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US EPA RTP (Main Building)

The US Environmental Protection Agency sought to lead by example in the design and construction of this 1.1 million-square-foot office and laboratory space for 2,000 of its employees.

Address:
109 T.W. Alexander Dr.
Durham, NC 27711
Durham County

http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm
http://www.epa.gov/rtp/facilities/maincampus.htm
http://www.epa.gov/rtp/facilities/virtualtour/mainbuilding/index.htm

Click here for detailed contact information

Federal government office and laboratory building.

  • Owner: US Government
  • Occupant: US EPA
  • Use/Occupancy: Business
  • Construction: New
  • Completed: 2002
  • Size: Over 100K sq. ft.
    Over 10 acres

Site Conditions: Flood plain, Wetlands, Stream or other running water, Lake or pond, Extreme slope/hill, Previously undeveloped land, Limited site disturbance, Limited building size, Located near mass transit, Supports use of bicycles, Supports pedestrian use, Supports alternative fuel vehicles

US EPA's main building at RTP.
US EPA's main building at RTP.
 
(Photo: Triangle J Council of Governments)

Project Image Gallery
(Click on the thumbnail photo to enlarge and see caption.)
US EPA's main building at RTP.
Grassy swales allow runoff to sheet flow over vegetated areas.
Central atrium.
Photovoltaic lights along two-lane entrance road.
Construction waste separated for recycling.

Green building techniques, strategies, and technologies
(Click on the paperclip to view attached Power Point presentations, documents, and images.)

  
Quality management
  Technology Description Docs
  1   Lifecycle cost analysis Multiple skylight options for the EPA project were considered. A comparison of the first cost and the energy cost over a 20-year life cycle was provided for each of five schemes. Schemes one and two were eliminated due to their relatively high cost and comparatively low energy performance. Schemes three, four, and five had remarkably similar cost and energy performance. For the building as a whole, a life-cycle cost analysis concluded that the new campus would save $138 million over the first 30 years of its life compared to EPA’s old facilities. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  2   Commissioning In the past, commissioning has been used primarily as a procedure to verify the performance of HVAC equipment. It ensures that equipment is installed and operating properly before the building is occupied. Studies have shown that buildings that are not properly commissioned can lose as much as 20 percent of their operational energy efficiency due to improperly operating systems. “Full systems” commissioning is becoming increasingly common. At the EPA facility, operators and maintenance personnel have been included in the commissioning process to enhance their understanding of the building’s systems and their intended performance. Participants have included EPA personnel such as the building engineers, HVAC operation and maintenance personnel and building security personnel. A separate testing and start-up procedure was required for the DDC system to ensure that it is working properly and building engineers know how to operate it. A Building Acceptance Test Manual was developed by the project team to provide an operations manual for the building owner to use during commissioning and occupancy. All building systems – HVAC, electrical, fire safety, security, communications and architectural– were itemized and appropriate testing protocols were identified. This document serves as an important guide for ongoing maintenance and recommissioning over time. The following systems were included in commissioning: • Each HVAC supply air system • Each HVAC exhaust air system • HVAC hot water system • HVAC chilled water system • HVAC HTHW system • HVAC steam system • Fuel oil system • Animal watering system • Water heaters • Fire pumps • Raceway system • Conductor system and wiring devices • Grounding system • Lighting control system • Fire and voice alarm system • Security system • Emergency stand-by power system For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  3   Design team integration With project management and architectural expertise from the General Services Administration, and engineering talent from the Army Corps of Engineers, EPA led the team in selecting the design firm, Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK). Known for its expertise in planning labs, HOK was beginning to develop expertise in sustainable design. Expanding upon the typical, two-dimensional “cost-benefit” thought process, EPA required that the firm add a third dimension for environmental stewardship. Over time, project decisions were repeatedly tested against this framework. Other players strengthened the project with experience and expertise. EPA established its own pollution prevention advisory committee to generate environmentally-friendly ideas for consideration. Similarly, environmental advocates, an indoor air quality coordinator, and an environmental scientist were assigned to constantly question routine design and construction decisions. EPA’s scientists and program managers were consulted on a variety of environmental issues such as electromagnetic fields, indoor air quality, recycled material selection and atmospheric modeling. And staff from EPA’s Green Lights program and the U.S. Department of Energy were consulted about energy efficiency. Help also came from outside of government. Some of the most influential leaders in sustainable design and green construction were consulted, and their input proved invaluable. Moreover, the architectural firm’s green team leader challenged her colleagues, forcing seasoned architects and engineers to rethink old methods from an environmental perspective. Ultimately, this led to cost-effective environmental protection. For example, the construction contractor’s decision to establish on-site concrete production kept 75,000 miles of truck traffic off local roads and saved 10,000 gallons of fuel while cutting project costs and air emissions. Green design criteria were written into the key project documents, including the solicitation for Architect/Engineer (A/E) services, the Program of Requirement (POR), and the contract with the chosen A/E. EPA included broad-based environmental design considerations in the POR, supported by detailed descriptions of features to be considered during the design process. Ultimately, the entire POR, including the environmental design requirements, became part of the statement of work for the A/E contract. In addition to the environmental design requirements captured in the PORT, the A/E contract contained specific deliverables for each stage of the project that supported the development of environmentally-preferable design options. For example, there were stand-alone requirements for indoor air quality submittals, energy analysis and reports, life-cycle cost studies, site surveys, specimen tree studies, and environmental assessment, and documentation of related environmental permits. As a first step, EPA held a 2-day design kickoff session for all design team members for the purpose of goal setting and team building. Durham this session, the group brainstormed a list of primary design goals for the facility. Among the overarching design goals, functionality and environmental design were identified as the most important (Cost control was not listed as a priority to be debated because it was accepted as a given. There was a fixed budget for the project that could not be exceeded.) Design integration leads to more optimal solutions, reduces backtracking and relieves the need to spend extensive amounts of time coordinating the various disciplines after the fact. For example, architects, interior designers, mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) engineers, civil engineers, and others needed to collaborate closely to create a site plan and building massing that would balance a diverse set of functional and environmental goals. Interior designers provided input on site orientation and building massing based on how it would impact future interior planning and dayli  
 
