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NNSA Presents SRS with Award for Achieving High Performance Sustainable Building Status

AIKEN, South Carolina – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded the first NNSA High Performance Sustainable Building (HPSB) plaque to the Savannah River Site (SRS) Tritium Administration Facility (Building 246-H).

The facility is the base of NNSA’s employees and contractors who support the tritium capabilities at SRS. The facility has reduced total energy consumption by 27.8 percent from a 2005 baseline.

“NNSA is improving the performance of its buildings and infrastructure,” said Jim McConnell, Associate Deputy Administrator, NNSA Office of Infrastructure and Operations. “This achievement shows that NNSA’s existing buildings can also meet standards in line with those of the commercial sector. The people who made this happen set the example for persistence and good management to support our ideals.”

The 11,500 square foot facility is the first building to meet HPSB status within the secure NNSA tritium operations complex. The building earned the HBSB status by meeting 28 distinct performance requirements in the areas of energy, water and waste reduction, as well as tenant health and comfort. At NNSA, 15 percent of an agency’s existing buildings greater than 5,000 square feet in size are expected to meet all of the guiding principles requirements by 2015, with continued annual progress for the entire building inventory thereafter. 

While other NNSA facilities have self-certified to HPSB, the Tritium Administration Facility also successfully completed a rigorous subject matter expert validation process. By meeting both the HPSB and validation requirements, the building is being recognized with a plaque that is made out of sustainable materials: bamboo and aluminum.

The Tritium Administration Facility features solar tubes and windows that give employees access to natural light, motion-activated light sensors, water fixtures that consume 20 percent less water than code, and storm water drainage to a local wetland. The site also implemented several infrastructure best practices that are recognized to fulfill several HPSB building-level requirements. The building was constructed in 1998, so maintenance and quality of life improvements over the years set the stage for the building to be a viable candidate to pursue full HPSB status.

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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.