"We must set the example by demonstrating that saving preciousresources is more than a distant goal, it is a reality we canpursue now," Rendell says in a prepared statement. "Beingrecognized by the national council dedicated to sustainablebuilding practices is testimony to my administration's commitmentto energy efficiency."

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The Pennsylvania Department of General Services oversaw the $9.9million construction of the welcome center that was completed withgreen features like geothermal heating and cooling. Operators hopethe building's features will allow it to use 30% less energy thansimilar buildings. Half of the building's roof is covered by aliving garden, while the other half is an outdoor picnic area. Thecenter's architectural design also includes green HVAC, plumbing,daylighting and electrical systems.

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The Delaware Water Gap Welcome Center provides driversinformation about road and weather conditions as well asPennsylvania's cultural, historical, private and scenicattractions. Calls to the governor's office were not returned bydeadline.

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The building is near the border of New Jersey on Exit 210 ofwestbound Interstate 80 and is operated by PennDOT. ThePennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Department ofGeneral Services, the Department of Community and EconomicDevelopment and the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau Inc. developeda partnership to build the welcome center. The center opened in2006.

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