U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
Atlantic Ecology Division Laboratory Tour

Thursday, September 22
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to tour the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Atlantic Ecology Division (AED) Laboratory, a 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art aquatic research facility located in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

AED's mission is to improve our understanding of the environmental effects of stressors and human activity on coastal waters and watersheds. The laboratory's scientists conduct ecological research in a variety of marine ecosystems, including freshwater, wetlands, estuarine, and near-shore environments along the Atlantic coast.

The main laboratory building houses wet laboratories and a greenhouse that provide areas for culture, holding, and research of marine plants and animals; dry laboratories that provide areas for biological, chemical, and physical analyses of sediment, tissue, and water samples; and storage space for scientific samples. The main office building has conference rooms and space for administrative support and scientific staff.

EPA has been working to improve the sustainability of its AED Laboratory by incorporating a number of energy and water efficiency upgrades over the last several years. In August 2010, EPA began construction of a multi-phased, multi-year infrastructure replacement program (IRP) at the AED Laboratory that will renovate the building's chemical laboratories, replace air handlers and mechanical and boiler systems, and install a new ground source heat pump system. Once the IRP is completed, EPA projects a 30 percent energy reduction compared with a fiscal year 2009 baseline. The IRP's payback period is approximately 25 years.

Additional improvements recently made to the facility include upgrading its chilled water system; installing a compressed air delivery system; landscaping with native and non-invasive plant species; constructing a 3,000-square-foot vegetated green roof; and installing a photovoltaic array and wind turbines.

Transportation and light refreshments were provided for tour attendees.

 

I2SL would like to extend a special thanks to our EPA AED Laboratory afternoon tour and reception sponsors:

Gilbane Building Company logo

Gilbane Building Company provides construction and facilities-related services for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a family-run company, Gilbane has office locations across the country and an international presence through its subsidiary, Innovative Technology Solutions, Inc. (ITSI).

 

AKF's logo

AKF Group provides engineering, commissioning, lighting, testing, technology, and sustainable design services. AKF's goal is to provide innovative design, quality service, and technical leadership by offering services that go beyond traditional engineering and respond to the ever changing dynamics of the marketplace.

 

BHC's logo

Beatty, Harvey, Coco Architects (BHC) is one of the nation's oldest architectural firms. Founded in 1880, BHC specializes in institutional and healthcare design including dozens of laboratory and laboratory-related projects for the U.S. EPA. BHC provides programming, feasibility studies, planning, and designing services.

 

SSOE's logo

SSOE Group provides engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance services and is consistently ranked among the top green design firms. Our experts focus on making clients successful by utilizing technology to achieve energy and sustainability goals. This approach to energy planning for laboratories has been recently highlighted in publications such as The Military Engineer.