Research Triangle Park, North Carolina - Archive
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
This page houses older environmental information about EPA's Main Building in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. View the laboratory's current facility page.
- The RTP Energy Team won an Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Energy Partner of the Year Award for a 30.2 percent energy intensity reduction from the FY 2003 baseline achieved by the combined RTP facilities. The Main Building alone achieved an energy reduction of 40.16 percent in FY 2009 compared to the FY 2003 baseline, a reduction that was instrumental in EPA exceeding its required energy reduction goals.
- 2007 Energy Partner of the Year Award Winner
- In FY 2007, EPA continued work on a multi-year controls master plan. In this initial year, EPA strengthened the backbone of the building automation system to improve data transmission, retention, and quality. In FY 2007, EPA continued to optimize the data flow by breaking long strings of control modules into smaller clusters. Upon completion of this project, EPA expects to reduce energy consumption by approximately 2 percent below FY 2006 consumption.
- In March 2006, EPA completed two comprehensive recommissioning projects in the laboratory and vivarium wings of the Main Building. Both the Laboratory Controls Optimization Project (LCOP 1) and Vivarium Controls Optimization Project (VCOP) significantly reduced airflow demands by safely adjusting the occupied and unoccupied supply and exhaust requirements for each laboratory module. Together, these two projects contributed to energy savings of more than 17 percent in FY 2006 compared to FY 2003 energy consumption.
- Dependable air supply in the Main Building originally required the constant operation of five air handling units (AHUs). Following LCOP 1 and VCOP, the RTP team implemented the Static Pressure Optimization and Reduction Test (SPORT) and determined that only two to three AHUs would typically be needed to maintain static pressure in the laboratories and ensure safe ventilation. This adjustment allowed EPA to further optimize the energy savings achieved by LCOP and VCOP.
- As a follow-up to LCOP, VCOP, and SPORT, in December 2006 EPA completed a laboratory ventilation management plan (LVMP), which documents all of the work completed in LCOP, VCOP, and SPORT. The LVMP also compiled helpful screenshots from the building automation system to help EPA’s operations and maintenance contractors perform continuous commissioning and further optimize energy savings already realized.
- A lighting control/automatic shutoff system was phased in from June to October 2003, reducing the amount of electricity needed for lighting in the Main Building.
- Since FY 2003, fume hoods have been serviced by a centralized variable air volume supply and exhaust system. The fume hoods are equipped with control features such as "night setback" which allows for a reduction in airflow during unoccupied hours. Energy is saved by reducing the need to cool or heat outside air and run the fans during unoccupied hours.
- On November 1, 2004, EPA entered into a three-year agreement with Unicoi Energy Services, to annually purchase 100 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of green power in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs). The contract helped support the generation of biomass power from paper pulp facilities in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The purchase offset 100 percent of the electricity consumption at all of EPA's RTP facilities, including the Main Building. This contract replaced two previous contracts that provided 30 million kWh of green power from wind and landfill gas in FY 2003.
- In September 2003, EPA finalized two contracts to supply the RTP campus with 30 million kWh per year of green power. As part of contracts awarded by the Defense Energy Support Center, Sterling Planet of Alpharetta, Georgia, supplied EPA with 20 million kWh of RECs generated at a landfill gas facility in Jacksonville, Florida, and 3 Phases Energy Services of San Francisco, California, supplied EPA with 10 million kWh of RECs from wind power generated in Algona, Iowa.
- EPA is also supporting the generation of green power through the NC Green Power Program. The NC Green Power program is a new statewide program developed by the state Public Utility Commission to allow all North Carolina electricity customers to purchase green power.
- 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.
- Learn about several water conservation projects the Main Building implemented in FY 2008 to reduce its water use by approximately 12 percent compared to FY 2007.