EPA's FY1996 Report to DOE
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Table of Contents
- Program Objectives
- Program Strategy
- Program Tools
- Site Visits and Opportunity Analyses
- Energy Consumption and Cost Reporting
- Pilot Projects
- Descriptions of Projects
- Partnerships in Conservation
- ESPCs and Utility Rebates
- Energy Efficiency for New Buildings
In keeping with the annual reporting requirements of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA), as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT); Executive Order (EO) 12759, Federal Energy Management, and 12902 Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation at Federal Facilities, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is submitting this report to the Department of Energy (DOE). This report describes the progress that EPA has made in the area of energy and water conservation from October 1995 through October 1996.
The main objective of EPA's Energy and Water Conservation Program is to effectively and efficiently use natural resources when designing, constructing, and maintaining the Agency's facilities and facility systems. To meet this objective, the program considers available and reusable waste streams, existing infrastructure, and resource investments in an effort to produce comprehensive systems that dovetail with existing ones. This effort intends to use established resources conservatively and incorporate advanced and innovative technologies that are cost effective and environmentally sound throughout their life cycles. EPA is committed to reduce energy consumption by upgrading existing HVAC systems with non CFC-containing technologies, and by incorporating innovative energy-efficient and renewable technologies where feasible. This objective is driven jointly by federal energy and water management regulations, and the mission and commitment of EPA.
As mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, EPA reduced energy use by 10 percent between 1985 and 1995. EPA achieved this by using a traditional approach at owned and operated facilities, including:
- Implementing a lighting retrofit program consistent with the Green Lights Program goals promoted by the Agency
- Incorporating updated standards for building systems into Agency leases and construction projects
- Promoting general awareness and education efforts for Agency employees and managers on the environmental advantages of energy conservation.
Over the last 10 years, EPA invested in high-efficiency products when retrofitting building systems, designing new facilities, and providing new office equipment.
EPA is now engaged in an aggressive and broad-reaching program to achieve the 20 percent reduction goal as required by the law, as well as the 30 percent reduction goal called for in EO 12902. The Agency is committed to using environmentally beneficial and energy-efficient building technologies and procedures wherever possible, and believes that a comprehensive combination of effective facility management practices and technology implementation will enable it to exceed these reductions.
The Agency's strategy for achieving the 20 percent reduction goal is to incorporate energy-efficient technologies in four of EPA's largest energy consuming laboratories. The 30 percent reduction will be met by installing automated control systems to monitor and adjust those technologies so they run at the most efficient levels. These practices will help EPA reach the next major milestones, reducing energy consumption by 20 percent by 2000, and 30 percent by 2005.
Because federal agencies have the capacity and responsibility to provide leadership in energy-efficient management practices and to encourage the use of environmentally beneficial product and technologies, EPA is:
- Aggressively pursuing all feasible energy-efficient building system upgrades in EPA facilities
- through public/private partnerships, and energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) (more information on ESPCs is provided later in this report)
- Evaluating the feasibility of a full range of commercially available building technologies, designs, and maintenance options that can reduce energy consumption.
- Integrating energy-efficient building upgrade measures to maximize pollution prevention, maximize energy efficiency, and increase the net present value of the investment
- Employing alternative financing mechanisms
- Creating an integrated environmental conservation program that encompasses many conservation initiatives such as pollution prevention, sustainable building practices, renewable resources management, and green purchasing. (See Other Programs section below)
For new construction projects, EPA is:
- At a minimum, designing all facilities in compliance with applicable codes and regulations, particularly 10 CFR Part 435 Subpart A, or any design initiatives encouraged by DOE pursuant to the Energy Policy Act and EO 12902. Such initiatives include passive energy design strategies, use of waste energy and reclaimable resources, and the use of solar and renewable energy
- Maintaining a high level of awareness for technology developments, especially renewable energy technologies, and a commitment to use them whenever possible, where cost effective
- Ensuring that all new system installations are highly automated using a comprehensive monitoring and control strategy designed to continuously monitor the system's performance for delivery of services at the expected energy efficiency and pollution prevention levels.
EPA is also implementing other programs that focus on energy conservation and pollution prevention. EPA's approach to its pollution prevention program is to operate an umbrella of programs, all of which support pollution prevention goals, especially energy and water conservation, and also including chemical management, waste prevention and recycling, affirmative procurement, and Green Buildings. While the requirements are addressed under separate programmatic initiatives, the Agency is coordinating its approach to pollution prevention by merging the efforts of these individual initiatives.
