Process Optimization and Waste Minimization Through Sustainable
Design: Planning for the Characterization of High Energy Materials
James Stine, Marla
Maltin, and Alicia
Pope, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is building a new sustainable
high explosives chemistry facility, the Characterization of High
Energy Materials (CHEM) Laboratory. The goal of the design team
is to create a highly efficient, flexible, leading edge scientific
facility that supports the scientists in performing high quality
mission work safely, securely and with respect for the environment.
The team is using a holistic approach to sustainability, incorporating
three integrated parts: the Human Factor, Environmental Efficiency,
and Integrated Systems Management. In more simple terms, this sustainable
or "green" building will plan for people, property, and
processes. Our presentation will focus on the third, and often overlooked,
key piece of sustainability. Integrated Systems Management involves
looking at the processes and operations that will go into the new
building in order to design for their early incorporation in a flexible
way, using means such as a utility penthouse and partial basement.
We will demonstrate that this truly holistic approach improves process
and resource efficiencies, improves adaptability to mission changes,
reduces or eliminates wastes, reduces associated environmental and
safety hazards, and reduces regulatory vulnerabilities.
The CHEM Laboratory design team performed a life cycle cost benefit
analysis to determine how best to incorporate the high explosives
(HE) wastewater stream produced by routine chemical synthesis operations.
This analysis contrasts two approaches to building design; "conventional
construction" and "sustainable construction". For
these purposes, sustainable construction differs from conventional
in two main ways: 1) an integrated systems management approach is
used in the pre-planning design phase to eliminate or reduce waste
streams; and 2) input and consultation from multi-discipline experts
and building users are incorporated in the pre-planning phase. Through
our work we discovered that the biggest aid in reducing building
impacts is a flexible building design, not designing for specific
technology equipment and systems. Using this case study as an example,
we will demonstrate the benefit of planning for a flexible, sustainable
building that addresses future processes. We will also discuss the
importance of early involvement of key players (users, owners, operations
and maintenance personnel, health and safety experts, and waste
management coordinators) in a new facility. Our presentation will
show that large savings, with a relatively short pay back time,
could be achieved through careful building planning that integrates
a flexible design with waste management plans. These savings are
derived from making the HE wastewater stream a closed-loop system.
In addition to easily quantifiable cost factors, the study team
also recognized less tangible but recognizable factors such as water
conservation practices, impacts to mission vulnerability, response
to changing environmental requirements, staff productivity and public
image concerning environmental issues. The findings from this presentation
will show that it is not whether we can afford the additional construction
cost, but rather that we cannot afford not to design and build a
sustainable laboratory, with people, property, and processes in
the forefront of decisions.
In line with the Lab21 Approach, the design team for the Characterization
of High Energy Materials (CHEM) Laboratory is dedicated to optimizing
whole building efficiency. The design team voluntarily strives for
achieving environmental excellence by using strategies such as life
cycle cost analysis, Green Zia Environmental Excellence Program
tools, and a comprehensive team approach to evaluating building
impacts and efficiencies. This presentation reflects the design
team's effort to put into place building wide planning strategies
that will reduce environmental and safety risks, improve water conservation
measures, increase the integration of systems, and ensure that the
laboratory's mission can be executed with minimal impacts from external
and/or internal changes. The overall flexibility of the building
will allow for multiple waste minimization opportunities. This includes
specialized treatment and reuse of the HE wastewater stream as opposed
to relying on a conventional wastewater treatment facility.
James Stine received
his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Physical Chemistry.
He came to Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1977 where he spent
most of his time in the High Explosives Science and Technology laboratories.
His interests range from theoretical studies related to newly synthesized
molecules to firing site operations. During the last decade he managed
this group of 50 high explosives chemists, engineers, and technicians
who work in the areas of organic, analytical and physical chemistry,
chemical engineering, and physics. His most recent interest is in
incorporating sustainable design features in the design of a new
high explosives chemistry laboratory.
Marla Maltin holds
a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Tufts
University and is a LEED 2.0 Accredited Professional. Her
background includes working in the fields of environmental conservation
research and environmental consulting. Currently, she works as an
environmental scientist with the Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL) in the Risk Reduction and Environmental Stewardship Division.
Her work includes researching sustainable construction design practices
and incorporating these concepts into the plans for a new high explosives
chemistry laboratory as well as into LANL awareness as a whole.
Marla is also involved with increasing the use of alternative fuels
at LANL as well as building up the supporting infrastructure in
Northern New Mexico.
Alicia Pope has worked
at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Risk Reduction and Environmental
Stewardship Division for seven years. Alicia is responsible for
implementing the Green Zia Environmental Excellence Program (Green
Zia Program) at the Laboratory, which is based on the Malcolm Baldrige
Model with an emphasis on implementing an environmental management
system (EMS). Alicia completed her Masters in Public Administration
and her thesis compared ISO 14001 to the Green Zia Program. Her
background is in quality assurance, EMS, communications, sustainability,
pollution prevention, and waste elimination. She has published a
total of 15 reports in these areas.