Site
  Technology Description Docs
  1   Innovative erosion control technique EPA’s erosion control plan included tree protection devices, temporary perimeter diversions and sediment traps or basins, and silt curtains across lake inlets. The plan also specified dust control measures and required the stabilization of disturbed areas with temporary seeding. Topsoil removed from the site and stockpiled for reuse was temporarily seeded. Site planners and civil engineers worked closely with the rest of the project team to develop an erosion control plan that was integrated with the design and meets the overall environmental goals for the project. When details of EPA’s erosion control plan were reviewed, it was determined that the standard list of materials approved by the state for stabilization of temporary coverage included some materials, such as asphaltic tackifier, that were undesirable from an environmental perspective. The specification was revised to allow only biodegradable, nontoxic substances to be used for soil stabilization, and to require the use of 100% recycled content hydromulch in the seeding around all buildings. As enhancements to the state’s mandates, additional filtration measures were added to trap fine clay particles. During construction, an experimental gypsum treatment process was used periodically to accelerate settling of the clay, improving the effectiveness of the sediment ponds. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  2   Innovative method for reducing paved area The site development plan was initially guided by a 1970 master plan by the U.S. Public Health Service. The plan specified four-lane boulevards with medians and wide clearings for underground utilities outside both sides of the roads. Vast areas of surface parking were to be located remotely from the buildings, requiring additional clearing for walkways. EPA re-evaluated the master plan and chose an approach that saved about 25 acres of forest. Roadways – Backed by a professional traffic analysis, EPA changed the four-lane and median system to a two-lane road. Wider areas were maintained at public road intersections to promote swift entry and exit at rush hours. Electrical and communications lines were placed under the pavement to further reduce clearing to the minimal required to construct the roadways. Parking – Several acres of clearing were prevented by placing half of all parking spaces in decks. Because of the site’s sloping terrain, the costs of retaining walls and drainage systems for all surface parking would have nearly equaled the cost of the decks, and the parking service to employees is vastly improved since these spaces are much closer to the buildings. Fire lanes – Impervious surface was also reduced by developing roadways on the entry side of the site for fire truck access and a grass paving system for most of the fire lanes to the west. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  3   Plant rescue Prior to construction, in partnership with the NC Botanical Garden and campus neighbors at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), EPA conducted a series of plant rescue operations. Thousands of native plants, which otherwise would have been bulldozed during the site clearing, were relocated out of harm’s way. Many plants were transplanted by volunteer employees to the NIEHS campus to enrich the wooded understory in front of the NIEHS main building. The rest of the plants were donated to the Botanical Gardens and relocated by volunteers to public and private gardens in the area. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  4   Biofilter/bioretention basin The new EPA campus impacts nearly half of a very small, 500-acre watershed which includes wetlands, a man-made lake, and creeks. As a headwaters location, the campus has been designed with extra care – well beyond current minimum environmental requirements. As a result, no stormwater will leave the site untreated. Most stormwater will pass through natural, vegetative treatment areas – which are, in turn, nourished by this storm runoff and will serve as site amenities. Curb and gutter systems were removed during design and replaced with less costly and more ecologically-sound approaches that slow the water flow and direct it through native grasses, flowers, forests, and wetland for treatment, not simply collection and off-site discharge. The paved area of the campus was cut in half by stacking 50% of all parking in decks and redesigning roads from four-lane to two-lane. In all, about 25 acres of mature forest were preserved. Wetlands – All existing wetlands were preserved, with the exception of one tenth of an acre at a road crossing. EPA added a one acre constructed wetland on the site. Bioretention – Innovative “pocket wetlands,” or bioretention facilities are used at eleven locations throughout the site. These deep, porous earth areas are planted with trees and shrubs that thrive in wet and dry conditions, and whose roots absorb and help break down contaminants from storm runoff. Water Quality Ponds – Two man-made ponds will help contain and slow the flow of stormwater, and aquatic plants will aid the process of pollutant reduction and absorption. Sheet Flow – Roads and parking lots are designed to shed water gently at the shoulders, sending storm flows through grass, wildflowers, woods, water quality ponds, and bioretention facilities before reaching lakes and streams. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  5   Bioswale The new EPA campus impacts nearly half of a very small, 500-acre watershed which includes wetlands, a man-made lake, and creeks. As a headwaters location, the campus has been designed with extra care – well beyond current minimum environmental requirements. As a result, no stormwater will leave the site untreated. Most stormwater will pass through natural, vegetative treatment areas – which are, in turn, nourished by this storm runoff and will serve as site amenities. Curb and gutter systems were removed during design and replaced with less costly and more ecologically-sound approaches that slow the water flow and direct it through native grasses, flowers, forests, and wetland for treatment, not simply collection and off-site discharge. The paved area of the campus was cut in half by stacking 50% of all parking in decks and redesigning roads from four-lane to two-lane. In all, about 25 acres of mature forest were preserved. Wetlands – All existing wetlands were preserved, with the exception of one tenth of an acre at a road crossing. EPA added a one acre constructed wetland on the site. Bioretention – Innovative “pocket wetlands,” or bioretention facilities are used at eleven locations throughout the site. These deep, porous earth areas are planted with trees and shrubs that thrive in wet and dry conditions, and whose roots absorb and help break down contaminants from storm runoff. Water Quality Ponds – Two man-made ponds will help contain and slow the flow of stormwater, and aquatic plants will aid the process of pollutant reduction and absorption. Sheet Flow – Roads and parking lots are designed to shed water gently at the shoulders, sending storm flows through grass, wildflowers, woods, water quality ponds, and bioretention facilities before reaching lakes and streams. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  6   Constructed wetland The new EPA campus impacts nearly half of a very small, 500-acre watershed that includes wetlands, a man-made lake, and creeks. As a headwaters location, the campus has been designed with extra care – well beyond current minimum environmental requirements. As a result, no stormwater will leave the site untreated. Most stormwater will pass through natural, vegetative treatment areas – which are, in turn, nourished by this storm runoff and will serve as site amenities. Curb and gutter systems were removed during design and replaced with less costly and more ecologically-sound approaches that slow the water flow and direct it through native grasses, flowers, forests, and wetland for treatment, not simply collection and off-site discharge. The paved area of the campus was cut in half by stacking 50% of all parking in decks and redesigning roads from four-lane to two-lane. In all, about 25 acres of mature forest were preserved. Wetlands – All existing wetlands were preserved, with the exception of one tenth of an acre at a road crossing. EPA added a one acre constructed wetland on the site. Bioretention – Innovative “pocket wetlands,” or bioretention facilities are used at eleven locations throughout the site. These deep, porous earth areas are planted with trees and shrubs that thrive in wet and dry conditions, and whose roots absorb and help break down contaminants from storm runoff. Water Quality Ponds – Two man-made ponds will help contain and slow the flow of stormwater, and aquatic plants will aid the process of pollutant reduction and absorption. Sheet Flow – Roads and parking lots are designed to shed water gently at the shoulders, sending storm flows through grass, wildflowers, woods, water quality ponds, and bioretention facilities before reaching lakes and streams. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  7   Grass paving Impervious surface was minimized by developing roadways on the entry side of the site for fire truck access and a grass paving system for most of the fire lanes to the west. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  8   Reflective roofing White single-ply roofing (albedo of 0.78) was used throughout the facility to limit heat gain and reduce air conditioning requirements. With an “emissivity” of 0.90, this roofing will also shed its absorbed heat relatively quickly. Even though studies show that similar white roofs lose up to 25 percent of their albedo within the first three years following installation due to dirt accumulation, the performance stabilizes at a level of about 0.60 albedo, which is still significantly better than typical black-roof surfaces. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
 