The Agency's integrated pollution prevention management program, organized through a steering committee led by the Agency's Office of Administration (OA), is comprised of technical, programmatic and administrative staff from throughout EPA. This committee has brought together long-standing working relationships and programs designed to promote pollution prevention at EPA facilities.
Federal purchasing can play a positive role in moving the commercial marketplace toward the development and widespread use of products that save energy and water, and use renewable resources. DOE has established the Federal Procurement Challenge as a mechanism for federal agencies to efficiently access these environmentally responsible products and encourage their use in the marketplace. EPA has signed on to this challenge and is committed to purchase best practice energy-efficient and water-saving products which are in the upper 25 percent for all products in that category; purchase emerging technologies and products that offer greater energy efficiency, water savings, or use of renewable resources than products now commercially available; and track its successes and experiences with these products.
The federal government spends nearly $4.6 billion annually on computer hardware. Through the Energy Star program, EPA purchases energy-efficient computers, printers, and monitors. Currently, EPA is collaborating with GSA and computer manufacturers to identify additional avenues for procuring environmentally preferable computer components and systems. On April 2, 1996, EPA issued a final rule adding coverage to the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) on energy-efficient computer equipment. This final rule, which replaces Procurement Policy Notice 94-9, calls for all purchases of microcomputers, including personal computers, monitors, and printers to meet "EPA Energy Star" requirements for energy efficiency. The final rule was effective on April 17, 1996.
In FY96 EPA initiated its first ESPC in order to provide its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, with a much needed energy upgrade. From the exercise of developing the ESPC, EPA anticipates using the contract as a template for other energy upgrades. More information on ESPCs is provided later in this report.
The overall success of EPA's energy conservation program depends in part on how well EPA facilities are kept informed about the benefits, successes, and opportunities in energy-related activities. Many people have and are continuing to learn about energy conservation opportunities through many different modes of communication. In keeping with this concept, EPA established several communication techniques. These methods included, creating and distributing conservation posters, newsletters, and an awareness package, and conducting site visits to promote energy awareness and to identify energy savings opportunities.
One of the methods EPA used to communicate the benefits of energy savings practices involved creating awareness posters. The posters illustrated such benefits as changing out HVAC systems using innovative technologies, employing energy conservation techniques, and educating EPA facilities on amount of pollution prevented through energy conservation and efficiency practices.
EPA continues to develop and distribute its quarterly newsletter, Conservation News, to its facilities. The newsletter serves as the key mechanism for information transfer between EPA Headquarters, the facilities, and the public on topics including energy and water conservation activities, innovative technologies, facility highlights, financing mechanisms, and pollution prevention opportunities. The newsletter updates its audience on facility success stories, regulatory or policy updates, upcoming events, training opportunities, conservation resources, and technology advances and applications. The newsletter is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/consrv-news.
FMSD established the Clearinghouse and Hotline to serve as a focal point for collecting and disseminating information about energy and water conservation. The Clearinghouse also maintains a library of information on topics including, but not limited to, energy conservation, energy-efficient technologies, CFC management, and pollution prevention. Periodically, technology manufacturers, service suppliers, and specialists in acquisition are brought in to present information to our engineers and planners.
As part of the conservation program, EPA distributes a package of energy and water conservation awareness information annually to all facility and energy managers. The package typically contains guidance and resource information to further assist managers in implementing energy and water awareness programs at the facility, and in becoming familiar with new concepts and technologies available for application.
EPA took the opportunity in FY96 to visit several of its laboratories nationwide to observe energy consumption practices and conservation opportunities. Through these visits, EPA again confirmed that HVAC systems are the largest energy conservation opportunity for the Agency. As a result, its energy conservation program continues to focus on the HVAC challenge as the principal target for energy reduction. In addition, the visits have produced elevated awareness and commitment to energy reduction.
Last fiscal year EPA identified the two of its laboratories, one in Cincinnati, Ohio, the other in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as its largest consumers of energy and thus the greatest opportunities to address systems-wide innovative HVAC upgrades. Throughout the year, intensive efforts have been made at both laboratories to identify the energy, cost savings, and pollution reduction opportunities at these facilities.
