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Center for Functional Nanomaterials

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a 94,500 square-foot facility that houses $25 million worth of high-tech equipment for scientists to explore and develop materials on the nanoscale, was completed in 2007. It was awarded a LEED silver rating by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008.

The LEED green building rating system provides credits for satisfying specified criteria. Projects are evaluated in five categories — sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental qualities. Silver is the third-highest certification that can be earned, based on points accumulated in these categories.

The site selected for the CFN building earned green points because it's located in an area that was already partially developed, contained no endangered species, and was not near wetlands. Also, Brookhaven Lab agreed to preserve open space equivalent to double the size of each building in a wooded, eastern portion of its site for the life of the buildings. Preferred parking is provided for carpool vehicles, and the buildings have changing rooms and showers for those who commute to work by bicycle. Shade trees were planted in the parking area at the CFN, and outdoor lighting is subdued to reduce light pollution.

To gain points in water efficiency, the landscaping was planned so that plantings around the building require minimum irrigation, and no outdoor sprinklers were installed. Efficient toilets and electronic sensors on faucets help to reduce water use by more than 20 percent compared to the required baseline.

The building is designed to ensure low energy and maintenance costs, earning numerous points in the energy and atmosphere category. The CFN is connected to the Laboratory’s site-wide energy management control system, which monitors and controls heating and cooling, saving energy. 

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LEED certification helps keep the planet clean for the next generation. Using  green design principles makes sense for the environment and ensures the comfort of the building's occupants.