Water
  Technology Description Docs
  1   High efficiency irrigation Because of the reliance on native and adapted plantings, a “quick coupler” irrigation system has been provided as a low-cost and appropriate alternative to a fully automatic irrigation system. The quick coupler can be connected to hose bibs at intervals throughout the site to irrigate new plants during their period of establishment and to assist during periods of extreme drought. An exception to this approach was made in the main building entry plaza for plantings in the raised planter beds. These planters provide a non-permanent landscape that may include some “exotics.” Accent plantings on the main entry plaza will be irrigated with an automated drip irrigation system. The drip irrigation system provides a highly water-efficient solution for these small, localized areas which will require irrigation. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  2   Native plants EPA saved on the cost of campus maintenance by minimizing turf and foregoing a lawn sprinkler system. Native or non-invasive adapted species are used throughout the campus, ensuring hardy plantings that will withstand the frequent droughts experienced in the Research Triangle area. These landscape features save more than just water. Since the need to mow has been greatly reduced, there is a savings in resource use and related gasoline combustion pollution avoidance.Fertilizer needs are reduced, and Integrated Pest Management practices reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides and herbicides. Native trees and shrubs – Landscape plantings of only southeastern US native trees and shrubs are planted along the site perimeter to enhance indigenous habitat disturbed during site clearing. Native grasses and wildflowers – Wildflower meadows, comprised of indigenous warm season grasses and naturalized wildflowers, are sowed along most roadways for aesthetic value and wildlife benefit. Six successive planting stages over a three-year period insure effective establishment and viability. Twice yearly mowing to control volunteer tree growth is expected to be the only long-term maintenance required. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  3   Drought tolerant plants EPA saved on the cost of campus maintenance by minimizing turf and foregoing a lawn sprinkler system. Native or non-invasive adapted species are used throughout the campus, ensuring hardy plantings that will withstand the frequent droughts experienced in the Research Triangle area. These landscape features save more than just water. Since the need to mow has been greatly reduced, there is a savings in resource use and related gasoline combustion pollution avoidance. Fertilizer needs are reduced, and Integrated Pest Management practices reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides and herbicides. Native trees and shrubs – Landscape plantings of only southeastern US native trees and shrubs are planted along the site perimeter to enhance indigenous habitat disturbed during site clearing. Native grasses and wildflowers – Wildflower meadows, comprised of indigenous warm season grasses and naturalized wildflowers, are sowed along most roadways for aesthetic value and wildlife benefit. Six successive planting stages over a three-year period insure effective establishment and viability. Twice yearly mowing to control volunteer tree growth is expected to be the only long-term maintenance required. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  4   Low-flow fixtures The EPA campus uses EPACT standard low flush toilets and urinals. Lavatories used for hand washing have been demonstrated to perform quite well at 0.5 gallons per minute, instead of the 2.5 allowed by the EPACT. Consequently, aerators and flow restricting nozzles for faucets and showers were used to make the facility more water efficient than the EPACT standard. For the EPA campus, manual flush valves were used, and touchless “sensor-operated” lavatories provide for improved sanitation and heightened water conservation. Availability of hot and cold water has been improved by a recirculating system with automatic temperature controls. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  5   Cooling tower efficiency The EPA campus has incorporated some innovative features to improve the water efficiency of cooling towers, generating an estimated savings of approximately four million gallons a year. These features include a dynamic water analysis system that allows the quantity of blowdown to be reduced to a minimum. The system regularly monitors water quality, allowing better control of the additive dosage and thereby reducing the need to apply a “safety factor” in anticipation of days when the water quality may be atypical. The dynamic sampling system increases the cycles of concentration from 6-8, which is the industry standard, to 12-14. While the system conserves water, it also reduces reliance on chemicals and has a two- to three-year payback.  
 