After several months of working closely with the facility management at the Cincinnati laboratory, an energy-efficient chiller upgrade pilot program incorporating heat pipe and indirect evaporative cooling technology is in the design stage. Facility management at the laboratory were provided the opportunity to visit technology applications. This effort to increase awareness provided the managers a chance to see the technology and talk to the end user to determine applicability of the technology to their own facility. In addition, technical analyses of the facility operating conditions including air flow rates, temperature and humidity levels, and current mechanical operating loads were conducted to determine the savings opportunities available at the laboratory.
Although a total energy upgrade will be conducted at the Ann Arbor laboratory, the specific concept design is unknown since the upgrade will be conducted through an ESPC. EPA has, however, explicitly described in the solicitation that energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and cost savings are the primary goals that it is seeking from this upgrade. The Agency also stated that it will favor the use of innovative and renewable technologies to meet the goals mentioned above. A Request for Proposal for this project is expected to be issued by January 1997.
In addition to Cincinnati, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan, site visits also were conducted this year at the Richmond, California, and Houston, Texas laboratories. Both of these facilities are fairly new, but the amount of energy that is consumed is not consistent with the technologies that are currently in place. After monitoring air flow rates, temperature and humidity levels, it was concluded that the Richmond, California laboratory could reduce its energy consumption by modifying its operating schedule and simply not running all HVAC equipment around the clock. In the case of Houston, EPA is incorporating the use of a night set back system to control exhaust fans, laboratory fume hoods, and supply air. Also at the Houston laboratory, EPA is evaluating technology and operational options to reduce the large amounts of cooling and reheat that are required to reach temperature set-points.
In FY97 EPA anticipates visiting the following laboratories to assess the energy savings opportunities: Ada, Oklahoma, Athens, Georgia, Duluth, Minnesota, Edison, New Jersey, and Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Energy Policy Act requires that each federal agency track its energy and water consumption information. In response, EPA developed a report form to be completed by each facility's energy manager on a quarterly basis (Appendix A, Figure 1, provides a copy of the form). The quarterly report includes consumption and cost information for all forms of energy, including electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and purchased steam. This reporting process began in 1993, and continues for the 16 facilities where EPA is directly responsible for paying utilities.
EPA's energy consumption database shows that the Agency's utility-responsible facilities consumed 129.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, 483.5 million cubic-feet of natural gas, 368,629 gallons (gals) of fuel oil, 6,892 gals of propane, and 33 million pounds (lbs) of purchased steam. Annual energy consumption at each facility is summarized in British Thermal Units (Btu). BTU values are based on the following conversion factors:
- Electricity = 3,412 BTU/ kWh
- Natural Gas = 103,100 BTU/CCF
- Fuel Oil = 138,700 BTU/gal
- Propane = 95,500 BTU/gal
- Purchased Steam = 933 BTU/lb
With approximately 2.9 million square feet of space, EPA consumed 359,034 Btu per square-foot during FY96 (see in Appendix A for the Agency's Annual Energy Management Data Report, the U.S. EPA Consumption Report, and EPA's Annual Energy Consumption).
During the past three years, EPA has required its facilities to monitor and report water consumption and costs on a quarterly basis (this data is obtained in conjunction with the energy consumption data). Since 1994, EPA has required the use of water conserving equipment in all newly leased and built facilities. Assessments of water conservation opportunities are part of EPA's facility site visit program and have led to operational and management measures that have reduced water consumption. Compared to the 1994 baseline, in FY96 EPA reduced water consumption by 19 percent. (See Appendix A, Figure 5 for EPA's Annual Water Consumption.)
EPA participated in and hosted numerous training events during FY96. Program staff regularly attended energy and water conservation conferences, seminars, and working groups including the Pre-Solicitation Conference for the ESPC Project at Ann Arbor, Michigan laboratory, the GSA TEEM 96 Conference, the BioEnergy 96 Conference, the National Renewable Energy Training Conference, the Federal Energy Management Program Renewable Working Group, and the Corporation for Solar and Renewable Resources Conference. Program staff also arranged product demonstration seminars and trips with various vendors for EPA's engineers, architects and facility management to keep them abreast of the most innovative technologies. In addition, contract staff who are certified trained energy managers briefed program staff periodically throughout the year on innovative technologies and technology design.
Information disseminated by the Conservation Clearinghouse, such as the quarterly newsletter and the awareness package, also helps to educate and inform a broad audience. The newsletter provides energy managers, facility management staff, Agency management and employees with updates on new technological developments, program progress, regulatory changes, upcoming events, training opportunities, and new Clearinghouse resources. In addition, the newsletter serves as a tool to inform the general public about Agency-specific conservation activities. These tools provide facility managers with the basis to implement a campaign to conserve energy.
