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NNSA National Security Campus Receives LEED® Gold Certification

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) new National Security Campus (NSC) has officially achieved LEED® Gold Certification, an esteemed third-party verification process showing the building is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The new building received enough points to achieve one of the highest certifications possible for new constructions.

“The National Security Campus is a significant part of NNSA’s shift from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons complex into a more efficient 21st century national security enterprise, and achieving building sustainability contributes to this effort,” said NNSA Kansas City Field Office manager Mark Holecek. “The LEED Gold certification is a major achievement for a project of this size and complexity, and I am proud of the team that made this happen.”

The NSC, which is more than 1.5 million square feet, was completed on time and on budget in November 2012 in partnership with General Services Administration (GSA). The new modern campus showcases innovation and cost savings by reducing the manufacturing site’s footprint by 50 percent and cutting operating costs by roughly $100 million annually. Currently, NNSA is maintaining operations at two sites in Kansas City while undergoing one of the largest industrial relocations in the country. Estimates are that the entire move will use 30,000 crates – which, if stacked, would be more than five times the height of Mount Everest. The 18-month move is scheduled to be completed in August 2014.

The primary team members contributing to the successful certification process were NNSA, GSA, Honeywell FM&T, developer CenterPoint Zimmer, construction contractor JE Dunn, HNTB’s design team, Gibbens Drake Scott, SSOE Group, and LEED consultant and commissioning agent SSRCx.

“We were confident that the NSC would eventually be LEED Gold-certified, particularly due to the excellent collaboration among all parties involved,” said Jim Cross, Senior Vice President for CenterPoint Properties. “The NSC earned 41 out of 51 possible points for this certification.”

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. The LEED green building rating system, developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, is intended to promote designs that reduce the environmental impacts of a building and improve the health and well-being of its occupants. The four certification levels are Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels correspond to the number of credits accrued in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

Just a few of the environmentally friendly features of the NSC include a white roof to help reflect solar heat, campus parking with preferred spaces for fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles, highly-efficient plumbing fixtures estimated to save more than 3.2 million gallons of water each year, energy-efficient features that are estimated to save 18 percent annually, environmentally preferable materials including sustainably harvested wood products, and lighting and thermal controls in the majority of regularly occupied spaces to support individual comfort and health.

As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions include:

  • Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 250,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
  • Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up approximately 14 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
  • Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
  • Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of government wide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.