Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center
Total Facility Area: 87,119 gross square feet (GSF)
Estimated Personnel: 160 persons
FY 2003 Energy Consumption*: 11,197,256,352 Btu per year
FY 2003 Btu per GSF per Year: 148,357
FY 2012 Energy Consumption: 12,548,360,648 Btu per year
FY 2012 Btu per GSF per Year: 144,037; 2.9 percent reduction from the baseline
FY 2007 Water Consumption**: 3,806,403 gallons per year
FY 2007 Gallons per GSF per Year: 48.9
FY 2012 Water Consumption: 2,563,537 gallons per year
FY 2012 Gallons per GSF per Year: 29.4; 39.8 percent reduction from the baseline
All energy and water data are reported as of FY 2012.
*FY 2003 is the standard baseline year used by the federal government to measure energy conservation progress.
**FY 2007 is the standard baseline year used by the federal government to measure water conservation progress.
The research conducted at the Ada laboratory focuses on soil and subsurface environments. The facility's mission is to study the transport and transformation of contaminants in soil and groundwater generated by municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastes.
Unique Environmental Features
- The Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center in Ada, Oklahoma, is EPA's first carbon-neutral laboratory. A ground source heat pump (GSHP) system allows the laboratory to operate with minimal natural gas consumption for heating and reheat purposes. Starting with the April 2005 purchase of 3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year of wind power green tags and continuing with additional Agencywide green power contracts, EPA offsets the remaining conventional electricity use (e.g., pumps, fans, lights) by purchasing green power from sources that do not produce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a result of these practices, EPA considers the facility to be carbon-neutral due to its extremely small carbon footprint.
- Prior to the installation of the GSHP, average energy use at the Ada laboratory was more than 21 billion British thermal units (Btu) per year between 1994 and 1996. Fiscal year (FY) 2012 energy use was more than 12 billion Btu, representing an approximately 42 percent reduction in energy use.
- Construction of a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade of Ada's heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was completed in FY 2005 through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). The upgrade included installation of the GSHP system for heating and cooling the facility, a complete variable air volume system for air supply and fume hood air exhaust, new and upgraded fan motors, and an integrated direct digital control system for HVAC, energy, fire, and security management. ESPC commissioning was completed in November 2004.
- Installation of the GSHP eliminated the use of natural gas for heating and reheat purposes, significantly reducing energy consumption in the Ada laboratory. In addition to the environmental benefits, geothermal systems require lower maintenance than conventional systems, reducing Agency expenditures.
- A 2006 Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21®) case study described the retrofit project undertaken at the Ada laboratory. The case study detailed the various upgrades and energy-efficient systems installed in the building. The study also presented "lessons learned" from the ESPC and commissioning processes, many of which were specific to laboratory facilities. View the Ada Case Study (PDF) (8 pp, 721K, About PDF).
- EPA offsets 100 percent of the electricity consumption at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased through the Agency's blanket green power contract. Learn more about EPA's blanket green power contracts.
- The Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center revised its water management plan (PDF) (22 pp, 280K, About PDF) in July 2011.
For More Information About This Facility
Garmon Smith (email@example.com)
P.O. Box 1198
Ada, OK 74821
Phone: (580) 436-8565