Environmental Impact


The First State Capitol,

a Model of Energy Efficiency and Historic Preservation

In early 2016, the owners of The First State Capitol completed a three year program transforming their building into a Model of Energy Efficiency, as well as completing their 20+ years work restoring the First State Capitol to its historic and cultural place in local and West Virginia history.

The energy efficiency upgrades were recommended by a certified energy auditor, and the historic preservation work was approved by the West Virginia Historic Preservation Society.

Energy Efficiency Upgrades, that embraced the new energy economy, went hand in hand with Historical Upgrades, that preserved the beauty and culture of the past.

Upgrades included:

  1. Replacement of all windows with historically accurate, yet highly energy efficient, windows.
  2. Repair and re-stucco of the exterior, to seal any leaks in the building’s envelope, while preserving the circa 1920’s historical features.
  3. Installation of a new Energy Efficient, reflective “Cool Roof” that reduces air conditioning costs.
  4. Addition of Permafrost to all HVAC Units to improve the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of cooling units. (PermaFrost is a newly developed nanomagnetic film that is injected into HVAC systems. It removes obstructing oil-fouling layers on the inside of HVAC coils by embedding itself in the metal part of the coils. It microscopically smooths out the surface of the coils, allowing the refrigerant to flow much faster.)
  5. Switch-out of all building lights to high energy efficiency lighting (T12 Lighting replaced with T8 Lighting) with continued switched-outs to the more efficient LEDs.
  6. Rebalance/Recommission of HVAC load to allow for steady, efficient thermostat settings.
  7. Replacement of all thermostats to Programmable units with an override function to save energy without sacrificing comfort and safety.
  8. Replacement of older metal door on third floor with an energy efficient door complete with added sealant insulation.

Renewable – Photovoltaic Rooftop Solar

Photovoltaic Panels were installed on the rooftop of the attached garage of the First State Capitol in November of 2015 as part of a community solar co-op program facilitated by WALS. The panels are made in America and employed regional engineers and installers. (The placement of the panels on the garage offers not only optimal energy savings, but also preserves the “historic” amenities of the building).

Along with the energy savings and public health assets offered by solar energy, the panels also have historical significance as the first Solar Panels ever installed on a downtown Wheeling structure.