Energy
  Technology Description Docs
  1   Energy modeling software used Computer and physical models were used, including the following: “Trace” by the Trane Corporation for energy modeling; “Lumen Micro” and physical models for daylighting evaluation; “Exposure” (an EPA program) for indoor air quality. As concepts were tested, the information base for decision making expanded and some earlier decisions were revisited. As a result, the design process was a cyclical one. When the design team first evaluated the energy performance of the building as designed, members were shocked to find that the design was not only inefficient, it was worse that the “standard” benchmark values. Although the engineers were using typically energy efficient components in the buildings, such as outside air economizers, automated lighting controls, and high efficiency chillers, boilers, fans, and motors, the full benefits were not being realized. The use of energy efficient equipment, without design refinements and systems integration, created a poor result. Because the results of the energy modeling could be compared to a set of benchmark values for typical energy performance in similar buildings, the group was alerted to the need to refine the design. This led to a series of revisions to the HVAC design that ultimately reduced energy consumption considerably. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  2   Air locks Air locks are provided at all public entries. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  3   High performance glazing For the EPA facility, improved Low-E is used on the southern and western exposures and the atrium roof. Standard Low-E is a lower cost option and provides sufficient performance for the northern and eastern exposures. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  4   Load management software A central DDC system has been specified to control all of the HVAC systems and many of the electrical components as well. The building operator will be able to monitor multiple control parameters including temperatures, pressures, whether lights and fans are on or off, whether filters are clogged and other aspects of air handling units as well as pumps and cooling tower operation. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  5   Motion/heat/light sensors Efficient lighting requires appropriate use of daylight, an accurate assessment of required lighting quantities, use of efficient lamps, ballasts and fixtures, and measures to reduce unnecessary lighting during unoccupied hours. For the EPA campus, the combination of sensor controls and high-efficiency fixtures produced lighting that is approximately 70% more efficient than a standard code-compliant building. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  6   Highly efficient mechanical system Motors and fans – The EPA specifications call for 90-95 percent efficient motors, a 10-15 percent savings over the customary 80-85 percent efficient motors. The specifications also call for high efficiency centrifugal and axial fans with variable frequency drives. By combining the highest efficiency fan design with variable speed demand high efficiency motors, a 15-20 percent overall savings in fan energy can be realized. Chillers and boilers – The chillers and the boilers specified for the NIEHS/EPA Central Utility Plant (CUP) are highly efficient units designed to operate at multiple settings. This allows their output efficiency to be optimized. For example, the CUP chillers consume 0.54 KW/ton at 50 to 75% loads. At 100% load, consumption increases to 0.63 KW/ton, and at only 25% load, the energy consumption is an even higher 0.77 KW/ton. In other words, extremely high or low loads are the least efficient operating modes. Because the design is based on multiple chillers in operation with a redundant chiller provided, 100 percent output will never be required and 25 percent loading will be minimized. Variable air volume – Variable air volume (VAV) systems control temperature by varying the quantity of supply air based on the actual cooling required. VAV boxes can be set so that minimum outdoor air requirements are met while varying the supply air to suit the heating or cooling load in the space. In this situation, a variable speed drive on the air handler will slow down the fan, maintaining minimum system pressure and saving fan energy. In addition, the lower airflow passing across the cooling coil reduces the required heat transfer in the coil as well as the amount of chilled water used. The EPA facility uses a non-powered VAV system in the office buildings and a dualsetting constant volume system in the laboratories. The straight system was used instead of a fan-powered VAV even though a fan-powered VAV can contribute to better air movement and air mixing within the office space. The straight system was selected because the fan-powered VAV is a high maintenance piece of equipment that consumes fan energy. The simpler “straight” system is a low energy alternative, and it also allowed EPA to specify an increased minimum airflow. The EPA facility provides a minimum of 2.25 air changes per hour (ACH) of outdoor air, which exceeds the one ACH minimum recommended by the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Engineers (ASHRAE) 62-89. Outside Air Economizer Cycle – Each of the air handling units for the offices and the labs at the EPA Campus is equipped with an outside air economizer cycle with enthalpy controllers to sense relative humidity and protect the building from overly humid air. Outside air economizer cycle operation (also known as “free cooling”) allows the air handling unit to operate at up to a 100 percent outdoor air mode when the outdoor temperature and humidity allows. It is the mechanical equivalent of the open window. Economizers become active when outdoor air temperature is at or below 55 degrees. If the outdoor temperature continues to drop below the supply air temperature (55 degrees), the system mixes outdoor air and return air to maintain temperature. Economizer cycles create tremendous savings in climates that are mild much of the year and where humidity is not too high. Outdoor air economizers need to be addressed in the early stages of design because space for larger ductwork and shaftways is required. Heat exchanger – In the EPA facility, the high temperature hot water that has been circulated through heat exchangers to generate steam for the main building maintains sufficient heat to make domestic hot water. Consequently, circulating the water through an additional heat exchanger to make domestic hot water is an efficient use of the “surplus” heat. By maximizing the overall change in temperature, heat losses are reduced in site utility piping. This means that more of the ener  
  7   Variable speed motors The EPA campus uses variable speed drives on all water pumps and air handling units. Sensors in the piping system and the duct system monitor fluctuations in the static pressure or the water pressure, transmitting a signal to the variable speed drives to slow down or increase the speed of the motor depending on the conditions. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  8   Passive cooling strategies Clusters of tall trees, some as high as 80 feet, which were preserved during site design, also provide valuable shading for the west side of the low three-story office buildings. Low-E glazing and interior mini-blinds complete the sun control strategy in office areas. Motorized shadecloth blinds are used in public areas in the central office tower. However, the lab buildings do not require interior blinds because all of the occupied spaces are inboard and the deep articulation of the precast concrete outer walls help shade strong midday sun. The cafeteria and training area facades, with 12-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking the lake, incorporate a deep architectural trellis planted with deciduous vines that provide maximum sunshading in summer and partial sunshading in winter. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  9   Daylighting The EPA campus design promotes the use of daylighting in a number of ways. The building atria that connect lab and office buildings bring daylight into the building interior. All exterior glazing has high visible light transmittance and a low shading coefficient to provide “cool light.” Interior space planning supports daylighting through the use of light color finishes, low partition heights and a planning concept that designates almost 50 percent of the perimeter space planning zone to be dedicated to open office workstations. This zone keeps exterior windows unobstructed so that light can penetrate interior office zones. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  10   Photovoltaic energy EPA negotiated a lease-purchase arrangement with the local power company to install 70 photovoltaic lights along the site roadways–creating one of the largest solar road lighting projects in the U.S. Since the lights would be owned by the power company, prior to an optional buyout by EPA, the power company took advantage of a 35% tax credit from the State of North Carolina for solar power equipment purchases. The tax credit significantly reduced the cost of the solar lights to make the system cost-justifiable for EPA. Over a 20-year life cycle, EPA expects these solar lights to cost the same as standard street lights. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  11   Highly efficient lighting system Efficient lighting requires appropriate use of daylight, an accurate assessment of required lighting quantities, use of efficient lamps, ballasts and fixtures, and measures to reduce unnecessary lighting during unoccupied hours. For the EPA campus, the combination of sensor controls and high-efficiency fixtures produced lighting that is approximately 70% more efficient than a standard code-compliant building. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  12   Lab energy efficiency For safety reasons, laboratory air is never recirculated, and the “one-pass” system for EPA’s 400 labs consumes about one million cubic feet of conditioned air every minute. To cut down on this tremendous air flow while still ensuring worker safety, the labs have been designed with special exhaust hoods and night set-back features that cut total air consumption by 50%. Safe, simple and effective energy savings were realized by linking the full closure of fume hood sashes with room light switches. The normal exhaust ventilation rate is reduced by half when research staff close fume hood sashes and turn off the lab lights as they leave for the evening.  
 
