LAS VEGAS – The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Nevada Site Office has achieved a significant milestone with the naming of its Nevada Support Facility as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified for existing buildings. Built in 1997, the Nevada Support Facility (NSF), located in North Las Vegas, houses federal and contractor employees.
The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
“Several hundreds of hours were worked to develop a complete building application and provide documentation to the Green Building Council to get this prestigious award,” said Nevada Site Office Assistant Manager for Site Operations Angela Colarusso. “This truly shows our commitment to demonstrate sustainability and find ways to reduce energy costs.”
The NSF achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in such areas as water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The three-story NSF is 170,068 gross square feet.
All exterior windows are insulated and have been upgraded with window tinting. The building has sun-shading devices such as aluminum solar screening and horizontal louvers to cut down on sun glare to interior spaces. Perimeter office partitions have been constructed with glass panels to let daylight into the interior open office space, allowing occupants to enjoy natural lighting. Light sensors are used extensively throughout the facility to automatically turn off lights in vacated spaces.
The NSF has water efficient fixtures, which lower the costs of purchasing water and reduce the amount of water that needs to be treated for the community. Water is metered inside the facility with separate metering outside for the water efficient landscaping.
Additional features at NSF that were taken into account during the certification process included their commitment to purchase sustainable goods, dedication to recycle and reuse products, and innovative decision to work with a vendor that recycles grease trap materials from the building’s cafeteria into candles. The facility was noted for its strong recycling program of glass, metal, paper, plastic and batteries.
In addition to the LEED Gold certification, the building was certified as an Energy Star facility in 2010. This is the fourth LEED certification for the NNSA’s Nevada Site Office. Previously, the North Las Vegas B-3 building earned the LEED Silver certification, and the agency’s two fire stations at the Nevada National Security Site were honored with LEED Gold certifications.
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.