University of Pittsburgh Nuclear Physics Laboratory (NPL) achieves LEED Silver

The new University of Pittsburgh Nuclear Physics Laboratory (NPL) achieved LEED SILVER certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The Nuclear Physics Laboratory consists of several condensed matter research facilities, including the Levy, D’Urso and Petek Labs as well as a High Energy Physics suite and Physics Machine Shop. The Levy Lab, for example, focuses on nanoscale research with a mission to explore novel phenomena in solid state systems. Its upper level houses three multi-function labs and a Class 1,000 cleanroom, serving optical experimentation, atomic force microscopy, and cryomagnetics. The lower level contains two vibration and electrical interference isolation chambers with two floating large-mass dampening plinths.

The design includes multiple energy conservation strategies, including air acuity systems, local clean zones in lieu of full cleanrooms and multiple zones of LED lighting on occupancy sensors within each suite. These systems reduce site energy 35% versus the energy modeled baseline, for an energy use intensity of 650kBTU/sf/yr. This resulted in 2 points for EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance. In AIA 2030 terms, this is a 22% reduction from the Labs21 regional average of 840kBTU/sf/yr.

The design places a major focus on using locally sourced and recycled content materials, earning all available points for these credits, and achieving an “Innovation in Design” credit for exemplary performance in the use of recycled materials. Project location at the heart of Pitt’s campus contributed to many site credits, including community connectivity, transportation access, parking capacity, and no landscape irrigation. Regional priority credits were achieved for building reuse and increased ventilation. The construction manager achieved an Innovation in Design credit for exemplary performance in Construction Waste Management (greater than 95% of construction waste diverted from landfill).


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