DOE recognizes Fermilab building with award for energy efficiency

The United States Department of Energy has awarded Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as part of its Build Envelope Campaign for the design of the Industrial Center Building Addition, or ICB-A. The ICB-A has been recognized as a new building that performs above the norm as it uses emerging high-performance technology for the building envelope, including windows, exterior walls and roofs. In fact, the building envelope exceeded the criteria of the price of a 20% improvement over the current building code, yielding a 25% improvement. Often overlooked, building envelopes account for nearly a third of the energy consumed in commercial buildings. They also affect quality of life factors such as natural light and comfort.

Photo of one end of a large rectangular building made of concrete, blue, gray and red with blue sky above.  In the lower right corner is an award logo.  There is: "Building Envelope Campaign Novel 20 Award."

The ICB-A has been recognized as a new building that performs above the norm thanks to the design of the building envelope, which includes windows, exterior walls and roofs. In fact, the building envelope exceeded the criteria of the price of a 20% improvement over the current building code, yielding a 25% improvement. Photo: Andrew Federowicz, Fermilab

Designing a building envelope with significant improvement over code must strike a balance between financing the energy-efficient assemblies required for federal buildings and creating a new building that meets the programming needs of the end users.

For ICB-A, the building envelope specifications alone would have resulted in an improvement of approximately 15%.

Because ICB-A connects two existing facilities, the addition was strategically located to provide direct access to the surrounding mounting areas, while eliminating more than 7,000 square feet of building envelope exposed to the exterior. The placement of the approximately 25,000-square-foot extension combined with energy-efficient windows, exterior walls and roofs gave the building its performance boost.

Maintaining day-to-day work on the existing buildings, reinforcing the existing roofs to deal with snowdrifts during construction, and integrating systems such as fire alarm systems were all issues that needed to be resolved to make ICB-A a success .

At the time the design choices were made, the architects were unable to quantify the energy savings. It was accepted because of the supposed construction and utility savings from eliminating square footage. But the Building Envelope campaign provided metrics that could help realize design achievement at ICB-A. Ultimately, this validated the design approach.

Many departments worked together to coordinate construction with all other operations. These teams ensured that ICB-A met all performance requirements and was built with minimal operational impact. This included the Applied Physics and Superconducting Technology division; the Budget Office; Environment, Safety and Health; the Facility Services section; and purchasing.

Aside from energy and construction issues, the project addresses a wide range of needs for the laboratory. The high-rise areas will be the construction site for superconducting radiofrequency cryomodules and superconducting magnets for accelerators at Fermilab and partner institutions. The design will also accommodate a 40-ton gantry crane, a low workbench, a mezzanine that can be used for future offices and a room for the assembly of the cryostat that will service the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider upgrade.

ICB-A’s design aligns with the 2018 Fermilab Campus Master Plan as it will help centralize activities and improve access and circulation in the industrial building complex.

Watch the ICB-A presentation by Andrew Federowicz during the Building Envelope Campaign Recognition webinar:

Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the largest proponent of basic science research in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit energy.gov/science.

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