Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
National Computer Center (NCC)
Total Facility Area: 95,322 gross square feet (GSF)
Estimated Personnel: 120 persons
Energy Consumption: 48,084,883,308 Btu per year
Btu per GSF per Year: 504,447
Total Water Consumption: 359,787 gallons per year
Gallons per GSF per Year: 3.8
All energy and water data are reported as of FY 2011.
EPA's NCC, one of the largest computer centers in the United States, provides large-scale computing services for EPA nationwide. NCC also supports regulatory program offices and administrative activities, as well as advanced supercomputing for scientific research in air quality protection and other environmental studies. The building opened in January 2002.
In addition to this facility, EPA occupies several other buildings in the Research Triangle Park area, including:
- Main Building
- Chapel Hill Laboratory
- First Environments Early Learning Center
- National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory
Unique Environmental Features
- In fiscal year (FY) 2009, EPA initiated numerous energy-saving projects at NCC. In addition to recommissioning the entire facility, EPA focused significant effort on improving the energy performance of the computer wing. An extensive, third-party review of the data center's operating conditions resulted in EPA shutting off six of the facility’s 13 computer room air conditioning units, while still meeting the sensitive cooling needs of the computer equipment. EPA also optimized and diversified the location of energy-intensive equipment to better match heat loads and cooling capacity.
- "Green" lighting features, including high-efficiency fluorescent lighting, motion sensors, daylight dimming sensors, and manual override switches, save 70 percent on electricity used for lighting when compared to the energy consumption of a facility with conventional fixtures.
- Heating and cooling systems at NCC were chosen and modified to improve efficiency. Variable speed motors, fans, and pumps meet actual energy demand and therefore prevent energy waste. Outside air economizers reduce energy costs by bringing in outside air when the temperature and humidity meet acceptable levels. Additionally, a building automation system (BAS) monitors and controls various aspects of the building and works in tandem with the heating and cooling systems. The BAS controls temperature, pressure, humidity, electrical systems, computer room cooling units, cooling and heating equipment, maintenance indicators, lighting, and security.
- EPA offsets 100 percent of the electricity consumption at NCC 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.
- A 100-kilowatt, integrated roof power system installed on the roof of the NCC in April 2002, is one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) installations on the East Coast. In FY 2011, the system generated 103,611 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, which offset nearly 72 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases from conventional energy production by burning fossil fuels. PV technology for the computer center is produced by Solarex Corporation. The system's PV cells are backed with insulating polystyrene foam, turning solar energy into usable power, while increasing the building roof's thermal insulation.
- NCC was awarded a 2009 Golden Leaf Award of Merit in the Sustainable Properties category by the City of Durham. The Golden Leaf Awards for Community Appearance (PDF) (20 pp, 1.4MB, About PDF), recognize the best contributions to the community, with a goal of encouraging better-designed and better-maintained properties. Awards in the Sustainable Properties category are given for projects that create a sustainable built environment by incorporating green building principles in the planning and development of projects. Projects must incorporate these principles in the areas of energy, design, site, water, and building materials. According to the 2009 judges, NCC is an "excellent example of sustainable design in new construction."
- In January 2005, EPA received LEED® Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council rating for NCC. The LEED rating system is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
- NCC meets the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings (Guiding Principles) due to its existing LEED certification.
For More Information About This Facility
Alex Montilla (email@example.com)
Mail Code: C604-01
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Phone: (919) 541-0324