new headquarters has been made possible through sponsorships and a commemorative brick and bench program.
The sponsors include: Platinum level — Kelley Manufacturing Co. and Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing; Gold level — American Peanut Shellers Association, Birdsong Peanuts, Toto, USA, Inc., The FlintCo Family of Companies including Albany Tractor Company, Flint Equipment Company and Flint Power Systems; Silver level — Farm Credit, Lasseter Equipment Group and SunSouth.
Numerous farmers, organizations and business have all contributed to the building program by sponsoring a commemorative brick or bench.
For more information on the GPC building project, visit www.gapeanuts.com.