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News | April 22, 2014

Earth Day every day at ICC-B

By DIA Public Affairs

The Intelligence Community Campus – Bethesda is taking energy efficiency in the intelligence community to a new level.

DIA is the executive agent for the campus renovation, serving on behalf of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Roberdeau Hall will feature LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting technology that uses only 10 percent of the energy used by standard office lighting, as well as daylight sensors to reduce electricity use. This building will consume 69 percent less energy than it did before renovation and can also be zero-net energy, meaning it could produce as much energy as it consumes during a year. Overall, the entire campus is expected to use 31 percent less energy than before renovation.

The new Centrum Building could have a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design rating of at least silver due to a central utility plant that will service all ICC-B buildings and its green roof over the loading dock. Since no one wants to haul a lawnmower to the roof, and the fuel emissions wouldn’t be very environmentally friendly, this green roof is made of small indigenous plants and dirt held in wire mesh. The roof helps control temperature of the building and reduces rainwater runoff. The final building on campus, Erskine Hall, could also rate at least LEED silver.

LEED ratings are a green building certification program run by the U.S. Green Business Council, recognizing best-in-class building strategies and practices.

Running off photovoltaic solar panels, the garage, Vehicle Control Center and Vehicle Inspection Station at ICC-B already operate as zero-net energy buildings. The VCC uses groundwater heat pumps, temperature control and energy-efficient glass. The facility’s 1,800-car garage is net-positive, meaning it generates more power than it needs. Both the VCC and VIS buildings are eligible for an LEED rating of platinum, the highest certification level.

“DIA has shown other agencies in the IC that it is possible to build zero-net energy into a construction project for not much more than standard construction,” says Luis Ayala, DIA’s senior technical expert for facilities and construction.

The ICC-B project has also been selected by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, as a model project to be featured as a case study at their winter conference later this year. ASHRAE sets policy, codes and standards for energy efficiency in buildings.

“We were also able to replace inefficient equipment that has reached the end of its useful life by utilizing a utility energy savings contract. Washington Gas plans to invest up to $40 million in ICC-B and will amortize their investment from future energy savings. At the end of the contract, ownership of the equipment reverts to the government, and energy costs go down further,” Ayala said.

Beyond the technical details, this 30-acre secure campus demolished three structures, replaced impervious surface parking with a low-elevation garage, and worked closely with landscape experts to increase the campus’ green space and decrease visibility for surrounding residential neighbors. From the shapes of the buildings and exterior paneling to the earth-tone pigmented walkways, the entire campus is being constructed to minimize any impact on the environment.

ICC-B should be complete and ready to house various members of the IC by 2017.