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Integration of Sustainable Design at Sandia National Laboratories

Jack H. Mizner, Jr., PE CHMM, Sandia National Laboratory

For the past six years, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (SNL/NM) has taken aggressive steps to integrate sustainable design into its business practice. SNL/NM collectively incorporates the "Greening the Government" executive orders (13101, 13123, and 13148) and uses the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system and the Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21) initiative to implement sustainable design in the design and construction of its facilities. SNL/NM's approach has two main thrusts: project implementation and program development.

Project implementation means including sustainable design in requirements for specific projects and incorporating sustainable design from design through construction and operations. SNL/NM has successfully done this for several facilities and currently has five buildings registered with the U.S. Green Building Council. All are expected to receive LEED™ certification. Two of the facilities, the Center for Integrated Nano-Technologies and the Microsystems and Engineering Systems Applications Laboratory, will be featured.

Program development has worked in concert with project implementation to improve sustainable design integration with each subsequent project and to institutionalize sustainable design at SNL/NM. Key elements of program implementation include:

  • Revision of standard language in programming documents for large projects to require sustainable design, certification as a LEED™ building and submission of a Sustainable Design Report.
  • Revision of 34 construction specifications and the Facilities Design Standards Manual, including the specification 01000S, Design-Build Scope and Performance Criteria, which requires sustainable design and submission of a Sustainale Design Report for smaller projects.
  • Conducting workshops to educate design and construction personnel on sustainable design.

This presentation will trace the development of sustainable design at SNL/NM and present case studies of the two laboratory buildings that were designed and are being constructed using sustainable design and Labs21 principles.

Labs21 Connection:

SNL/NM is a Labs21 Partner and Labs21 support personnel were included as part of the team for the design of each of the SNL/NM laboratory facilities. As such, the Labs21 approach was integrated into the design of these laboratories. For one of the facilities, the Center for Integrated Nano-technologies, the Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria (EPC) was employed in conjunction with LEED™ to evaluate and rate the design. Labs21 and LEED™ are the primary references that SNL/NM used to develop it's sustainable design approach.


Jack Mizner is the Pollution Prevention Coordinator at Sandia National Laboratories. He received a BS in Biology from Georgia State University and MS degrees in Ecology and Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech. Jack is a registered professional engineer in New Mexico, a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, and currently serves as president-elect of the New Mexico Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. From a professional background that includes municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, environmental remediation, and hazardous and radioactive waste management, his career has evolved to preventing pollution at the source. This includes working with project managers and design professionals to implement sustainable design principles in the construction and operations of facilities at Sandia National Laboratories.


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