Dedication to the Community
Envinity is a home-grown organization with strong ties to Penn State University and the local community. Our founders were faculty members and students at Penn State who shared a common vision for sustainability. Many of our hires over the last decade are graduates of the Penn State College of Engineering, and several of our craftsmen have roots in the local building industry.
While we look for opportunities to promote sustainability throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, we are committed to improving our own community through practical, sustainable projects, both as hired contractors and as volunteers. We have donated our time and expertise in support of Habitat for Humanity, Weatherization First, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Penn State’s National Energy Leadership Corp (NELC), and the PSU Solar Decathlon Team.
Millheim Energy Independence Project
In 2015, Envinity will be taking the lead to offer subsidized residential energy audits to every resident of Millheim, PA who requests the service. Our work is part of the larger Millheim Energy Independence Project created and administered by SEDA-COG. In the past, Envinity and SEDA-COG have worked together on numerous projects, including the New Berlin Energy Independence Project – all of this work aimed at making our communities more energy-efficient and stronger economically.
Envinity encourages all of our employees to volunteer their time in a way that benefits them professionally and improves the greater community. For example, Envinity Operations Director, Jason Grottini, is a Board member for the State College Borough Water Authority; President Shaun Pardi serves on the College Township Planning Committee; and Mechanical Engineer Chris Conrad is chapter president of the local ASHRAE.
It is not uncommon to find our employees volunteering their time in the evening or on a weekend to speak at a local church or in front of a larger community group on the subjects of energy efficiency and sustainability. There is no audience too large or too small when it comes to promoting smarter, more efficient homes and businesses.
Weatherization First & PA Interfaith Power & Light
Weatherization First is an initiative of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, whose purpose is to weatherize homes of low-income families through practical measures, such as insulation, air sealing, and energy management. Envinity supports the initiative with on-site labor and volunteer technical assistance, including a free walk-through energy audit, to help low-income homes prepare for the cold winter months and reduce their utility bills. Envinity is also a preferred energy auditor for local houses of worship through this program.
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center
The new information kiosk at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center was originally part of an exhibit booth that our carpenters built for the the 2008 Home Show. After the Home Show we donated the booth to Shaver’s Creek to replace an aging information kiosk. Made of locally abundant white pine, the frame now serves as a rustic entrance to the Environmental Center where visitors can reference maps and other useful information. Since that time, Envinity has constructed numerous structures around the Center. Take a look for yourself sometime and visit our friends at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.
National Energy Leadership Corp (NELC)
The National Energy Leadership Corp (NELC) consists of a corps of students and volunteers whose mission is to provide free home energy audits to homeowners in the Centre Region. Envinity has worked with the NELC for several years, providing technical expertise and manpower. Envinity has audited well over 700 homes in Centre County, and through our work, we are able to provide the NELC with learning opportunities and research tools.
Currently, we are working together to analyze historic energy data collected by Envinity so we have a greater understanding as to how our region uses energy and the most cost effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
The Solar Decathlon is a biannual, international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy which challenges students and faculty to design, build, and operate an entirely solar-powered home. In the 2008 Solar Decathlon, Envinity donated local eastern white pine timbers and helped design the timber frame structure for Penn State’s entry. Jerry Learn, our Director of Construction Services, oversaw the timber frame’s design and crafted the timbers to the Solar Decathlon team’s engineering specifications.