EPA hosted two Building and Facilities (B&F) conferences over the past year to provide training to EPA employees responsible for facility maintenance, operations, and safety. Sessions on pollution prevention, energy and water conservation, and environmental regulatory compliance were presented to facility representatives. EPA staff learned how to incorporate these programs into the B&F funding process.
Throughout the fiscal year, along with ongoing projects, EPA incorporated several innovative technologies while working toward the energy and pollution reduction goals. These technologies illustrate how EPA can efficiently and effectively save energy and thereby prevent pollution.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan Plans are underway to issue an ESPC to conduct a complete energy upgrade at the National Vehicle Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL). The planned upgrade will establish NVFEL as an energy and environmental showcase facility by reducing source emissions, energy consumption, and energy costs, while preserving or improving the integrity of the laboratory's mission. (See Appendix B, for the final Commerce Business Daily announcement, November 5, 1996.) In addition, NVFEL is installing an active daylighting system. The project will use existing roof-mounted sky light devices, and photocells will shut-off fluorescent lighting when adequate daylight is present. Motorized reflectors, powered by photovoltaic cells, will be installed to track the sun's path and direct sunlight into the diffusers.
- Cincinnati, Ohio A hybrid system integrating high-efficiency chillers, heat pipes, indirect evaporative cooling, along with other technologies, is being designed as a pilot program to maximize the availability and utilization of energy inputs and outputs of each component, and to ensure energy conservation and maintenance of required environmental conditions for this 400,000 square-foot laboratory. In addition, variable speed drives (VSDs) for chilled water pumps and chiller compressors are being incorporated in the HVAC design for AWBERC.
- Edison, New Jersey A combination desiccant wheel/heat transfer wheel system has been installed as a pilot program at the Edison, New Jersey, laboratory to recover energy from fume hood exhausts and to control humidity and conditioning in analytical chemistry laboratory modules. This technology application was a pilot application in an analytical laboratory. In this setup, a heat transfer wheel is installed half in the supply air stream between the desiccant wheel and the cooling coils, and half in the regeneration air stream. This wheel transfers heat from the hot, dry supply air to the air which needs to be heated for regeneration, reducing both the cooling coil load and the regeneration heater load.
- EPA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Solar hot water heating is used to heat the water in the west tower of the EPA Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C.
- Ft. Meade, Maryland EPA with DOE and DOD has assembled a public-private partnership to demonstrate the world's first megawatt class solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power station at its new Fort Meade Environmental Science Center in Fort Meade, Maryland. The power station is an innovative compact technology which functions along the same principles as a battery, yet can be fueled by a variety of resources, among them renewable biogas and solar hydrogen. The technology will provide extremely efficient and clean power to the facility at over twice the efficiency of existing conventional power generating combustion technologies using a combined cycle power generating system.
- Gulf Breeze, Florida Heat pipe technology has been installed in the Gulf Breeze, Florida, laboratory to reduce the chiller load by precooling and dehumidifying outside supply air in the 10,000 square-foot analytical laboratory building. As part of the Agency's effort to monitor and reduce energy and water consumption, EPA intends to use Node-based Direct Digital Controls (NDDC), for improving building controls and real-time monitoring of building security, fire protection and indoor environmental quality. The NDDC technology incorporates an open-communications protocol using an integrated computer-chip that provides distributable intelligent linking of a wide variety of energy, environmental, safety, and security needs.
- Montgomery, Alabama EPA has developed protocol for incorporating an NDDC technology system to its Montgomery, Alabama, laboratory to control and monitor laboratory pressures, fume hood exhausts, pH wash-down fluids, scrubber efficiencies, and indoor environmental conditions.
- Narragansett, Rhode Island The Agency has conducted an audit and feasibility study of this facility to begin designing an HVAC system upgrade which will use high-efficiency chillers, geothermal heat pumps, and latent energy recovery technologies. This system is being designed based on the readily available heating and cooling potential of circulated bay water used for salt water aquatic testing in the laboratory.
For several years, EPA has pursued public-private partnerships to gain knowledge, impart knowledge, and encourage the use of innovative technologies when planning, developing and implementing conservation measures and concepts in its facilities, or when participating in projects being carried out by others. Now these partnerships are proving to be fundamental for EPA to implement state-of-the-art energy-efficient technologies. The following are good representatives of the range of partnership activities in which the Agency is involved.