Materials
  Technology Description Docs
  1   Designed for occupant recycling Plans for recycling were developed while the basic building organization was evolving. The EPA campus was designed to accommodate the recycling of paper, glass, aluminum, plastic, and cardboard. Convenient collection locations were provided near areas that generate large quantities of recyclable waste (such as copy rooms and galleys). These areas are located near elevators to aid collection. Consequently, collection areas were located in copy rooms and building break rooms where the majority of recyclables will be generated. In addition, the break rooms were located directly adjacent to the service elevator lobby, and the copy rooms were less than 50 feet away. The service elevator is used by janitorial staff to transport the recyclables to the loading dock via an underground service tunnel that moves material on electric carts. This means that recyclables can be transported to the staging area at the loading dock without having to pass through any public areas. The loading dock was designed with ample room for staging of recyclables before pickup, and a compactor for cardboard has been provided. Recycling and waste reduction is well integrated into the cafeteria design as well. Reusable china and flatware will be used in the cafeteria. Recycling collection areas will be built into the tray drop area in the cafeteria, and the vending areas. An organic waste recycler will be used for pre- and post-consumer compostables from food service. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  2   Construction waste management plan The design/build contractor implemented a written Construction Waste Management Plan to effectively and economically collect, segregate, and dispose of all construction wastes and debris generated in the construction of the project. Concentrated efforts were made to avoid contamination and maximize the recyclability and salvageability of materials on site. Records were maintained to track progress and verify the quantity of materials handled on a monthly basis. The goal was to recycle 75% (by weight) of total construction waste. Recycling requirements were included in all subcontract agreements. The commitment by the entire construction team – the prime contractor and subcontractors, the local waste hauler, the construction manager, and the Government – resulted in an overall recycling rate of 80%. A total of over 20 million pounds of waste was diverted from landfills. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  3   Recycling of site debris All material generated on the site from land-clearing activity and excavation was reused on site. The specifications stipulated that during construction, land that required clearing would first be logged for valuable timber, and then the remaining debris would be shredded in a tub grinder to create mulch for future use on the site. (This is in contrast to the prevailing practices in this region, where it is typical for landscape scrap to be piled high and burned.) Mulch stockpiled on site was aged for use in finish landscaping. Some of the mulch was mixed directly into the topsoil, where the decomposed material aerates and amends the soil for more productive plant growth. Excavated topsoil was stockpiled for reuse and excavated rock was crushed for use as structural fill. Two types of portable machines were used at the site for rock crushing. The first was the actual crusher, which takes rocks up to 24” diameter and discharges material smaller than 3”. The second machine was the sieve and screen, which takes the crusher product and separates the unwanted gradations and fractions to produce specific aggregates. Although the excavated rock and weathered rock may not be durable enough to use as road aggregate, the contractor used the product in his structural fills and backfill throughout the site. The aggregate material produced on site was used for temporary haul roads and access during inclement weather. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  4   Recycling of construction/demolition waste Using aggressive programs to separate wastes at their sources, the contractors recovered 80% of the waste generated on site. Including site preparation wastes, this amounted to about 20 million pounds of resource material that would normally have been sent as “waste” to landfills. Separate waste hoppers were provided for drywall, metal, cardboard, wood, and other wastes in the buildings, and special crews hauled the hoppers to specially-marked dumpsters. Routine visual checks ensured that recycling haulers would leave the site with uncontaminated loads. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  5   Salvaged building materials used At the central utility plant, the existing precast concrete panels on the south walls had to be removed to make room for the plant expansion. The contractor removed the panels intact, loaded them directly to a waiting flatbed truck and stored them on the site to reinstall on the expanded plant. This action saves materials, fabrication, delivery, and disposal costs compared with traditional demolition and replacement. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  6   Recycled materials used in wall The specification for the EPA facility included detailed requirements for minimum recycled content by material type. The EPA’s Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMAN) provided preliminary guidance. Research into market availability was then performed using a detailed questionnaire. The goal was to evaluate the cross-section of products available so that a competitive range of manufacturers could be selected. Products specified with recycled content include rubber flooring, ceramic tiles, asphalt paving, cast-in-place concrete, insulation, wood fiberboard, gypsum wallboard, and more. The following list presents all of the recycled content provisions in the final specification. The list represents minimums and many materials were procured that contain more than the minimum required. Product Required Recycled Content Asphaltic concrete paving 25% by weight Reinforcing steel in concrete 60% recycled scrap steel Reinforcing bars in precast concrete 60% recycled steel Concrete masonry unit 50% recycled content Reinforcing bars in concrete unit masonry 60% recycled steel Framing steel 30% recycled steel Fiberglass batt insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Fiberglass board insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Mineral wool insulation 75% recycled material Mineral wool fire safing insulation 75% recycled mat’l by wt Gypsum board 10% recycled or synth gyp Facing paper of gypsum board 100% recycled newsprint including post consumer Mineral fiber sound attenuation blankets 75% recovered mat’l by wt Steel studs, runners, channels 60% recycled steel Acoustic panel ceilings 60% recycled mat’l by wt Ceiling suspension systems 60% recycled material Rubber floor tiles 90-100% recycled material Hydromulch 100% recovered materials Structural fiberboard 80-100% recycled content For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  7   Recycled materials used in flooring The specification for the EPA facility included detailed requirements for minimum recycled content by material type. The EPA’s Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMAN) provided preliminary guidance. Research into market availability was then performed using a detailed questionnaire. The goal was to evaluate the cross-section of products available so that a competitive range of manufacturers could be selected. Products specified with recycled content include rubber flooring, ceramic tiles, asphalt paving, cast-in-place concrete, insulation, wood fiberboard, gypsum wallboard, and more. The following list presents all of the recycled content provisions in the final specification. The list represents minimums and many materials were procured that contain more than the minimum required. Product Required Recycled Content Asphaltic concrete paving 25% by weight Reinforcing steel in concrete 60% recycled scrap steel Reinforcing bars in precast concrete 60% recycled steel Concrete masonry unit 50% recycled content Reinforcing bars in concrete unit masonry 60% recycled steel Framing steel 30% recycled steel Fiberglass batt insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Fiberglass board insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Mineral wool insulation 75% recycled material Mineral wool fire safing insulation 75% recycled mat’l by wt Gypsum board 10% recycled or synth gyp Facing paper of gypsum board 100% recycled newsprint including post consumer Mineral fiber sound attenuation blankets 75% recovered mat’l by wt Steel studs, runners, channels 60% recycled steel Acoustic panel ceilings 60% recycled mat’l by wt Ceiling suspension systems 60% recycled material Rubber floor tiles 90-100% recycled material Hydromulch 100% recovered materials Structural fiberboard 80-100% recycled content For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  8   Recycled materials used in structural The specification for the EPA facility included detailed requirements for minimum recycled content by material type. The EPA’s Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMAN) provided preliminary guidance. Research into market availability was then performed using a detailed questionnaire. The goal was to evaluate the cross-section of products available so that a competitive range of manufacturers could be selected. Products specified with recycled content include rubber flooring, ceramic tiles, asphalt paving, cast-in-place concrete, insulation, wood fiberboard, gypsum wallboard, and more. The following list presents all of the recycled content provisions in the final specification. The list represents minimums and many materials were procured that contain more than the minimum required. Product Required Recycled Content Asphaltic concrete paving 25% by weight Reinforcing steel in concrete 60% recycled scrap steel Reinforcing bars in precast concrete 60% recycled steel Concrete masonry unit 50% recycled content Reinforcing bars in concrete unit masonry 60% recycled steel Framing steel 30% recycled steel Fiberglass batt insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Fiberglass board insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Mineral wool insulation 75% recycled material Mineral wool fire safing insulation 75% recycled mat’l by wt Gypsum board 10% recycled or synth gyp Facing paper of gypsum board 100% recycled newsprint including post consumer Mineral fiber sound attenuation blankets 75% recovered mat’l by wt Steel studs, runners, channels 60% recycled steel Acoustic panel ceilings 60% recycled mat’l by wt Ceiling suspension systems 60% recycled material Rubber floor tiles 90-100% recycled material Hydromulch 100% recovered materials Structural fiberboard 80-100% recycled content For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  9   Recycled materials used in landscape Mulch was 100% recovered materials. