At the time this transmission parts factory was finished, Governor Howard Dean declared it “the most energy-efficient building in the state.” Inventor and Sonnax chair Neil Joseph commissioned LineSync architects (Lineberger and Cincotta) to design his new plant for about fifty dollars a square foot, comparable to the cost of a premanufactured box design. Cincotta used an insulated concrete wall system with cast-in-place round-stepped concrete buttresses. He staggered the interior spans within the plant to provide more light through clerestories and to create the distinctive offset truck-loading bays near the highway access. Glazing in the clerestories was angled to minimize ice-damming and a lighting system was phased for the changing sunlight, another energy saver. Employing more than 150 workers in a plant near I-91, Sonnax is one of the success stories from the state's regional industrial park movement of the 1980s. The state's promotional efforts led to organization of the Bellows Falls Area Development Corporation in 1984 and the development of the Rockingham Industrial Park, where Sonnax is located.
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