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Efficient Buildings

LEED certification helps keep the planet clean for the next generation. Going green in building design makes sense for both the environment and the comfort of occupants. 

Brookhaven's LEED Certified Buildings

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is an internationally recognized certification program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated. Participation in the program demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.

The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the industry standard of measurement for green buildings. The LEED green building rating system provides credits for satisfying specified criteria. Projects are evaluated within seven categories – sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation-design, and regional priorities. Since 2008, the following new Brookhaven facilities have achieved LEED certification:

LEED logo

Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings

Brookhaven National Laboratory is committed to designing, building, operating, and maintaining high performance sustainable buildings.The following Guiding Principles apply to both new construction buildings and major renovations:

  1. Employ integrated design principles;
  2. Optimize energy performance;
  3. Protect and conserve water;
  4. Enhance indoor environmental quality; and
  5. Reduce environmental impacts of materials.  

The Laboratory's Modernization Project Office ensures that all new construction buildings and major renovations—as well as at least 15 percent of existing building space for buildings greater than 5,000 gross square feet—comply with these Guiding Principles.

By adhering to the Guiding Principles, the Laboratory is able to reduce the cost of facility ownership and maintenance; improve energy efficiency and water conservation; provide safe, healthy and productive building environments; and promote environmental stewardship through responsible land use and material procurement.

Other Efficient Building Initiatives

Cool Roofs  

Roofs on industrial and commercial buildings in the northeast are typically made of black asphalt and become hot on sunny days by absorbing the sun’s radiation. Cool roofs are white or another light color and reflect sunlight. As a result, they greatly reduce a building’s cooling load, decrease the need for attic insulation in warm climates, and reduce the “heat island” effect, in which cities dominated by industrial and commercial buildings are hotter than surrounding areas.  

The Department of Energy requires that all new roofs at its properties be cool roofs whenever feasible. This means that roofs must conform to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for reflectivity and have a thermal resistance equivalent to R-30 insulation or greater whenever feasible. Since 2008, designs for all new buildings at Brookhaven National Laboratory have met the ASHRAE cool roof requirement and have an insulation value of R-30 or greater whenever cost effective. When roofs are repaired or replaced, the Lab's Modernization Project Office performs an analysis to determine if all cool roof requirements can be met. Consistent with our Design Guide and Standard specifications, the vast majority of the Lab's re-roofing projects are designed to meet the ASHRAE reflectivity requirements and upgraded to the highest “R” value within practical limits based on the constraints of the existing roof design.

Advanced Metering

Brookhaven Lab has met or exceeded the Department of Energy building metering goals for electricity, natural gas, and chilled water, and is on track for the goals established for steam. Advanced electric meters are installed in 298 buildings, advanced chilled water meters are installed in 34 buildings or loads with chilled water capturing 100% of chilled water usage, and all of Brookhaven Lab's natural gas-supplied facilities have advanced meters installed.

Advanced steam metering is installed in 41 buildings at the Lab. Brookhaven will install new steam metering in large use buildings where existing steam metering is insufficient, with a goal of upgrading three or more meters per year. This will help in our planned steam charge-back effort.

As a result of the very low cost of water on Long Island compared to other regions, the installation of water meters is not economically justifiable. However, Brookhaven Lab's major facilities with cooling towers, as well as new buildings and major renovations, will include water metering. In fiscal year 2013, the new LEED Gold certified Interdisciplinary Science Building I was commissioned and included advanced potable water metering. In the new National Synchrotron Light Source II, chilled water metering includes segregated metering for the ring/process loads and the Laboratory-Office Building cooling loads. Our goal is to install and/or upgrade at least five electric meters and three steam/condensate meters annually.

Efficient Building Awards

  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Award, Commercial Interiors, Chemistry Bldg. 555, RSL-II, renovated science labs (2015)
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Award Commercial Interiors, Physics Bldg. 510, RSL-II, renovated science labs (2015)
  • NYS Society of Professional Engineers’ Suffolk County Chapter Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award to Interdisciplinary Science Building project leaders and building designers for capturing the innovative and dynamic spirit of the engineering profession while fulfilling a public service need. (2014)
  • U.S. Department of Energy DOE Sustainability Award, L.I. Solar Farm for outstanding achievements in planning, designing, and constructing renewable energy to replace or lower conventional energy consumption. (2013)
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Award to the NSLS-II Ring Building, Injection, RF, & Service (2013)
  • National Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies Grand Award to NSLS-II (2013)
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of New York Diamond Award, NSLS-II (2013)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, L.I. Branch Building of the Year Award, NSLS-II (2013)
  • Construction Management Association of America, NY/NJ Chapter Owner-Managed Project of the Year Award for the NSLS-II (2013)
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Award, Interdisciplinary Science Building (2013)
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Award, Core and Shell, NSLS-II Laboratory Office Building 2 (2013)
  • U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Award, New Construction, NSLS-II Laboratory Office Buildings 1, 3, 4, 5 (2013)
  • Engineering News Record New York, Award of Merit, Government/Public Buildings for NSLS-II Laboratory Office Buildings (2013)