LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies for improving performance in energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction and other factors. The OSB achieved certification after receiving 21 of 25 submitted rating points.
"The hard work of the NIF&PS facilities team in accomplishing this work in an environmentally sound and energy-efficient manner, especially in the area of water use reduction and indoor environmental quality, has paid off with this important recognition," NIF&PS Director Ed Moses said.
The research and documentation phase started in March 2009 and was completed over the span of 13 months. Construction began in February 2010 and the certification process began in June 2011 and was completed in December 2011.
Measures taken to earn certification for the OSB included: diverting 90 percent of construction waste from landfills; using regionally-produced construction materials; sourcing all wood from renewable forestry programs (from framing to furniture); controlling air quality management during construction; providing car pool parking and not adding additional parking; installing shower facilities to encourage bicycle commuting; selecting plumbing fixtures that reduce water usage over a typical building by more than 20 percent; choosing low off-gassing coverings and furniture; and others. An extra innovation point was awarded for the facility's green housekeeping practices. Another important aspect of the OSB included providing controllability to occupants -- the ability to control lighting levels, to see windows and to control temperatures.
"Our two key motivators were to be friendly to the Earth and to the people who work here," said Kelly Keane, project manager for design and construction. "This achievement demonstrates NIF's sincere commitment to the environment and to our workforce's quality of life."
These goals and lessons learned through the OSB certification will be applied as the NIF&PS Directorate starts the LEED process for an additional six of its existing office buildings.