Narragansett, Rhode Island
Atlantic Ecology Division Laboratory
Total Facility Area: 89,922 gross square feet (GSF)
Estimated Personnel: 135 persons
FY 2003 Energy Consumption*: 27,595,645,509 Btu per year
FY 2003 Btu per GSF per Year: 306,884
FY 2012 Energy Consumption: 25,010,681,972 Btu per year
FY 2012 Btu per GSF per Year: 278,138; 9.4 percent reduction from the baseline
FY 2007 Water Consumption**: 2,633,143 gallons per year
FY 2007 Gallons per GSF per Year: 29.3
FY 2012 Water Consumption: 1,725,008 gallons per year
FY 2012 Gallons per GSF per Year: 19.2; 34.5 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 Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) Laboratory located in Narragansett, Rhode Island, is a state-of-the-art aquatic research facility for EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory under the Office of Research and Development (ORD). The mission of AED at Narragansett is to develop and evaluate theory, methods, and data to better understand and quantify the environmental effects of stressors on the coastal waters and watershed of the Atlantic seaboard.
- "Team Narragansett," the staff of the Atlantic Ecology Division Laboratory, won a fiscal year (FY) 2010 Waste Warrior Honorable Mention for having the highest diversion rate, 88.6 percent, of the EPA facilities that reported waste and recycling data in FY 2010.
Unique Environmental Features
Sustainable Site Master Plan
- In an effort to reduce the facility’s environmental impact, EPA developed a Sustainable Site Master Plan in 2004 to provide a clear path for its phased laboratory modernization projects. Specifically, the Master Plan addresses the following:
- Development of infrastructure replacement and energy reduction strategies.
- Updates to the facility in response to and support of its changing scientific missions.
- Formulation of a green strategy for restructuring the Sustainable Site Master Plan.
- In August 2010, EPA began construction of a multi-phased, multi-year infrastructure replacement program (IRP) that will:
- Replace the laboratory’s mechanical and electrical systems with a modern energy system.
- Replace the existing decentralized constant volume heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system with a centralized variable air volume (VAV) system that will control the laboratory pressurization requirement and provide precise ventilation and temperature control.
- Replace the existing fume hood and affiliated exhaust fan system with a central manifold exhaust system and high performance fume hoods.
- Reduce the number of energy-intensive laboratory fume hoods from 28 to 16 in consultation with EPA scientists, based on changing scientific requirements.
- Replace the existing antiquated steam heating system with hot water boilers that are 94 percent efficient.
- Install a mechanical air distribution system that utilizes energy recovery, which will reduce the laboratory’s energy needs.
- Reduce the existing quantity of HVAC equipment. Fewer mechanical systems will result in lower costs, lower maintenance, and lower energy use.
- As a result of the IRP, the overall campus energy consumption is projected to decrease by 26 percent compared to an FY 2009 baseline. Energy reductions directly associated with the renovation project are 44 percent.
- The simple payback for the cost investment related to system replacements (e.g., HVAC equipment and boilers) and energy reductions (e.g., geothermal system installation) is 7.4 years.
- In September 2011, the laboratory completed installation of a 5 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) array and four 1 kW wind turbines, which complement the existing green roof and will help offset some of the laboratory’s energy use. In FY 2012, the renewable energy systems generated 2,873 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.
- As part of the IRP, the laboratory plans to install a ground source heat pump that will use geothermal energy to provide heating and cooling to support the facility and provide winter process cooling for the seawater system.
- EPA offsets 100 percent of the electricity consumption at the Atlantic Ecology Division Laboratory with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased through the Agency's blanket green power contract. Learn more about EPA's blanket green power contracts.
- In June 2010, EPA completed a revision to the Atlantic Ecology Division Laboratory's water management plan (PDF) (24 pp, 316K, About PDF).
- As part of its sustainable master plan, EPA reduced lawn mowing areas surrounding the Narragansett facility and replaced vegetation with native, non-invasive plant species that encourage healthy foliage growth.
In September 2009, the laboratory completed construction on a 3,000-square-foot green roof. Green roofs, which are covered with vegetation that has been planted over a waterproof membrane, filter pollutants from stormwater runoff, reduce the amount of runoff, reduce a building’s heat island effect, and have aesthetic appeal.
- The laboratory installed planting trays on the green roof with eight species of sedum, a hardy, drought-resistant plant.
- EPA installed a 1,200-gallon cistern to capture excess stormwater runoff through drains in the green roof, allowing the facility to reuse this water for irrigation during dry periods and other purposes.
- A layer of white, single-ply rubber roofing membrane installed on the green roof reflects sunlight and helps to reduce the building’s cooling load.
- Furniture and patio pavers on the green roof are composed of recycled plastics and tires.
For More Information About This Facility
Russell Ahlgren (firstname.lastname@example.org)
27 Tarzwell Drive
Narragansett, RI 02882
Phone: (401) 782-3080
Fax: (401) 782-3030