The Research Support Facility (RSF) located on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Boulder, Colo., has been certified LEED Platinum for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). At 222,000 square feet, the RSF is a model for sustainable, high-performance building design that leverages the best in energy efficiency and environmental performance in a large-scale commercial office building.

“NREL is proving how our research on energy efficiency, commercial building technology and renewable energy can be translated to today’s commercial properties at a cost-competitive rate,” said Bill Glover, NREL’s deputy lab director.

With commercial buildings consuming 19 percent of the energy in the United States, a DOE goal for the RSF project is to help change the way U.S. commercial office buildings are designed and built. NREL, through the Advanced Commercial Buildings Research team, developed strategies and techniques to reduce energy use in commercial buildings that were incorporated in the design of the RSF. NREL researchers are monitoring and documenting the energy performance of the RSF and sharing those results with the construction industry to show how achievable ultra-energy-efficient buildings are today.

The RSF project achieved all 59 targeted points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, including those for site selection, energy, materials and resources, and innovation. This is the highest score of the 10 U.S. federal facilities that have earned the LEED Platinum rating for new construction. RSF also had a perfect score in the energy category, achieving all 17 points.

The RSF is the second facility at NREL to achieve this designation. In 2007, NREL’s Science and Technology Facility was the first federal facility in the nation to be certified LEED Platinum.