EPA is working to incorporate the use of purchased solar energy at its Las Vegas laboratory. CSTRR, a public corporation charged with developing and distributing solar and renewable energy, is driving this initiative by proposing to build a power plant in the region based on solar energy. CSTRR's initial research has shown that Nevada potentially offers outstanding solar energy resources. The move toward this technology not only conserves energy from traditional sources, but it reduces the level of man-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. EPA has signed a "Letter of Interest," a non-binding agreement, for its facility to work with CSTRR and DOE to analyze a solar power purchase.
NVFEL will be EPA's first facility to use this financing mechanism to upgrade its HVAC system. To achieve the reduction of energy, pollution, and cost, EPA is requesting proposals for innovative, resource-efficient, and highly integrated system designs with synergy among interacting components. The request for proposal incorporates an evaluation mechanism that requires each proposal to state the reduction in associated power generation pollutants, and the resultant societal life-cycle cost of the proposed retrofit.
Through an interagency agreement, EPA and DOE have tasked DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to assess the potential for implementing renewable energy technologies and conservation measures at the 16 EPA laboratories where EPA pays the utility bills. Findings from the first phase of the task are documented in a report entitled "Renewable Energy Opportunity Assessment." This preliminary assessment is mainly a pre-screening of renewable energy options and is undertaken in accordance with the Agency's Renewable Implementation Plan. This assessment was accomplished by surveying each of EPA's facility managers and modeling each facility using specific data requested or available through EPA's national database for each site. The report revealed:
- 37 potential opportunities for solar water heating
- 27 potential opportunities for solar ventilation preheating
- 18 potential opportunities for photovoltaic
- 18 potential opportunities for ground source heat pumps
- 15 potential opportunities for solar cooling
- 12 potential opportunities for skylights
- 9 potential opportunities for daylight controls.
Some of these building-specific opportunities, including a number of campus-wide projects, could generate significant energy savings. Phase two of this task is to develop specific projects, and phase three is to determine which projects to finance. EPA has moved forward in analyzing potentially good investments for installing three solar collectors to provide energy for hot water heating at the laboratory in Edison, New Jersey, specifically in Building 209. The estimated installation cost would be $14,448, with an annual cost savings of $1,237. The technology would conserve energy and prevent pollution by avoiding 3,572 kg of carbon dioxide emissions, 23 kg of sulfur dioxide emissions, and 17 kg of nitrogen oxides emissions.
The Edison project, if implemented, would serve as a model for renewable energy projects at other facilities. A second renewable energy project is planned for EPA's Narragansett Rhode Island facility. Here, the Agency is focusing on on-site generation of geothermal energy using water-based heat pumps. Facility-wide opportunities will remain under consideration for a long-term conservation strategy.
In order to execute the actual development and application of the fuel cell to be installed at EPA's Ft. Meade laboratory, EPA is participating in this public-private partnership with DOE, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Westinghouse Corporation, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Electric Power Research Institute, and others, in order to investigate the technical and financial viability for successfully demonstrating this project. The partners have been meeting for over two years and have recently developed a project prospectus that will be used to gain more support for this exciting new technology. The Fort Meade Environmental Science Center will be constructed by December 1998, at which time EPA expects to be able to power a portion of the facility's electrical needs with the SOFC.
With the assistance of FEMP and the Tennessee Valley Authority, EPA is exploring the use of renewable technologies for incorporation in its renovation plans for its Athens, Georgia, laboratory. The Southeastern Regional Biomass Energy Program (SERBEP), which has engineered bioenergy infrastructure in this area of the country, is the chief resource for this initiative. EPA invited SERBEP representatives to describe its program to Agency engineers and architects, and began seeking support on whether bioenergy specifically developing biofuels from wood waste is feasible at the Athens facility. The first phases in the investigation of this project will include:
- A field trip to the research laboratory in Athens to gather data for existing biomass options, and to review the plans necessary to implement these options
- An evaluation of biomass fuel options available to the Athens facility.
An interagency agreement is already in place to perform this task, which will facilitate the working arrangement.
EPA is a member and sponsor of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Consortium (IUCRC) at the Carnegie-Mellon University Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics. With the National Science Foundation as an additional sponsor, the IUCRC includes government representatives to help determine research priorities and how information can be transferred among groups. EPA's funding and participation in the IUCRC is used by the National Science Foundation to support research projects which explore the integration of building design, materials, construction, life-cycle uses, and operations to improve occupant health, satisfaction, productivity, and to prevent detrimental impacts to the environment and natural resources.
