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Sustainable Campus Planning for the FDA Consolidation

Don Posson, PE, CIPE, Kling


When complete, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) new consolidated campus in Montgomery County, Maryland will be a model for energy efficiency and sustainable design. The first two phases of the FDA's new campus are currently under construction, with the first phase scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2003. The phases currently under construction include over 600,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory, office and vivarium facilities, and are part of a five-phased 3.0 million square foot consolidation that will be the home for over 6000 FDA employees. In an effort to meet the sustainability requirements set out by Executive Order 13123 - "Greening the Federal Government Through Efficient Energy Management", all phases of the consolidation are being designed utilizing the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED™Green Building Rating System. The first two phases (CDER Laboratory & CDER Office) have both been registered with LEED™, and are currently tracking "Silver" certification levels. The presentation will focus on the challenges and limitations of utilizing LEED™ in the development of a large-scale federal research campus.


The presentation will discuss the approach utilized for the sustainable development of a major federal research campus for the FDA (including registering each individual building with LEED™ and tracking each with potentially a different LEED™ version) and will include a brief discussion on the technologies incorporated to achieve a LEED™ "Silver" level for all phases. The consolidation has not only incorporated innovative energy and water efficiency strategies within each building, but has incorporated a combined heating/power (cogeneration) plant that will serve the entire campus, and has incorporated renewable energy (photovoltaics) systems on campus. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on the advantages of utilizing LEED™ for Multiple Buildings, which is currently under development by the U.S. Green Building Council, in-lieu-of utilizing the standard LEED™ for new construction for each individual building.

Labs21 Connection:

As Labs21 promotes, the new FDA campus development has strived to create environmental showcase laboratories, including establishing goals, tracking performance, and sharing results for continuous improvement. This approach has been utilized on the first two projects under construction, and will not only benefit other laboratory owners around the country, but will benefit all future laboratory projects on the FDA campus during the long term campus development.


Don Posson has a B.S. in architectural engineering from Kansas State University. He has worked as a mechanical engineer for over 17 years, specializing in hvac, plumbing and fire protection systems design for laboratory facilities.

Mr. Posson is currently employed by Kling as an Engineering Design Principal, working on the planning and design of federal R&D facilities, corporate biotechnology laboratories and university teaching/research laboratories.

Mr. Posson is a LEED™ 2.0 Accredited Professional and has been involved with the planning and design of numerous sustainable design projects, including the first LEED "Platinum" certified building. He has presented case studies and sustainable design methodologies at conferences and meetings hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council, the AIA Committee on the Environment, the Construction Specifications Institute, Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21), and the Sustainable Washington Alliance. Mr. Posson is currently guest lecturer and studio critic for a comprehensive architectural design studio at the University of Maryland incorporating advanced technology and sustainable design.

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