Sustainable Design at the U.S. EPA's Kansas City
Science and Technology Center
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A typical laboratory uses 5 to 10 times more energy and far more
water per square foot than a typical office building because of
intensive ventilation requirements and other health and safety concerns.
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) realized that
its Region 7 laboratory in Kansas City, Kansas, could no longer
feasibly implement its mission in its existing location, the Agency
decided to design and construct a new building to provide a quality
workspace for its scientists and staff. The building employs as
many energy, resource, and water-efficient characteristics as possible
in its design and construction to preserve natural resources, ensure
occupancy health, and serve as a model for future laboratory design.
The poster will highlight these sustainable features and the building's
LEED Gold Level certification.
Including green building attributes and LEED certification
requirements from the start ensured an environmental focus throughout
the project. Major benefits resulted from having the Construction
Superintendent acquire LEED Accredited Professional credentials,
because he was responsible for LEED documentation and for
reviewing all subcontractor material for "green" content.
Collecting data at each phase of construction was the least costly
and most efficient method to attain LEED certification.
EPA's Kansas City Science and Technology Center demonstrates several
unique features that reflect the Labs21 Approach, including:
- In August 2003, the laboratory was awarded a Gold Level sustainable
design rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED
- A unique rooftop rainwater recovery system captures and filters
rainwater for use in flushing toilets; it cuts treated domestic
water use by approximately 50 percent and reduces stormwater runoff
by 40 percent. Since the rainwater recovery system collects more
water than needed for the toilets, the excess is used to provide
make-up water for the building's cooling towers. The estimated
savings from this unique system is 735,000 gallons per year.
- The initial mechanical system design chosen for the lab included
variable air volume (VAV) fume hoods, VAV office ventilation,
and heat recovery. Energy modeling performed on this initial design
produced further economical energy conservation approaches resulting
in design additions such as zoned carbon dioxide sensors, plate-frame
heat exchange recovery, and a variable-frequency-drive chiller.
- The Solicitation for Offers (SFO) for this facility included
green language to ensure that the facility and all its construction
features promote energy efficiency and environmentally preferable
materials and design. The SFO encouraged contractors to address
energy and water conservation and other environmental factors.
Justin A. Spenillo is a member of the Sustainable Facilities
Practices Branch at EPA. His primary duties include work related
to water management and green power at EPA facilities. He has an
MA in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from George Washington
University and a BA in Biology from Franklin & Marshall College.
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