The research of this IUCRC deals directly with the environmental, economic, and industrial issues involved with the building industry. Pollution prevention is a monumental task in light of the social and economic needs, the national priorities, and the general trend towards eliminating the wastefulness that is prevalent in the building industry. EPA is interested in advancing the research and development of building concepts, technologies, and systems that will provide highly integrated solutions for the products of this industry and to the benefit of its customers. Also, EPA is interested in understanding and demonstrating the environmental benefits of these solutions, including their applications and instrumentation, whenever possible, even in its own buildings and facilities.
For FY96, EPA's Energy and Water Conservation Program nationwide had a budget of approximately $1.6 million. The Agency's Energy and Water Conservation Program budget will be approximately $1.6 million for FY97.
As discussed earlier in this report, EPA is aggressively developing an ESPC for the total energy upgrade project at the NVFEL in Ann Arbor, MI. EPA anticipates using the NVFEL ESPC as a template for pursuing energy upgrades at its other facilities. Through the NVFEL ESPC, EPA prescribes Agency principles that will be required in awarding contracts for this and future upgrades. These principles include the reduction of energy consumption, pollution prevention both at the site and source, and maximizing the use of waste, "free" energy.
A manual issued in June 1994 helps designers, builders, owners and operators of public and private facilities to implement strategies that promote environmentally sound buildings, or "Green Buildings." The document is the result of a collaborative effort with Public Technology Incorporated (PTI), the U.S. Green Buildings Council, DOE, and EPA. The manual offers step-by-step guidelines for energy- and resource-efficient building in pre-design, design, construction, operations, and management. The following section of this report discusses in further detail the Agency's successful implementation of Green Buildings concepts at EPA facilities.
Vast opportunities for implementing regulatory and executive order procurement requirements exist in building construction, renovation, and maintenance. For several years, EPA has been implementing Green Building strategies in a variety of ways, which are expanding with each construction and renovation project. To promote a healthful and productive working environment, the Green Buildings Program incorporates principles of energy and resource efficiency, applies waste reduction and pollution prevention practices, ensures unpolluted indoor air, and uses natural light as a light and heat source whenever possible. The Green Buildings Vision and Policy statement, on page 15, serves as a guide for EPA and as a model for other agencies. It represents a holistic, systems approach to sustainable building design, renovation, and maintenance.
There are many examples of Green Building practices that are incorporated in numerous solicitation for offers (SFOs) for construction and/or renovation activities at EPA facilities. For instance, SFOs have specified the collection of recyclable waste materials, the recycling of construction and renovation debris, and the reuse of existing building material. Also, SFOs specify the use of environmentally preferable building products and materials, promote low VOC-content adhesives, and restrict the use of products made from endangered or restricted wood.
Several upcoming and recent EPA facility construction projects demonstrate technologies and concepts that integrate a systems approach to Green Buildings procurement using many of the practices previously described. These facilities include the New Headquarters Buildings (Washington, DC), the New Consolidated RTP Facility (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), the Region 4 Science and Ecosystems Support Laboratory (Athens, Georgia), Region IV Office (Atlanta, Georgia), Region III Office (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Region VII Central Regional Laboratory (Kansas City, Kansas), National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (Ann Arbor, Michigan), and the Fort Meade Environmental Science Center (Fort Meade, Maryland). The following EPA facilities provide examples of the variety of energy conservation and pollution prevention opportunities which were addressed through the Green Buildings Program.
Source: EPA's Environmental Procurement Strategy, August 1995, EPA-200-R-95-001
EPA is in the process of designing and developing a consolidated headquarters facility in downtown Washington, DC. The Agency will occupy a portion of the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and the adjacent Customs/Connecting Wing/Interstate Commerce Commission and Ariel Rios Buildings. The Agency has located 700 employees in the Ariel Rios (south) Building, and during the summer of 1997, will move another 1,000 employees into the Ronald Reagan Building. At that point, approximately one-quarter of the Agency's Headquarters employees will be consolidated.
