The US Department of Energy's new Research Support Facility at the National Renewable Energy Campus in Golden, Colorado is taking green construction to a new level. The building, which is 222,000 square feet and will house 800 employees, is zero-energy, meaning that it will create as much energy as it uses. Once finished, it will be awarded LEED Platinum certification.
Using smart design techniques that bring in sunlight and absorb natural heat and cold, the building will use 50% less energy than a typical commercial building of the same size. The rest of the energy it needs will be generated from an array of photovoltaic panels on site. Relying heavily on recycled materials, the building's construction makes use of pieces of the old Denver airport runway and wood from trees lost to the bark beetle infestation.
The Research Support Facility is setting the example on how building should be done moving forward, and the Department of Energy is hoping that many more will follow.
For more, watch a video documentary of the project here.
- Mitchell Flexo
(Via Green Blog, New York Times)
Photo: The new Research Support Facility in Golden, Colo. (Haselden Construction)