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  10   Local material use Many materials selected for the EPA Campus were locally manufactured including concrete, brick pavers, concrete masonry block and precast wall panels. Because of the massive amount of concrete needed to build this one million square foot facility, the impact of trucking concrete in from local batch plants would have been very costly. The negative impact on roads and air quality would have been quite significant as well, since delivering all this concrete from the nearest concrete plant would have required at least 75,000 miles of truck trips. A concrete batch plant was placed in an area already cleared for an EPA parking lot, so no additional land was disturbed. No concrete transport was made beyond the confines of the site – preventing the combustion of at least 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel. On-site mixer truck wastes were reclaimed at the batch plant and recovered aggregates were reused in later concrete batches. Wash water was contained on-site in a closed loop system. The on-site batching was a zero waste operation. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  11   On-site manufacturing Because of the massive amount of concrete needed to build this one million square foot facility, the impact of trucking concrete in from local batch plants would have been very costly. The negative impact on roads and air quality would have been quite significant as well, since delivering all this concrete from the nearest concrete plant would have required at least 75,000 miles of truck trips. A concrete batch plant was placed in an area already cleared for an EPA parking lot, so no additional land was disturbed. No concrete transport was made beyond the confines of the site – preventing the combustion of at least 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel. On-site mixer truck wastes were reclaimed at the batch plant and recovered aggregates were reused in later concrete batches. Wash water was contained on-site in a closed loop system. The on-site batching was a zero waste operation. Additional supporting documentation available
  12   Certified wood use Wood was used in very limited quantities as an accent material in the new facility. In addition, all finished wood millwork and paneling was specified to come from a certified sustainable source. All of the species specified are domestic hardwoods. Wood that was used has been mounted with clips that allow for future removal and reuse as needed. When wood paneling was reviewed in value engineering, the team chose to maintain the aesthetic qualities of wood in the design, but opted to use half as much as originally intended. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  13   Environmental life-cycle analysis The A/E initiated an effort to gather life-cycle environmental impact information about products. With input from experts in the green building field, the A/E developed a product questionnaire that was sent to every manufacturer considered for use in the project. Response to the questionnaire was good, and the data proved useful in defining which products would be the best choices for the project. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  14   Optimum-value engineering At its best, VE is not merely a cost-cutting exercise, but a review process to enhance “value.” EPA used the VE process to balance cost, function, and environmental performance when considering options. The VE process became especially important when extraordinary challenges were introduced by the political process that is unique to the design of a large government facility. When the US Senate was considering appropriations for the new facility, they asked EPA to review the project again to see whether the total cost could be significantly reduced. This challenged VE participants to produce creative cost reductions without compromising functionality, reducing program area, or compromising environmental goals. The core design group not only reduced the total project cost by approximately $30 million, but the VE cost-reduction exercise produced a greener building. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  15   Designed for future renovation EPA’s modular office and laboratory layouts are designed to facilitate future changes with minimal impact on the building’s support systems, and with very little waste. Offices are configured in suites comprised of standard-sized rooms and workstations. All office furnishings are modular and common parts and pieces are used in both private offices and open workstations. The standard layout and furnishing plan limits the need for individualized changes when people come and go. When a change is needed, the standard office building blocks can be renovated with little to no impact on suspended lighting, overhead sprinklers, ceiling supply and exhaust diffusers, and acoustical ceiling tiles and grid. Laboratories are designed as interchangeable units. Each lab module is a standard width and has two sections: an inner zone complete with piped services, and an outer zone with only electrical and data services. The outer zones also can be configured as equipment rooms and offices for scientists and technicians. Modules can be combined to meet a wide range of research needs. The inner lab zone is adjacent to a service corridor, which delivers all utilities to the lab, including water, gases, ventilation, electricity and voice/data communications. These services enter the labs at regular intervals at the edges of each modular lab unit, using a service ledge. In some cases, the ledge functions as part of the laboratory casework and counter top, while in other cases it also supports struts for shelves. It also serves as the bottom half of the wall between laboratories, eliminating the need to distribute utilities twice for adjacent labs. At the ceiling, a structural steel channel serves as the top plate for either shelving struts or hard walls. The fixed position of service ledges and ceiling supports allows quick and easy retrofit throughout the life of the building. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  16   Recycled materials used in ceiling The specification for the EPA facility included detailed requirements for minimum recycled content by material type. The EPA’s Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMAN) provided preliminary guidance. Research into market availability was then performed using a detailed questionnaire. The goal was to evaluate the cross-section of products available so that a competitive range of manufacturers could be selected. Products specified with recycled content include rubber flooring, ceramic tiles, asphalt paving, cast-in-place concrete, insulation, wood fiberboard, gypsum wallboard, and more. The following list presents all of the recycled content provisions in the final specification. The list represents minimums and many materials were procured that contain more than the minimum required. Product Required Recycled Content Asphaltic concrete paving 25% by weight Reinforcing steel in concrete 60% recycled scrap steel Reinforcing bars in precast concrete 60% recycled steel Concrete masonry unit 50% recycled content Reinforcing bars in concrete unit masonry 60% recycled steel Framing steel 30% recycled steel Fiberglass batt insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Fiberglass board insulation 20% recycled glass cullet Mineral wool insulation 75% recycled material Mineral wool fire safing insulation 75% recycled mat’l by wt Gypsum board 10% recycled or synth gyp Facing paper of gypsum board 100% recycled newsprint including post consumer Mineral fiber sound attenuation blankets 75% recovered mat’l by wt Steel studs, runners, channels 60% recycled steel Acoustic panel ceilings 60% recycled mat’l by wt Ceiling suspension systems 60% recycled material Rubber floor tiles 90-100% recycled material Hydromulch 100% recovered materials Structural fiberboard 80-100% recycled content For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  17   Designed for disassembly/salvage The impact of resource recovery was addressed throughout the material selection and detailing process. The objective was to enhance the potential for future recyclability, reuse, or salvage. If these options proved impractical, then the potential for enhanced biodegradability was considered. Use of metals without alloys, mechanical fastening of wood panels, and specification of certified recyclable carpeting are examples of ways that recycling was encouraged. With a facility that will use more than seven acres of carpet, the team believed it was very important to be certain that the material could be returned for recycling at the end of its life. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
 
