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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

F Wing Renovation Achieves LEED Gold Certification

The renovation of the Bldg. 10 F wing, culminating in the transformation of 16 floors and 250,000 square feet of space inside the Clinical Center, was capped off with achievement of a LEED Gold Certification. The project converted former patient care and support units into flexible research laboratory and support space serving at least 12 different institutes and centers, including a series of clinical anatomical pathology laboratories for NCI’s Laboratory of Pathology, with an autopsy suite and morgue, and various pathological, cytological and molecular labs.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council to implement sustainable, environmentally friendly building elements in design and construction projects. The Gold certification is the second highest level on a scale of 4.   

“It’s a remarkable achievement for the project to achieve such a high rating, which is difficult to accomplish in renovations, especially in a facility of the age, size and complexity of the Clinical Center,” said Kenny Floyd, director of the Division of Environmental Protection, ORF.

Gold certification was achieved through various sustainable strategies targeting air quality, light, temperature, water and other energy efficiencies including novel chilled beam technology, hazardous material abatement and use of renewable, recycled, low-emitting and locally produced materials.

A modern approach to augment a building’s air conditioning system, chilled beam technology provides energy savings by delivering primary air from a central system to structural beams through high velocity nozzles and cools room air by passing it over water coils inside the chilled beams. These and other mechanical system design changes achieved a 15 percent reduction in energy use over a baseline building—a difficult achievement given the stringent requirements necessary for the F wing.  

The exhaust air systems have sensors to automatically reduce energy use during down periods and recover and reuse heat that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide sensors react to densely occupied areas such as conference rooms, increasing fresh air flow. Occupancy sensors using infrared and ultrasonic devices “sense” when an area is vacant, powering down lighting systems in zones, with lighting in adjacent vacant areas reduced by 50 percent to eliminate harsh, light-to-dark situations for remaining employees.

Domestic water use was minimized with the installation of low-flow toilets and shower room fixtures and outdoor landscaping used plantings native or adapted to the region, requiring no additional watering after the initial plant-in period. Heat-reflecting roofing helped reduce the urban heat island effect. Finally, alternative flooring and wood products using renewable linseed oil and wheat board were selected when possible.—Brad Moss

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