The consolidated Headquarters facility has faced time constraints while joining projects that were already under construction, in historically protected buildings, and involving traditional GSA design and renovation projects. EPA's efforts focused on intervention strategies which ensure the Agency's functional and mission requirements are met. Even in these complicated, fast-paced projects in which EPA was not initially a primary tenant, the Agency has been successful in incorporating numerous Green Buildings features. For example, EPA:
- Established a process to review materials and material safety data sheet information to choose alternative materials with low off-gassing potential
- Developed an indoor air quality guidance document for use by the construction contractor to avoid potential adverse effects from construction on adjacent occupied areas
- Specified low-VOC paints, crystalline silica-free joint compound, and 4-PC free carpets
- Recommended refinements to HVAC, air distribution, filtering (i.e., pre- and post-filters), and exhaust aspects of the buildings, which were incorporated
- Incorporated use of operable windows
- Chose a systems furniture project using environmental selection criteria (including emissions testing)
- Incorporated a Green Lights lighting design, specified low-flow plumbing devices, and required recycled materials in the base building and tenant spaces.
These and other building refinements will ensure a healthful, productive workplace for all EPA employees. As the project progresses, the planning team will continue to develop space plans and make design choices which reflect the latest sustainable design practices.
A variety of pollution prevention opportunities were considered and incorporated into the design and construction of the new Region 4 laboratory in Athens, Georgia. In incorporating Green Building concepts, OA was able to minimize off-gas environmental contaminants in materials and products (e.g., adhesives, varnishes, carpets, paints), use CFC-free insulations and refrigerants, and avoid materials in limited supply or not from sustainable sources. OA was able to use recycled content products (e.g., insulation, wall board, and fly-ash concrete), maximize shading through liberal use of trees and shrubs, and include centralized recycling stations. A variety of conservation opportunities were implemented, such as improved efficiency of refrigeration equipment, a variable air volume HVAC system, split-task ambient lighting system, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and trickle irrigation systems for exterior landscaping.
During the design of the new consolidated Research Triangle Park (RTP) facility, the concept of environmentally benign design applications will be incorporated throughout various stages of its development and use. This 635,000 square-foot consolidated facility will be located next to a lake, and the buildings that form this complex will be integrated into the existing forest and wetland areas. Landscaping activities at the facility will use indigenous, low-maintenance plant species to minimize pesticide application and water use.
Pollution prevention practices will be used throughout the facility. These practices include the use of non-polluting, low-emission interior finishes and the establishment of preferences for construction material made from recycled products whenever possible. Specifically, EPA will call for the use of water-based paints for walls; low VOC-emitting adhesives, finishes, sealants and joint compounds; steel and aluminum insulation; and rubber flooring and other materials which contain recycled materials. Also, the facility will use certified "carpets made from recycled materials" which are impermeable to water. The carpet backing material that will be used is more chemically inert than conventional alternatives, thus minimizing chemical emissions from within the building.
Environmentally sound materials and processes will be incorporated into the various phases of design at the new facility in Fort Meade, Maryland. For example, materials for the interior finishes will be selected to minimize chemical off-gasing. Lighter colored finishes will be used in order to maximize the lighting reflectivity. In addition, no mercury, asbestos, or halon will be used within the facility, and no lead is to be used in the water piping connections.
Examples of Green Building practices incorporated into the site design phase include stipulating that existing trees will be transported on-site where possible and that, to reduce the need for fertilization, new planting will include native species and grasses. Also, the existing tree stands will be preserved to the extent possible. Another example in this area is the use of recycled asphalt for wearing surfaces for parking and roadway areas.
The architectural/structural design phase also provides for many practices that use environmentally benign materials and practices. For example, it is specified that building materials should include recyclable materials where possible, such as within the facility's insulation and in concrete. In addition, wall bases and selected flooring areas will contain rubber with reclaimed material. Carpet and ceiling tile that are to be used within the facility have been specified to allow these materials to be recycled in the future. Also, a recycling center will be provided for waste materials.
EPA has taken many positive steps to conserve energy over the last year. Since EPA met its 10 percent energy reduction goal in 1995, the Agency has moved beyond the traditional conservation approaches of lighting retrofits and building upgrades to a more aggressive, all-encompassing program. EPA's partnerships with other government agencies and the private sector, use of innovative technologies and designs, and incorporation of pollution prevention programs into daily activities as well as continuing to use the tools that helped the Agency reach past goals and milestones is already proving useful in pursuing the 20 percent and 30 percent reduction goals. The Agency's mission to protect the environment make meeting the 2000 and 2005 goals natural commitments, and EPA intends to turn these commitments into success stories.