Indoor environment
  Technology Description Docs
  1   Construction IAQ strategies EPA developed an innovative and comprehensive strategy to insure healthy Indoor Air Quality in the completed facility. Multiple construction contract requirements combined to achieve this goal. Ventilation During Construction – Filtered ventilation with 100% outside air was required during finish materials installation from the time the building was enclosed until facility acceptance, to flush out emissions from materials and finishes and protect workers from toxin exposures. Ambient Air Quality Testing – At construction completion, the contractor is required to test at 16 locations throughout the occupied spaces of the building to measure indoor contaminant levels of: CO, CO2, Airborne Mold and Mildew, Formaldehyde, Volatile Organic Compounds, 4PC, Total Particulates, and other Regulated Pollutants. Contaminants must be below established concentration standards prior to acceptance. Phasing of Finish Materials – The importance of performing “wet” finishes, which off-gas odors or toxins, prior to “fuzzy” finishes, which tend to absorb and later re-emit these chemicals, to achieving healthy IAQ was stressed to the contractor. The contractor scheduled finish materials installation to minimize Independent Finish Materials Testing – EPA required the contractor to conduct laboratory chamber emission testing for VOCs and particulates on four major products - wall paint, carpet, ceiling tile, and fireproofing. Test results were modeled by EPA IAQ researchers to predict indoor concentrations in the completed facility and mitigate potential IAQ concerns prior to finish material applications. Duct Cleaning – Prior to acceptance, comprehensive duct cleaning and filter replacement was required, to assure that dust and other contaminants generated during construction were removeprior to building occupancy. Supply and return ducts, air handlers, and plenums were cleaned before Air Qaulity Testing and again immediately priro to acceptance fo the completed building. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  2   Low-emitting adhesives EPA specifications require low-VOC adhesives, finishes, sealants, joint compounds, and paints. See the following list for these requirements. Certifications were also required to document that no heavy metals were present in paints, adhesives, and sealants. VOCs for liquid based products can be measured in grams per liter (g/L). Grams per liter represents the total quantity of VOCs in the material. Product Maximum VOC Content (Grams/Liter) Form Release Agents 350 Plastic Laminate Adhesive 20 Casework and Millwork Adhesives 20 Transparent Wood Finish Systems 350 Cast Resin Countertop Silicone Sealant 20 Garage Deck Sealer 600 Water Based Joint Sealants 50 Non-Water Based Joint Sealants 350 Portland Cement Plaster 20 Gypsum Drywall Joint Compound 20 Terrazzo Sealer 250 Acoustic Panel Ceiling Finish 50 Resilient Tile Flooring Adhesives 100 Vinyl Flooring Adhesives 100 Carpet Adhesive 50 Carpet Seam Sealer 50 Water Based Paint & Multicolor Finish Coatings 150 Solvent Based Paint 380 Performance Water Based Acrylic Coatings 250 Pigmented Acrylic Sealers 250 Catalyzed Epoxy Coatings 250 High Performance Silicone 250 Casement Sealant 50 Liquid Membrane-forming Curing & Sealing Compound 350 For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  3   Low-emitting paints & coatings EPA specifications require low-VOC adhesives, finishes, sealants, joint compounds, and paints. See the following list for these requirements. Certifications were also required to document that no heavy metals were present in paints, adhesives, and sealants. VOCs for liquid based products can be measured in grams per liter (g/L). Grams per liter represents the total quantity of VOCs in the material. Product Maximum VOC Content (Grams/Liter) Form Release Agents 350 Plastic Laminate Adhesive 20 Casework and Millwork Adhesives 20 Transparent Wood Finish Systems 350 Cast Resin Countertop Silicone Sealant 20 Garage Deck Sealer 600 Water Based Joint Sealants 50 Non-Water Based Joint Sealants 350 Portland Cement Plaster 20 Gypsum Drywall Joint Compound 20 Terrazzo Sealer 250 Acoustic Panel Ceiling Finish 50 Resilient Tile Flooring Adhesives 100 Vinyl Flooring Adhesives 100 Carpet Adhesive 50 Carpet Seam Sealer 50 Water Based Paint & Multicolor Finish Coatings 150 Solvent Based Paint 380 Performance Water Based Acrylic Coatings 250 Pigmented Acrylic Sealers 250 Catalyzed Epoxy Coatings 250 High Performance Silicone 250 Casement Sealant 50 Liquid Membrane-forming Curing & Sealing Compound 350 For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  4   Good housekeeping protocols The EPA project team created the Indoor Air Quality Facilities Operation Manual to document design decisions that will impact IAQ throughout the life of the facility, so future building renovations will not undermine those features. This manual also describes IAQ-related construction provisions including IAQ testing of materials, sequence of finish installation, temporary ventilation, baseline IAQ testing and commissioning. Preprinted forms, including HVAC Equipment Inspection Forms and an IAQ Management Checklist were developed to guide building operators throughout the occupancy phase. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  5   Daylighting The EPA campus design promotes the use of daylighting in a number of ways. The building atria that connect lab and office buildings bring daylight into the building interior. All exterior glazing has high visible light transmittance and a low shading coefficient to provide “cool light.” Interior space planning supports daylighting through the use of light color finishes, low partition heights and a planning concept that designates almost 50 percent of the perimeter space planning zone to be dedicated to open office workstations. This zone keeps exterior windows unobstructed so that light can penetrate interior office zones. For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm Additional supporting documentation available
  6   Low-emitting materials - other EPA specifications require low-VOC adhesives, finishes, sealants, joint compounds, and paints. See the following list for these requirements. Certifications were also required to document that no heavy metals were present in paints, adhesives, and sealants. VOCs for liquid based products can be measured in grams per liter (g/L). Grams per liter represents the total quantity of VOCs in the material. Product Maximum VOC Content (Grams/Liter) Form Release Agents 350 Plastic Laminate Adhesive 20 Casework and Millwork Adhesives 20 Transparent Wood Finish Systems 350 Cast Resin Countertop Silicone Sealant 20 Garage Deck Sealer 600 Water Based Joint Sealants 50 Non-Water Based Joint Sealants 350 Portland Cement Plaster 20 Gypsum Drywall Joint Compound 20 Terrazzo Sealer 250 Acoustic Panel Ceiling Finish 50 Resilient Tile Flooring Adhesives 100 Vinyl Flooring Adhesives 100 Carpet Adhesive 50 Carpet Seam Sealer 50 Water Based Paint & Multicolor Finish Coatings 150 Solvent Based Paint 380 Performance Water Based Acrylic Coatings 250 Pigmented Acrylic Sealers 250 Catalyzed Epoxy Coatings 250 High Performance Silicone 250 Casement Sealant 50 Liquid Membrane-forming Curing & Sealing Compound 350 For more details about this technology/strategy and project, including photos, a video, detailed documents, and specifications, see http://www.epa.gov/rtp/new-bldg/environmental/environmental.htm  
  7   No duct linings, thermally broken windows, EMF reduction No duct linings: EPA requested that the building be designed without duct linings because they can harbor mold and microbial growth, becoming a site of potential contamination that is difficult to localize and expensive to clean. Building ductwork can function well without linings, however larger ducts are required, and mechanical room layouts must be meticulously planned so sound can be attenuated. By incorporating this requirement early in design, the design progressed smoothly and the impact on cost was negligible. Thermally broken windows: The largest disadvantage of aluminum as a window frame material is in its high thermal conductance. Unless “thermally broken,” the frame readily conducts heat, greatly raising the overall U-factor of a window unit. Moisture accumulation in the building can also become a problem if it becomes cold enough outside to condense moisture or frost on the inside surfaces of window frames. Consequently, all aluminum window frames for the EPA Campus are fully thermally broken. This feature will not only improve comfort, but it will also eliminate condensation that could lead to the growth of molds and mildew, thus preserving good indoor air quality. EMF reduction: The team reviewed available literature on EMFs and their threat to health and determined that while EMF radiation could be measured, its threat to humans had not yet been proven or disproved. Nevertheless, the team recommended adopting a philosophy of prudent avoidance toward EMF risks and undertook modifications of the building design to reduce occupant exposure. EMF radiation can be mitigated by distance and by shielding. Distance offers maximum protection and is “low-tech,” while the costs associated with shielding are high and the results are difficult to measure. Consequently, the design team chose to create “buffer zones” to reduce prolonged exposures in portions of the building that are occupied for long periods of time, such as the laboratories and offices. The largest sources of EMF were identified as the building’s transformers, the electrical rooms with their many cables, and the electrical conduit that was routed under the building atria. As a first step circulation and utility spaces were used to maximize the separation between a source and any potential receptors. An analysis revealed that the conduit under the floor of the atrium would not be problematic because the time for possible exposure in that circulation space is minimal. However, the electrical rooms had to be relocated next to restrooms and utility spaces and away from occupied areas such as offices, laboratories or meeting spaces. Because EMF radiation diminishes geometrically over distance, the floor of the main electrical room was lowered so that a separation of at least six feet could be made between the electrical transformers and building occupants on the office floor above. Research has shown that EMF exposures are minimal beyond a distance of six feet from the source.  
 
