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Piloting the Use of Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria in the Design and Construction of a Laboratory Facility

Jack Mizner, Sandia National Laboratories


Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (SNL/NM) has incorporated sustainable elements into the design and construction of its facilities since 1999, primarily through the application of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) rating system. LEED, however, applies primarily to office buildings and non-process water and energy use. SNL/NM has employed best practices and energy efficient design, using Labs21 and other resources, and required specific performance measures for its laboratory spaces, but determining a relative measure of "greenness" has been difficult. Recently Labs21 has developed the Environmental Performance Criteria (EPC) rating system to augment the LEED™ rating system and to specifically address sustainable design issues for laboratories. SNL/NM is piloting the use of the EPC, in addition to LEED™, in the design and construction of the Center for Integrated Nano-technologies (CINT), a 92,000 ft2 research and development Laboratory. Both rating systems have been used since the beginning of design as tools to incorporate sustainable elements and efficiencies into the facility.

Currently the CINT project is beginning Title II design. The project has been using the combined LEED™/EPC ratings since the programming phase. The EPC was not included as a program requirement, however, the user and A/E firm agreed to participate in the current EPC Pilot Program. A preliminary score for each of the ratings was established during the sustainable design charrette, and has formed the basis of evaluation through the various phases of design.


The objective of this presentation is to evaluate the use of the draft EPC and present the results of applying the combined use of LEED™/EPC to the design of CINT.


The findings that will be presented reflect the project progress in incorporating and evaluating LEED™/EPC criteria through Title II design. Specific items that will be addressed include:

  • Acceptance to follow EPC by the A/E firm and by the laboratory user.
  • Current scores for CINT based on LEED™ and EPC.
  • Evaluation of EPC with SNL/NM practices as follows: 1) Current practices that already meet the criteria, 2) Current practices that do no presently meet the EPC criteria, but could with slight improvement and effort, 3) EPC criteria that require a fundamental change in the SNL/NM process to achieve.
  • Identification of the documentation that is required to verify that the EPC criteria have been met.
  • Evaluation of CINT as a Labs21 Showcase Facility and the value of using EPC as part of that evaluation. The project will also be seeking a DOE Showcase Facility designation.
  • Determination of added design effort to use EPC and the resultant benefits.

Labs21 Connection:

The following aspects are included in the CINT project:

  • Adopt Energy and Environmental Goals
  • Use Life-cycle Cost Decision-Making
  • Commission Equipment and Controls in New Construction
  • Employ a broad range of Sustainable Energy and Water Efficiency Strategies
  • Measure Energy and Water Consumption and Track Emissions
  • Specify "Green" Construction Materials


Jack Mizner, a Pollution Prevention Coordinator with Sandia National Labs, has over 18 years experience in both the public and private sectors in the areas of domestic and industrial water and wastewater treatment; groundwater treatment; hazardous and radioactive waste management and treatment; pollution prevention and sustainable design. His education includes a B.S. in Biology from GA. State and M.S. degrees in Ecology and Environmental Engineering from GA Tech. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New Mexico and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.

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