Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Total Facility Area: 1,042,611 gross square feet (GSF)
Estimated Personnel: 1,981 persons
Energy Consumption: 368,276,034,132 Btu per year
Btu per GSF per Year: 353,225
Total Water Consumption: 10,747,029 gallons per year
Gallons per GSF per year: 10.3
All energy and water data are reported as of FY 2011.1
This consolidated laboratory and office complex, which was fully occupied in January 2003, houses the Office of Research and Development, the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, and the Office of Administration and Resources Management.
In addition to this facility, EPA occupies several other buildings in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, including:
- Chapel Hill Laboratory
- First Environments Early Learning Center
- National Computer Center
- National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
- Marshall Gray received a fiscal year (FY) 2010 Carbon Cutter Award for providing valuable information about EPA’s tools and processes for inventorying chemicals used for laboratory research and development. With this information, EPA was able to accurately quantify the portion of EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from laboratory chemicals and refrigerants.
- Greg Eades received an FY 2010 Energy Partner of the Year Award. Although he was not the only person at the RTP campus involved in energy efficiency, in FY 2010 Greg was instrumental in coordinating multiple ongoing energy and water conservation projects, including Laboratory Controls Optimization Project 2 (LCOP-2) contracting and implementation and new onsite solar energy systems. In addition, he effectively coordinated with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on complex central utility plant (CUP) issues.
- Alex Montilla, Greg Eades, Elizabeth DeLoatch, Billy Morris, and Pete Schubert of the RTP campus received an FY 2010 Leading Edge Award for facilitating installation of a new 52.5 kilowatt (kW) polycrystalline photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of Building B; organizing Duke Power’s installation of a 476-panel, 169 kW PV system on the roof of the First Environments Early Learning Center (FEELC); and collecting wind speed and directional data through a sonic anemometer to inform a vertical wind turbine feasibility study.
- Greg Eades received an FY 2010 Reporter of the Year Award for consistently submitting timely, accurate invoice packages and reporting forms and being attentive to any necessary follow-up items.
Unique Environmental Features
- Starting in December 2009, EPA reviewed and updated laboratory ventilation flow spreadsheets developed during LCOP-1, completed in March 2006 (see archive page for more information). EPA then implemented three pilot projects at RTP: retrofitting fume hoods, upgrading laboratory controls and the variable air volume (VAV) ventilation systems, and reducing airflow supplied to offices and limiting nighttime supply air reheat. These projects demonstrated that EPA could reduce airflow and achieve significant energy reductions while continuing to meet safety and health requirements. In FY 2011, EPA began implementing the recommended changes more broadly at RTP. The Agency anticipates potential energy savings of up to 23,400 million British thermal units (MMBtu) per year, or 1.9 percent of FY 2010 energy consumption Agencywide. EPA can potentially achieve significant energy savings with similar changes at other laboratories.
- In FY 2009, EPA completed the design of an office tower recommissioning project. This project, which followed a pilot project implemented in FY 2008, focused on optimizing airflows on several floors of the office tower to reduce associated energy consumption. EPA performed a load analysis of the building's air handling units (AHUs) to determine the most efficient modes of operation. EPA also updated controls sequencing and hardware specifications associated with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
- In FY 2009, EPA signed a design contract for a heat recovery system for RTP Main, a project expected to reduce the facility's energy use by approximately 5 percent. EPA completed construction and commissioning of the system in February 2012.
- In FY 2009, EPA implemented a pilot project on one AHU to study the overall impacts and payback of the downstream recommissioning, part of a larger multi-phase project to optimize air handling in the facility's office wings. As part of this project, EPA completed upgrades to the air handling system and began optimizing the downstream air handling distribution network.
- In July 2011, EPA completed installation of a new 55-kW solar PV system on the roof of Building E. The system, which employs a thin-film technology that uses amorphous silicon material, was installed as part of a comprehensive roof replacement. The project is intended to demonstrate and encourage the use of renewable energy within the local community and to educate the nearly 60,000 annual visitors to the RTP campus about renewable energy technologies. From July through September 2011, the system generated 5,801 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.
- In April 2010, EPA completed the installation of a new 52.5-kW polycrystalline PV system on the roof of RTP Main's Building B. EPA used energy cost savings realized through completed energy conservation projects to fund the project. In FY 2011, the system generated 51,351 kWh of electricity.
- EPA offsets 100 percent of the electricity consumption at RTP Main with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased through the Agency's current blanket green power contract. Learn more about EPA's current and past blanket green power contracts.
- For construction of the Main Building, EPA selected building materials that are durable, low-maintenance, and have the least environmental impact over each material's life cycle. Design plans for this facility included detailed requirements regarding the minimum recycled content of building materials. Some of the products with recycled content included rubber flooring, ceramic tiles, asphalt paving, concrete, insulation, wood fiberboard, gypsum wallboard, and steel.
- In June 2011, EPA completed Phases 1 and 2 of an innovative air handler condensate recovery system at the Main Building. The system, expected to save 6 to 8 million gallons of water annually when fully operational, will collect condensate from air handlers on four main buildings and transport it to the CUP approximately half a mile across the campus to be used as cooling tower make-up water.
- In January 2009, EPA completed a water management plan that covers RTP Main, the First Environments Early Learning Center, and the National Computer Center (PDF) (40 pp, 747K, About PDF).
- Learn about several water conservation projects RTP Main implemented in FY 2008 to reduce its water use by approximately 12 percent compared to FY 2007.
- EPA incorporated water-efficient fixtures throughout the facility, including flow-restricting nozzles, automated shutoff, and hot and cold water delivery systems with automatic temperature controls. The lavatories have sensor operated metered faucets that regulate the amount of water flow, which will save both water and the energy needed to heat it.
- Stormwater runoff is naturally treated by plant material onsite to remove contaminants. Bioretention cells are also used to absorb, filter, and slow runoff. Natural woodlands and wildflower plantings are used in place of turf grass to minimize the use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
For More Information About This Facility
Alex Montilla (email@example.com)
Mail Code: C604-01
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Phone: (919) 541-0324