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NNSA recognizes NNSS with sustainable building award

The single story, pre-engineered metal, office building houses approximately 30 employees. Current operations include administrative office space. The building is a total electric building.

As part of NNSA’s efforts toward a more modern and efficient Nuclear Security Enterprise, the Administration periodically awards sites that have made significant progress toward the recent High Performance Sustainable Building (HPSB) achievement award. Several facilities at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) achieved the certification in 2017, including a field engineering building, a maintenance facility, an administrative building, and a warehouse. 

“Due to the diligence and perseverance of facilities personnel who saw the potential for greater efficiency and made it happen, the NNSS can enjoy the benefits of a healthier place to work, avoided cost and waste, and a much-reduced impact on the environment,” said James J. McConnell, NNSA’s associate administrator for the Office of Safety, Infrastructure and Operations.

Built in 1992, the exterior view of the maintenance facility building is configured to support activities that include management, administration, and workshops. The first floor consists of a low bay maintenance shop area and inventory control/tool area, and multi-purpose/work assignment room.

To earn the HPSB award, each building must meet the high standards outlined in the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings. Like many NNSA sites, each facility faced unique challenges due to their age, geography, and primary mission.

To maximize energy efficiency and achieve certification, each building underwent a preliminary review to see what it would take to meet the certification goal, including recommendations for specific energy efficiency measures. Among the recommended actions, the review included conducting indoor air-quality testing, posting educational signage, and placing recycling centers within each facility.

Two men take air-flow measurements at the Field Engineering Building as part of the building’s commissioning assessment.

Each building’s enhanced energy consumption, water performance, indoor environmental quality, and waste and materials processes were found to meet all of the HPSB requirements. Most notably, the site’s remarkable 33 percent reduction in campus-level water intensity – or the amount of water used per square foot – allowed the water requirement to be met for each facility. This is especially significant considering the site is located in one of the most arid regions of the country.  

The recent certification adds to the existing list of sustainable buildings at the NNSS. NNSS also joins other NNSA enterprise sites as they all make strides toward meeting the federal sustainable building goals.