The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for the research and development of renewable energy. Its Research Support Facility showcases the U.S. Department of Energy’s integration of high-performance building design, construction practices and technological advances.

The 222,000-square-foot building in Golden, Colo., makes substantial use of daylighting, which dramatically reduces energy use and provides a pleasant and productive open-space workplace for more than 800 of NREL’s approximately 2,300 employees.

The facility has achieved LEED Platinum certification; the highest benchmark awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the highest scoring LEED project in Colorado based on percentage of points achieved. In addition, the building is designed to achieve net-zero energy.

Many of the center’s sustainable features include:

  • 6 percent more efficient roof-top photovoltaic panels
  • Improved thermal performance and window systems
  • Upgraded lighting control systems
  • Increased flexibility in mechanical systems integration