Slider_NREL_Cafe_Outdoor The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Café and Research Support Facility II (RSF II) was built using the design-build delivery method with an integrated project delivery approach. The LEED Platinum, net-zero energy office building addition and LEED Platinum café have been recognized nationally, winning multiple industry awards.

The $6.75 million, 12,200-square-foot, LEED Platinum café, located at the heart of NREL South Table Mountain campus, is an expandable facility equipped to provide daily food service for the entire NREL campus, catering for campus events, and seating capacity to accommodate shifts in interior seating space with outdoor seating space for exterior dining. One of only four known LEED certified full-service restaurants in the nation, the café’s use of light shelf design, fixed blinds, and daylight harvesting via solatubes maximizes energy efficiency, achieving 75 percent daylight. Additional features include indirect evaporative cooling, high efficiency air handling, low-energy lighting, and the novel use of waste heat energy recovery from kitchen exhaust hoods and the commercial dishwasher.

The four-story, 155,000-square-foot RSF expansion complements the net-zero energy design of the original structure, while improving upon many of the original structure’s sustainable features. The Haselden|RNL team created the RSF II to be 11% more energy efficient and less expensive than the original RSF. Having received LEED Platinum certification, this project has achieved the third most points of any LEED Platinum Certified building in the world, and is the first among all buildings of its size, according to USGBC.

The space features the executive wing, open office space areas, private offices, conference rooms, fitness center with locker rooms, library, two kitchens on each floor, and a coffee bar/lounge area with seating for breaks and impromptu meetings. The space also serves as a showcase office wing where NREL executives meet with industry leaders and foreign diplomats to promote energy efficiency.

As part of the RSF Expansion, the designed and built site work including a roadway bridge over an environmentally sensitive arroyo, 1,500 linear feet of new roadways, and 600 linear feet of underground mechanical process piping. Infrastructure work included relocation and underground placement of a major drainage way, a new walkway to support the main pedestrian spine with ramp and steps providing access to entrances of the building, and sidewalk connections to campus pathways.