Brookhaven National Laboratory Awarded Long Island’s First LEED Silver Rating

Long Island’s first LEED Silver rating is the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory’s $12.6 million Research Support Building.

The Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has earned Long Island’s first LEED Silver rating. Brookhaven’s $12.6 million Research Support Building, designed by Farmingdale, New York-based Ehasz Giacolone Architects, earned 34 credits from USGBC, including the maximum possible for recycled-content and locally-sourced materials. General contractor E.W. Howell of Woodhaven, New York also diverted between 50 and 75 percent of the project’s construction debris from local landfills. The two-story, 65,000-square-foot building includes two different office wings that are connected by a glass atrium lobby, while the exterior is clad with metal panels.

Of particular interest in terms of green construction law, the press release announcing the award notes that “[a]chieving LEED certification required careful attention to the details of LEED requirements, options, and documentation requirements during design and construction. While some LEED options are standard practice in all [Brookhaven National Laboratory] buildings, such as no smoking and recycling, others are new practices.”

In other words, contract language delineating the scope of each project stakeholder’s responsibilities with respect to LEED certification requirements was likely critical given the owner’s learning curve associated with the project’s green features. BNL’s project team also included engineers STV, Inc. and commissioning services from Manhattan-based Horizon Engineering Associates. E.W. Howell broke ground on the building back in March of 2005 with ribbon-cutting in October of 2006.

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3 Responses to Brookhaven National Laboratory Awarded Long Island’s First LEED Silver Rating

  1. Paul McGinniss Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    It’s great that Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) has earned Long Island’s first LEED Silver Rating. It has also earned the prestigious rating of an EPA Super Fund site. 30 plus contaminants have been identified at the site including 5 radioactive substances such as radium, plutonium, cesium and strontium. Not to mention contaminants such as mercury, arsenic and DDT, all of which are known carcinogens. Three documented plumes of radioactive tritium extend from soil beneath the lab, where they originated during experiments at one of the labs nuclear reactors and continue to travel threatening groundwater. The labs own web site highlights dozens of sites on the labs 5,300 acre campus that are contaminated. A toxic plume 180 to 300 feet deep of carbon tetrachloride that is over 1,000 times the safe drinking level for drinking water has also been discovered. Two large plumes of strontium-90 are also creeping through the soil above the aquifer. Headwaters of the Peconic River are located on the property of BNL, and the Peconic River receives discharges from BNL’s sewage treatment plant which has been a source of contamination for the river. River sediments have been found to contain elevated levels of heavy metals (including mercury, silver and copper) as well as PCBs and radionuclides. Thank God the BNL is going green by following LEED principles. I wonder if being located on top of a carcinogenic Super Fund site was one of the reasons why a building does not merit LEED gold or platinum status.

  2. Denise O. Monday, June 2, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    Please note, E.W. Howell is located in Woodbury, NY not Woodhaven.

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