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Going green

Exeter company uses eco-friendly ideas, materials at expanded facility

Union Leader Correspondent

May 19. 2013 3:49PM
Tim Noonis, left, senior business development manager for Unitil, discusses some of the eco-friendly features of the newly expanded Cobham Antenna Systems in Exeter while giving a tour to Gov. Maggie Hassan on Friday. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)

EXETER - Cobham Antenna Systems is going green.

The local manufacturer of radar and communication system components for ships, submarines and aircraft took several eco-friendly initiatives when it recently expanded its manufacturing facility at 11 Continental Dr.

The green effort, which included the addition of more energy efficient windows, fixtures, lighting, air compressors and HVAC systems, is expected to result an estimated $840,000 over the lifetime of its new equipment and slash the amount of carbon dioxide the company produces by 7,404 tons.

Gov. Maggie Hassan toured the new 105,000-square-foot addition on Friday and presented a commendation recognizing the company for its energy efficiency achievements.

Cobham, which employs 400 workers in two facilities, worked on its green initiatives with Unitil, a Hampton-based power and natural gas provider.

"Cobham is committed to reducing energy consumption to support a position of sustainability which is quite simply the right thing to do for the environment," said General Manager Steve Bouchard.

Bouchard praised Unitil for its help and said he hopes other companies take advantage of the energy efficiency programs available through the utility.

The environmentally friendly improvements incorporated in the expansion include a white roof, which will help cut down on the amount of heat the building absorbs and the radiant heat that's brought into its air conditioning system.

Other features included low-flow fixtures in restrooms; hand dryers that save on paper and energy; ceiling- and wall-mounted motion sensors placed in all storage rooms, restrooms, small offices and mechanical rooms to control lighting; and clerestory windows that take advantage of natural light and reduce the number of light fixtures needed during daytime hours.

The company took green steps outside as well by using LED fixtures in parking lot lights and plants for landscaping that will grow under normal rain levels to avoid the need for water irrigation.

The expansion doubled the size of Cobham's facility and included 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 35,000 square feet of conference room and office space.

Cobham earned the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce's "Business of the Year" award for 2012.

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