  
Other Innovations
  Description Docs
1 Training video: A training video on environmentally friendly construction practices was created especially for this project. The video was required viewing for every construction worker on the site to teach the construction team about environmentally-sensitive practices during construction and to explain their importance. The expectation was that construction workers and managers, inspired by the goals of the project, would be motivated to become willing partners in the creation of an environmentally-friendly construction sites. The signed partnering charter included a commitment by all parties to environmental, safety, and quality goals.  
 
   Contact Information
Specialty Contact Information
     Click on the specialty technology in the table above to see contact and other information
 
General Project Contact
     Pete Schubert
US EPA
Phone: 919-541-7526
Email: schubert.peter@epamail.epa.gov

Relationship to the project:  Project Engineer, US EPA
 
Project Team
  Involvement Stage Name/Address Phone
1 Owner/developer Design/Construction Chris Long
US EPA, C604-05
RTP, NC   27711
919-541-0249
2 Architect Design/Construction Walter Urbanek
Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum
3223 Grace St., NW
Washington, DC   20007
202-339-8700
3 Engineer - structural Design/Construction Maurice Zilberstein
Weidlinger Associates
375 Hudson St.
New York, NY   10014
212-367-3000
4 Engineer - civil Design/Construction Dennis Plouff
Greenhorne and O’Mara, Inc.
5565 Centerview Dr., Suite 107
Raleigh, NC   27606
919-851-1919
5 Engineer - mechanical Design/Construction Fred Livingston
R.G. Vanderweil, Inc.
274 Summer St.
Boston, MA   02210
617-423-7423
6 Engineer - electrical Design/Construction Fred Livingston
R.G. Vanderweil, Inc.
274 Summer St.
Boston, MA   02210
617-423-7423
7 Contractor - general Design/Construction Randy Grubb
Clark Construction
PO Box 408
Morrisville, NC   27560
919-484-1400
8 Lighting designer Design/Construction Lighting Design Collaborative
140 West 22nd St.
New York, NY   10011
212-645-6040
9 Commissioning agent N/A Bill Gaines
US Army Corps of Engineers
US EPA, C604-01
Durham, NC   27711
919-541-3563
10 Environmental building consultant Design/Construction Jason M. Cortell and Associates, Inc.
244 Second Ave.
Waltham, MA
781-890-3737
11 Partner Design/Construction Thomas M. Bedick
Nat’l Institute of Env’l Health Sciences
PO Box 12233
Durham, NC   27711
919-541-3327
12 General Services Administration Design/Construction Mike Pope
General Services Administration
US EPA, MD-94
RTP, NC   27711
919-541-3111
13 Construction management Design/Construction John Powell
Gilbane
PO Box 14501
Durham, NC   27709
919-541-2221

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